The Royal Grove was shaking Tuesday as Gemini Syndrome rolled through in support of their upcoming album. This was only the fourth date of their tour and they brought along three openers for the evening, Pushing Veronica, Ovtlier, and A Killer's Confession.
When I saw Gemini Syndrome was coming through I was pretty pumped. I recalled hearing their songs for the longest time on 89.7 The River, going all the way back to one of their first singles "Basement". I know they had played a radio festival in Omaha and another club show in Lincoln, but so far our paths had never crossed. After seeing them live I'll definitely try and catch them again. I had an awesome time capturing the show.
The first band up Pushing Veronica was a bit of an odd ball for this line-up, but I really enjoyed that. I thought for sure we would hear some droney sludge rock, but no, they were up beat and fun. They had a pop-punk vibe and the singer totally reminded me of a young Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day. They had some funny songs, "Chad" in particular was a hit. It's basically about a deadbeat stepdad. The lyrics were silly, "Stay away from my mom!" Their youthful exuberance was an awesome way to start the night.
Up next was the band Ovtlier. These guys were dressed kinda like Rammstein, but they sounded a bit like Killswitch Engage. They had that radio-friendly metalcore sound. The lead singer reminded me of a metal Anthony Keidis. Ovtlier played about six or seven songs getting the crowd a bit more warmed up.
After Ovtlier was the band A Killer's Confession. I had heard the name but their music didn't instantly come to mind. I did some research the day before the show and recognized a few of their songs and remembered hearing them on the radio. So that was cool to know they had some radio play and would be breaking out some of those singles at the show. Before their set I talked to the person running their merch. She said she was the wife of the lead singer Wayland and that Wayland had fronted the band Mushroomhead for over 15 years. No wonder they sounded so familiar! Mushroomhead had a few hits in their day. After learning that I was even more pumped to see their set.
Wayland and crew came out with some punch! They definitely kicked the energy up for the evening. They too had a pretty radio-friendly metalcore sound. Loud guitars with a lot of melody, some screams mixed into mostly clean vocals. Lead singer Wayland is for sure a showman. Towards the beginning of the set he called out a lot of the people sitting in the back and tried to get them to come down to the front. He said if they wouldn't come down he would come to them. A song later he was walking all over the venue visiting the tables and making everyone feel weird. I think a few people came down to the front so he got the job done! A Killer's Confession had a great set and really got the crowd warmed up and ready for Gemini Syndrome.
While waiting for Gemini Syndrome the place was sweltering! I tried to find shelter under one of the big ceiling fans. As I was standing there "Raining Blood" by Slayer came on the house stereo. Not one, but two people said "Effing Slayer!!!" I just busted up laughing. As much as I loved the show and all the bands it's these little moments I live for. You can't get these experiences from a live stream! I digress.
Finally, after some set up it was time for Gemini Syndrome!! I got in place towards the front of the stage hoping to grab some decent photos. As the lights went down the house stereo played some strange industrial music with a guy talking about aliens or something. It was hard to remember what he was saying while waiting in anticipation.
After what seemed like forever, Gemini Syndrome took the stage and kicked things off with a newer single "IDK". This song is an absolute banger. The thing I love about Gemini Syndrome is most of their songs are rooted in pop melodies. They have a harder edge with the crunchy guitars but it all comes back to the sing-along choruses and catchy hooks!
Shortly after "IDK" Gemini Syndrome pulled out another new track, their latest single "Die With Me". Talk about the perfect sing-along. The song starts out with some "woah-oh-oh" action before kicking into a sweet groove. Again the chorus is so catchy "Hallelujah are you able to be my synner and my savior, come die with me!" Even with lyrics that can be a bit dark, when paired with these catchy melodies and choruses it really feels pretty uplifting.
With only an hour set I swear it felt like every song was a huge hit. The band worked their way through "Pleasure and Pain" and "Remember We Die" as the die-hard crowd went wild. Before the end of the set lead singer Aaron Nordstrom asked the crowd how many "Synners" they had in the crowd (fans who had seen the band before). A lot of people put their hands up. He said "Let's take it back to the beginning" and the band played their hit "Basement". Even though the crowd was a bit small you could hear them singing like it was an arena show! Aaron stopped for a moment while the crowd carried the song. It was an awesome sight to see.
The night ended with one of Gemini Syndrome's biggest hits "Stardust" before Aaron thanked everyone for coming out. I'm really glad I finally caught these guys. I'll definitely be there for the next one!
Big thanks to Gemini Syndrome's management and Metro Concerts Live for getting us photo access!