Wow, what a weekend and we're still not done! Ice Nine Kills played a sold out show at the Bourbon in Lincoln last night (11/19) and we were there to capture all the thrills and chills!
If you're in Lincoln tonight, the 1867 Bar is hosting the Fifth Annual Movember Showcase to benefit Men's Mental Health. It's a $5 donation at the door for an early show, doors are at 4:00. So come out and support a good cause and check out some local music in the process!
So back to last night. It had been a while since I attended a true sold out show at the Bourbon, and let me tell you that place was packed to the gills. When we pulled up the line was stretched around the block as far as the eye could see!
For this particular show I was lucky enough to have my best friend and Stories co-founder Virginia with me. We were able to capture some video of the crazy line (check our Facebook and Insta), get some shots of the marquee and talk to lots of fans.
Typically I'll wait after the show and hand out cards for promotion as people pass by. It was a nice change of pace interacting with folks before they're drunk and act like a business card for photos of the show is accosting them.
Quick shout out to these kids who came all the way from Texas! They were trying to catch the Ice Nine Kills tour in another state but the show was 21+ only. They have some family in Omaha so they came up for a visit and to catch the show.
Virginia and I did the same thing in reverse with Warped Tour in 2001. The Warped Tour wasn't playing anywhere near Nebraska. I think it only played Nebraska one time, but don't quote me on that, and Virginia has some family in Texas, so her mom drove us all the way there. We got to catch 311, Sum 41, and AFI in their prime. Ah the joys of youth.
After hanging outside and talking to all the fans it was time to go to to work. After getting our credentials and pushing through the already crowded room we were ready to take photos and rock out with the crazy stacked lineup of Fame on Fire, Currents, Bad Omens, and Ice Nine Kills.
The first band up was Fame on Fire from South Carolina. I had heard the name but I don't think I had ever heard their music before. After witnessing the brutality of Born of Osiris the night before, the lighter sounds of metalcore from Fame on Fire was a welcome reprieve.
Fame on Fire did a great job pumping the crowd up during their 30 minute set. They even did a djent-style cover of Linkin Park's "Numb", which got a huge response. They have a few Linkin Park covers on their YouTube channel with views in the millions. They also have a cover of Adele's "Hello" with over 28 million views!
After Fame on Fire was the band Currents from Connecticut. These guys were metalcore but definitely leaned more deathcore with a lot of screaming vocals. Lead singer Brian Will "had the drip" as the kids would say, walking out with a sweet Mummy (Brendan Fraser) long sleeve.
As the band pummeled the crowd with blast beats he called for the circle pit to fire up several times. From what I could see the crowd was so packed it never really materialized, but the band did have everyone bouncing along to the melodic breakdowns. Shout out to Currents for keeping the party going.
By the time Bad Omens took the stage I think every single ticket holder was in the house and the place was sweltering! Just getting to the stage was a bit of an adventure. Luckily there are little tricks of the trade. Just pull out your camera (it should probably be out anyway, you never know when you'll need to capture something like Davey Havok doing some crowd walking or Jason Aalon Butler climbing the rafters), and shine your camera light on your phone. People will part like the red sea.
I've really been enjoying Bad Omens the last few years. I was supposed to shoot one of their headline shows at the Bourbon in 2020 and then literally three days before the show the world shut down. Lead singer Noah mentioned how grateful they were to be out touring again and how they would never take that for granted again.
The thing I love about Bad Omens is that they're a deathcore band dressed up as a metalcore band. As the lights went down lead singer Noah stepped forth in slacks, dress shoes, and a T N' B (Turtle Neck and Blazer, wink). So at first you're thinking "What kind of band is this?"
The first song of the set, a new track, "Death Of Peace Of Mind" starts out with Noah singing along to a backing track with a bit of deep pop-style bass. So by the end of the song when Noah starts this crazy scream and the band joins in to shred you're like "Oh let's go!" and the place is just going nuts.
Unlike a lot of Deathcore bands who just bring the straight up heavy, Bad Omens starts with the poppy metalcore and then they sneak the Deathcore in like halfway through the song. Shout out to Noah for having a great clean voice and being able to bring the super heavy screams. I really enjoyed their set and look forward to shooting a headline show for them someday.
After Bad Omens things turned spooky! With Ice Nine Kills having a tie-in to the horror genre it only made sense for the house music to be playing the themes from Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, etc.
If you're unfamiliar with Ice Nine Kills, essentially they started in 2000 as a pop-punk ska band, morphed into a metalcore band, and now are a mixture of pop metal with a horror-themed influence. This is a completely genius move. Considering most metal fans are fans of the horror genre, it's a perfect pairing. Ice Nine Kills reportedly made over $2 million last year in merch sales alone with different movie themed packages dropping each month.
But the band isn't a manufactured overnight success. They've been putting in the work for years!
If you're looking for even more back story on Ice Nine Kills, Finn McKenty of the Punk Rock MBA did an in-depth video just days after the release of their latest smash album The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood.
As I waited in the photo pit anticipating the awesomeness we were about to take in, I couldn't help but notice the band's drumkit looked like a tub of popcorn. How cool! Again, keeping the movie theme going.
Finally, the lights went out and two video screens flashed with the intro to Welcome to Horrorwood:
The thirteen tracks which you are about to hear were long ago hidden away
Deemed too grotesque for public consumption by the American recording industry
Recently, however, they were unearthed by the homicide unit of the L.A.P.D
These tracks would soon gain infamy as key evidence
Allegedly linking Ice Nine Kills frontman, Spencer Charnas
To the brutal slaying of his 28-year old fiancé
Though the original title of this disturbing collection of songs remains unknown
These cuts would forever be remembered as 'Welcome to Horrorwood'"
Boom! The band stepped out in full suits looking like a million bucks. Lead singer Spencer Charnas held the stage with such prowess as he and the band blasted through the opening track "Welcome to Horrorwood".
As Ice Nine Kills moved through all the phases of their catalogue they had several costume changes and props along the way. During the first phase they showcased songs from their newest album which has a tie-in to the movie American Psycho. As Spencer raged around the stage with a chain saw I just stood in awe.
Being right against the stage my brain said "Man, it would be cool to hold that chain saw" but logic quickly took over and I got back to shooting photos.
After the first three songs I moved back to the sound board to see if I could get some wider shots. After I settled in I saw a girl run across the stage. My first thought was "Whoa, a crazy fan made it past security" but it was part of the act! Spencer grabbed the girl and as the song ended and the lights went down she met her ultimate demise, whahahaha! The cinematics and production were on point the entire show.
The band moved through several other themes throughout the set including evil chucky dolls, pig faced creatures, shovel wielding maniacs, and even an exorcist theme! I have to say that might have been my favorite. They brought out a possessed demon girl and I'm pretty sure she was a real contortionist, that stuff was super creepy!
Needless to say, I think this was one of our top shows of the year so far. I'll be interested to see where Ice Nine Kills goes from here. They are definitely at the top of their game right now. You can check out Ice Nine Kills' latest record The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood on all streaming platforms.
Ice Nine Kills