Rage on the Stage Tour
I Prevail bring their Rage on the Stage tour to NJ
It’s that time of the year – with the summer festival season over music lovers look to the smaller venues and clubs to get there musical fix. One of the most talked about tour’s this fall is none other than I Prevail’s “Rage on the Stage” tour. It’s not a surprise considering all the heavy hitters on the line-up! The tour features We Came as Romans (Sharptone Records), The Word Alive (Fearless Records) and Escape the Fate (Eleven Seven Music) so of course I headed to Sayerville, NJ Starland Ballroom to see what all the fuss was about.
I Prevail (Fearless Records) blasted their way onto the scene in 2014 with a metal cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” right before dropping their debut EP “Heart vs. Mind.” The song took off and so did the band. “Blank Space” sold over 500,000 singles and the EP sold an impressive 100,000 copies. Soon after the Detroit based band would go on to tour with bands like Hollywood Undead, Pierce the Veil, and many more.
The night started off with Escape the Fate. They bring it harder and harder every time no matter how big the stage. Led by frontman Craig Mabbit the band has an energy and loyal fanbase like any other. Craig ran out and wasted no time jumping into the song “Just a Memory” to start the set.
They just kept bringing the heavy and blasted through “Remember Every Scar” and “Gorgeous Nightmare,” off their 2010 self-titled album.
The band closed out the set with their song “This War Is Ours” which sent kids flying over the barricade like a stampede.
Next up was The Word Alive. As the intro started, band members Tony Pizzuti (Guitar), Zack Hansen (Guitar), and Daniel Shapiro (Bass) made their way to the stage and the opening moments of the song “Misery” began with Escape the Fate’s Craig Mabbit running out, this time without his flannel. Craig went on to perform the song with the other members of The Word Alive and now it’s clear the audience thinks this is some sort of joke.
The song comes to a close and Craig says, “so you guys must be like wtf… well Telle is really sick and lost his voice so instead of canceling the guys asked me to fill in!” The crowd was a mix of cheers and sighs as surely disappointment hit for kids waiting to see lead singer Telle Smith. Craig proceeded to take out his smartphone and video the crowd screaming feel better Telle.
I will say as strange as this was to see, the songs sounded really great with Craig on vocals and the band played as tight as always. They went on to play five more songs before closing out the set with the song “Trapped.”
The direct support of the evening would come from Michigan’s own We Came as Roman’s who it happened to be a very special night for them as they were hours away from releasing their new full length album Cold Like War, which if you’re reading this you can officially pick it up now HERE! Everyone was all smiles as the intro played and the band made their way on stage.
Vocalists Dave Stephens and Kyle Pavone were ready to throw down with the NJ crowd. They kicked off the set with “Cold Like War” which saw bassist Andy Glass jumping off his riser and spinning his bass around as Dave stood on his ego-riser and belted the lyrics to a more than packed Starland Ballroom.
The one of many things I love about this band is the interaction with the fans. Kyle walked back and forth across the stage reaching for any fan that had their hand over the barricade.
The set included fan favorites like “Fade Away,” “Lost in the Moment,” and a cover of The Wanted’s “Glad You Came,” the crowd had nothing but love for WCAR and at the end of their final song the band thanked the crowd for always supporting them – which the massive crowed roared back at them as if to say, you’re welcome.
It was time for the main event which is quite ironic because I Prevail had a WWE style wrestling ring on stage! The crowd during the set change sang along to “Because I Got High” by Afroman. Many crowd surfed while throwing glow sticks across the room for pretty much the entire 25 minute set change. The venue for a bit became a nightclub. You could literally feel the crowd’s anticipation waiting for the band to hit the stage. It was then time, for the intro music which started at 9:35pm. As this was my first I Prevail headlining show I had no clue what to expect. When they came on stage they were short one member, clean vocalist Brian Burkheiser, was ill and currently not on the tour . The band ripped into “Come and Get It” with vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe screaming the lyrics “Every single time I turn around, my name is in your mouth.” It felt as if the floor shook from all the movement in the crowd. As I looked behind me there were tons of kids swing dancing and crowd surfing their way over the rail for a high five. The energy and the excitement in the room was unparalleled. The crowd was so wild at one point I literally had a crowd surfer land on my head while I was photographing… and yes, it hurt.
The band went full force through songs like “Rise” and “Stuck in Your Head” only then pausing to address the absence of clean vocalist Brian Burkheiser by saying “Brian feels terrible that he can’t be here but we didn’t want to cancel this tour.” The crowd agreed with screams and the band went right back to where they left off even performing the cover’s “Get Low” by Lil Jon, “Shots” by LMFAO and of course the famous “Blank Space” cover by Taylor Swift as confetti shot from cannon’s on each side of the stage. The set was finished out with “Lifelines” and the encore “Scars” and just like that I survived my first I Prevail experience.
This tour is one of the most bang for your buck for the Fall. Rage on the Stage hits a ton of major cities like Philadelphia, Hartford, New York and pretty much every place else across North America before wrapping up in Iowa on December 2nd. There’s really no excuse to miss it as it hits a city near everyone so if you are looking to rage, stagedive, highfive, or get covered in confetti this is the tour for you.
Catch this tour: