Parkway Drive – Camden Roundhouse, 17th November

1990
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Parkway Drive are a band who’s profile has been slowly rising in the UK in recent years. They may be arena headliners at home in Australia but have remained a much smaller draw in Europe for the last few years. However, constant hard work touring on these shores with bands such as Bring Me The Horizon has finally paid off with their largest headlining show outside of Australia tonight, at the Camden Roundhouse. With standing sold out for this show several weeks in advance, tonight has been all set up as a night to remember in the history of ‘Parkway Drive.’

First on, are Structures who perform a generic, breakdown-heavy hardcore sound. It’s easy to see why they’ve been chosen as openers for this bill as the pits open up, but the songs aren’t particularly good and the band do not particularly engage with the audience (5)

Next up, The Word Alive are a far more entertaining live prospect than they are on record with the guitars having a greater presence and the synths a smaller one. What emerges in the live arena is a fairly generic metalcore band in the vein of As I Lay Dying, though the sheer size of the circle pits dispels any doubt that the guys in the pit actually care. Frontman Tyler Smith commands the stage with ease conjuring some huge pits while the rest of the band never slow down covering every inch of the stage. (7)

Of course, they’re only huge pits until Emmure explode onto stage, opening with a monolithic ‘Solar Flare Homicide.’ What seemed large pits for ‘The Word Alive’ now seem tiny in comparison as the entire floor area erupts into one giant moshpit within seconds of the band bouncing on-stage. Emmure’s brand of knuckle-dragging deathcore may not be the most intelligent or sophisticated music out there, but tonight the band play up to this fully, not adopting any pretence to being anything less than ridiculous yet they still command the stage masterfully unleashing potent breakdown after breakdown. Emmure are colossal tonight. (9)

Tonight though, is all about Parkway Drive, and, as the band enter with a gigantic video wall for a backdrop the bodies start flying. They may not have the explosive power that Emmure possess but what Parkway is, provide, in similar fashion to their music, a very workmanlike spectacle. They fully utilize their growing back catalogue tonight to make sure the momentum never lets up, and the band seem genuinely thrilled to be on-stage as Winston calls for a circle pit during ‘Idols and Anchors’ and the rest of the band mirror the frantic scenes occuring on the floor with their own on-stage circle pit. The overwhelming feel tonight is of band and audience united in one massive celebration of Parkway Drive’s music as a final encore of ‘Home Is for the Heartless’ and ‘Carrion’ leaves the audience voiceless as the band exit the stage. (9)

Parkway Drive proved, without a shadow of a doubt why they’re one of the top metalcore bands around tonight, demonstrating especially the strength of their back catalogue as they compiled a setlist that reads like a ‘Parkway Drive’ best-of album. It may have taken them a few more years for them to get even remotely near to the size they are in Australia in Europe but all the hard work touring seems finally to have paid off for ‘Parkway Drive,’ and, judging on the quality of tonight’s performance they more than deserve it.

Parkway Drive’s Setlist

Old Ghosts/New Regrets

Sleepwalker

Karma

Wild Eyes

Boneyards

Romance Is Dead

Deliver Me

Dark Days

Dead Man’s Chest

Swing

Idols and Anchors

Blue and the Grey

Encore

Home is for the Heartless

Carrion

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