To my surprise, there was little to no music to serenade the crowd before the insanely epic Northlane, Erra, Currents, and Crystal Lake show Sunday night. Just beyond the skyscrapers of Los Angeles sits the Teragram Ballroom which sold out the final stop of the ‘NEON / ALIEN’ tour.
This concert reminded me of how hard everyone plays in college sports or lower divisions due to wanting to be in the top league. Then once those players advance into the top league, they coast and rake in the millions. In this analogy, Crystal Lake is the high school JV team, Currents is still in college sports, ERRA is in the minor league, and Northlane is in the major league All-Star game.
Crystal Lake was the first of four bands to play that night. From the first song, the energy in the crowd was rather high, as a massive pit opened up in the crowd and several people let out some, “I have to go back to work tomorrow,” energy, thrashing, and spin in the open pit. Crystal Lake’s drummer, Gaku Taura, stood up and raised his sticks above his head as vocalist Ryo Kinoshita, let out some insanely deep growls. During one song, Erra vocalist JT Cavey came out signing and screaming, hyping up the crowd even more. During the final song of Crystal Lake’s set, Ryo jumped into the crowd and stood on top of them while singing.
Currents was absolutely amazing, but they couldn’t top the energy that Crystal Lake brought. Currents flip-flopped between their two most recent albums, I Let The Devil In and The Place I Feel Safest. By doing this, I was exposed to several songs I hadn’t heard before! I found the bass drum to be very punchy during their set which helped keep the crowd’s intensity high. The third to last song “Withered,” made me want to drop all of my camera gear and jump in the mosh pit. I feel like I say this a lot, but “I’m 100% going to see Currents whenever they play near me.” Currents concluded their fabulous set with “Night Terrors” which was an unforgettable experience.
Having seen the glorious band Erra four times, I can honestly say this was my favorite set. They opened with “Irreversible” to thunderous applause and followed it up with one of my all-time favorites, “Dreamcatcher.” JT Cavey’s booming vocals were on point throughout the whole show and the rest of the band played flawlessly. JT briefly spoke about depression before kicking off their song “Ghost of Nothing” which deals with this topic specifically. “Drift” came on after that and the crowd went absolutely nuts! The Teragram ballroom had lights that looked like Sentinels from The Matrix movies, which felt very fitting for the NEON / ALIEN tour. I couldn’t stop seeing UFO’s disguised in the lights, shining their laser beams on ERRA and the crowd. It was otherworldly and I wish I could have seen one or two aliens at the show. I’m sure they would have loved it. Erra continued to crank out new and old songs. Their newest single, “Eye of God” was epic as was “Dementia” and “Hybrid Earth” from Erra’s 2013 album Augment.
The flashing lights during Northlane’s set could have caused an epileptic seizure. With this performance, they joined my “Hardest Bands To Shoot” list alongside Thy Art Is Murder, Born Of Osiris, and Underoath. That being said, the audience seemed to have a great time. Due to there not being a photo pit to separate the crowd and the stage, crowd surfers rose from the pit and were carried all the way up to the stage. A couple of people hopped on stage only to stage dive and continue crowd surfing. The crowd was constantly jumping, swirling, and cheering with their hands waving wildly.
Due to the amount of chaos that had occurred with the previous bands, I felt slightly underwhelmed by Northlane’s show. The keyboardist wore a mask the entire show and the guitarists didn’t bring the same energy as the previous bands. At the end of their set, vocalist Marcus Bridge launched himself into the crowd and was carried around for a bit while singing. Northlane ended their set with two songs that they’ll teach you in Djent 101. “Dispossession” and “Quantum Flux” blew the doors off of the Teragram Ballroom as the entire crowd jumped in unison.