PARKWAY DRIVE w/THE WORD ALIVE, WAGE WAR at Upstate Concert Hall

Photos/Review: Paxton Conners/Derek Jones

 I’d like to begin this review by pointing out that on a normal day to day basis; I am not a Parkway Drive fan. It’s not that I dislike them, I just felt indifferent towards a band that I feel gets lost in a sea of Metal bands. I could listen to a few songs on a Spotify station but I wasn’t out rushing to buy the albums. If I can be completely honest, I mostly wanted to check out Wage War but had little more than a slight interest in seeing Parkway Drive.

                My first reaction of the night was “When did Parkway Drive get so popular?” I mean, the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park NY was PACKED. I don’t just mean a lot of people; I mean people were uncomfortably crammed into that place, Wall to wall, Body to body with hardly an inch to move.  On top of the cramped conditions, it was extremely hot. I didn’t have a thermometer handy but it was most definitely over 100 degrees inside. Sweat was pouring off everyone and I worried for people who weren’t properly hydrated. My hopes for the show were fading after each performance. The crowd couldn’t possibly have enough energy for Parkway Drive. Could they? I mean, this night felt like a mix between Bikram hot yoga and a cross fit routine. People aren’t meant to exercise for 3 hours in that type of heat.

The moment the intro began playing for “Wild Eyes” the entire crowd began chanting the lyrics and it felt as though I was in an arena. The chant from the crowd even took lead singer Winston McCall by surprise. I think he was blown away by the fact that the crowd had just come to life. He stood there for a moment, having the band loop the intro again so he could take it all in. Then Parkway Drive did what Parkway Drive apparently always does. They took the crowd to a level even I didn’t think possible. As I stated before, I am not a common Parkway Drive fan but I couldn’t help but head bang to songs I had never heard before. I was so hot and uncomfortable but the intensity of these guys from Australia seemed to make me forget that my body was essentially dying as I stood.

The band played through a 14 song set list that included two encore songs. They did not play one slow song and continually asked the crowd to just “give a little bit more” I can honestly say that my opinion of Parkway Drive has changed drastically. I have since found myself humming the words to “Crushed” and would most definitely pay to see them again. I might even buy all of their albums. I can always appreciate seeing a band that performs well enough to make a fan out of me. I highly suggest seeing them if you are in need of a workout.  They actually kind of rule and feel bad that I have gone so long without giving them a fair chance.  Catch them on their last American tour dates of the year.

Set List

-Wild Eyes, Carrion, Dedicated, Vice Grip, Karma, Sleep Walker, Dark Days, Destroyer, Bone Yards, Writing on the wall, Idols & Anchors, Romance is dead

Encore: Crushed, Bottom Feeder 

-Derek Jones, Chimera Magazine

Click to enlarge/view slideshow

Parkway Drive

The Word Alive

Wage War