Australian hardcore legends rolled through Orlando Florida after three quarters of the north American tour has been completed. Unfortunately it was not without issues though. Hurricane Florence decided to rain on the party that was meant to take place in Myrtle Beach the night before. Flooding and extensive damage has caused parts of the interstates to close down as well. South Carolina was hit hard and they were forced to cancel that one show to keep the bands and patrons all safe. Lucky for the Florida fans, our show was spared. It wasn’t just spared either, it was a packed house and sold out over 2 weeks in advance. The last time Parkway played here at the House of Blues Orlando in 2015, it was sold out as well. I do believe that next time they play here in Florida, the band should consider upgrading to a bigger venue that can accommodate all the extra people who were not able to get in. For how big of a fan base they have here in the states and how little they play in Florida in particular, it is time to play to the real crowd they all deserve.
You could tell the band was itching to get back on stage again after an unwanted day off. They all came out swinging with a ton of energy and didn’t let up until the end of the 15 song set.
The show started off with the opening track, Wishing Wells, from the latest release Reverence. Such a brutal way to start out and get the crowd into it from the get go. Winston McCall was so into it that he was stomping his foot down on his riser so hard, he seemed to have misshapen it a tad bit over the course of the tour. They followed it up with the chronological track off the same album, Prey. Groovy and catchy, it got Jeff, the lead guitarist dancing in circles on stage to the beat. After two new songs they decided to throw it back a few years to Carrion which is always a huge crowd favorite for the sing along parts.
Boneyards was probably the highlight of the show for me. It is such a riff heavy song with an insane breakdown thrown in the middle. The mosh pit went off like I have never seen at the House of Blues ever before. The entire floor was going off. Dedicated was next and another new one that I have never heard from them live before. I really do appreciate how Parkway Drive goes through all their songs and throws something new into every tour it seems. Of course you get the few repeats that have become staples in the set, but to hear a bonus song off the deluxe version of an album ( Devil’s Calling from IRE, on the last US tour) is a rarity for any band.
For how much people seemed to have complained about the new cd, I was very surprised at how loud everyone sang the latest material. Cemetery Bloom was an interesting use of a set list spot to me…I thought it was a nice break for the guys to catch their breath, but wasted 4 or so minutes of what could have been used for a different song with more crowd interaction. It did flow well into The Void, the next song on Reverence and served as a build up of sorts.
Karma is circle pit heaven. By the time Winston shouted “KARMMAAAAA” to start off the song, everyone on the floor was already running in a circle and speeding up quickly. This is also my favorite chunk of the set in particular. Karma, Idols and Anchors, Dead Man’s Chest, and Absolute power all crush live. Three throwbacks and a new one that fit right in the mix with the older style. Wild Eyes gets probably the most crowd interaction of any night on tour. The melody of the guitar intro is sang by every voice in the place and echoes throughout the venue. I know it was stuck in my head for the 2 hour drive home after, due to the sheer power in every fans voice while they belted it out. For me, it is reminiscent of Iron Maiden and how the fans seem to sing and hum the guitar parts.
For the encore, they decided to go out with a bang and play the 2 heaviest songs from the album IRE, Crushed being first and Bottom Feeder to follow it. If you have ever seen the video for Bottom Feeder, you should understand me when I say that Parkway Drive needs to find a way to bring their full pyro set up over here to North America so the fans here can experience what a true show is like. All in all, it was a truly amazing night for heavy music. I hope everyone’s favorite Australians are back sooner rather than later! 3 years is too long of a wait.
Parkway Drive Set-list:
Idols and Anchors
Dead Man’s Chest