A couple weekends ago, I made the trek up to Saco, Maine, to hang out with the dudes in melodic hardcore band, Crisis AD, who I had previously toured with this past summer for the weekend. Having just finished recording their new album, they were gearing up to play a hometown show with the dudes in Vanna, who were playing their last show of tour having done a quick headlining run after their tour with For Today.
Arriving at the band house on Saturday, where brothers Keanu and Topaz Papassavas, who play guitar and bass respectively, reside with Mama Crisis, I was instantly thrust back into the lifestyle of summer tour living as Topaz and I almost immediately cracked open some nice Yuengling to toast my arrival. It had been between eight to nine months since I had seen any of them and it felt like I was right back with family almost immediately. Knocking back a few beers per tradition (and making sure we saved drummer Jake Wertman some Yuenglings as well for the next day) the bunch of us, along with other guitarist, Brandon Embelton, and a few friends headed to the local mall to finish some last minute preparations for the show the next day. Because, after all, you have to look fly for your show so sweet threads had to be acquired in Keanu’s case and Brandon needed to make sure his man bun was on point for head banging at the show.
On our journey through the mall, we stopped by at Newbury Comics so Keanu could grab a new shirt plus some new Vans and then I had to restrained to make sure I didn’t spend my entire bank account on the records there. Or any of the Star Wars merchandise. I’m not entirely sure they knew quite how addicted their photographer is to collecting vinyl. I guess they know now. Having left Newbury Comics, we noticed some decent sized motorized animal scooters but, sadly, we walked away brokenhearted upon discovering they were only for kids. Next on our list was grabbing some quick type of food from the food court, or rather Topaz and I, along with their friends grabbed some food while Keanu and Brandon went and got their pre-show trim up taken care of. Note to self: the Japanese food there reeeealllyyy isn’t as good as it looks. Don’t listen to the food salespeople.
After a disappointing food experience, half of us headed back to the house and the other half headed to Guitar Center and a few other places to get last needed gear essentials. Getting back to the house, I got to check out some of the new pieces off their album that they’d just finished recording up at The Halo Studio in South Windham, Maine, with Kevin Billingslea and Davey Muise. Spoiler alert, everyone, it’s gonna blow everyone away when it’s released. Stay tuned to whenever that might be. Finally, Keanu and Brandon made it back from Guitar Center and the work portion of the night began and they worked on tuning up their wireless’, heads and instruments. Eventually, vocalist, Darin Demule, came through for a little while to hang while we had a few more beers (and I kept trying to throw sliced cheese at Topaz). Reaching a late hour we all turned in for sleep at some point or another, Keanu and I attempting to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail but I fell asleep to visions of knights saying ‘ni’ in my head.
Finally, show day had arrived and the real credit goes to Mama Crisis for making us all blueberry pancakes with powdered sugar. Slowly, everyone rolled in (we made sure Jake got the last Yuengling we’d had saved) and, with a final few touch ups on gear, they ran through a quick practice of their set to make sure everything flowed and ran smoothly. With practice finished, the process of loading out into the mini bus we fondly referred to as the Rolling Turd begun. In between trying to bring planking back and a few hair flips, all of the gear got loaded into the back of the Turd and we were off to the Z Dance Club in Portland for the show.
Hitting the stage, they played a set list comprised of some of their older songs such as Visions and Momentum plus a few newer songs that they’d yet to play live such as Tunnel Vision and December. Playing to a packed house, they got the crowd moving complete with some crowd surfing and stage dives. With a stage presence that stole the night away from the majority of the bands, there was rarely a dull moment on the stage. Topaz and Brandon threw their instruments around like they were made of feathers and not actually functional instruments. Jake whipped his hair back and forth as he slammed on his drums, providing the bombastic back beat for the rest of the band. Meanwhile, Darin commanded his duties as frontman like a seasoned pro from getting the crowd moving to getting right down on their level and screaming in their faces.
After the show, (and failed attempts to eat at three separate Denny’s, all of which ended up being closed), we had a post show hang out at Mcdonald’s accompanied by numerous friends. Topaz discovered another hidden skills at this point, the ability to catch French fries in his mouth when thrown at him. He’s considering going pro and leaving behind being a bassist. But not really. With everyone exhausted, we all headed back to the Crisis house and passed out for some much needed sleep. Keanu and I attempted watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail again. We still failed.
You should all keep open eyes and ears for news of their yet untitled album’s release which should be coming in the next few months. Until then, stay tuned for the release of their live music video for Momentum right here on Listener’s Voice.