Artery Foundation Tour visits Allentown, Pennsylvania

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By Nicholas DiNatale with Lena Mirisola
Staff Writers

On Thursday April 1st, 2010, the Artery Foundation Across The Nation Tour made its way to the Crocodile Rock Café in Allentown, PA. Headlining the tour was post-hardcore band, Attack Attack!, supported by Breathe Carolina, I See Stars, Asking Alexandria, and Bury Tomorrow.

Prior to the show, band members could be seen wandering around the club, loitering at their merchandise tables, and even playing a few friendly games of pool outside of the main concert hall. However, the venue itself was poorly organized and very hectic. The manager appeared incredibly stressed out, and as a result, came off as very rude to the members of the press. The photography pit was very cramped, but would have to suffice for the night.

The opening band, Bury Tomorrow, is a hardcore band that was assembled in the United Kingdom. Playing in support of their recently released album, “Portraits”, they did their best to put on an exciting show for the crowd. They played a set of about five songs, and were a delight to watch. They put all the energy that they had into captivating the crowd and did exactly that. The band was very friendly and motivated to promote new fans as they spent the remainder of the night mingling with fans at their merchandise booth.

Bury Tomorrow will return to Europe for the majority of April and May, where they will be touring with American bands Alesana, A Skylit Drive, and Emarosa. This tour will be another major one for their reputation.

Dan Winter-Bates of Bury Tomorrow posing at the band’s merch booth.

Another British band, Asking Alexandria was the next to take the stage. The band just released their debut album, “Stand Up And Scream” during September of 2009. Already, they have gained a spectacular number of fans and played a large number of shows. As they began their set, the crowd was ecstatic. With a set filled with their most popular songs, the fans sang along and were absorbed into the music.

The band sounded nearly as intense as they do on their CD but with the added effect of being live. They were also very strong instrumentally. However, the vocals lacked a small bit. The clean vocals were choppy at times, and where there would normally be high screams, there were low ones. Since Asking Alexandria is a very young band, they have plenty of time to realize their flaws from when they play live and correct them.

Asking Alexandria will be touring in Europe before returning to the United States in order to headline the Welcome To The Circus Tour, which also features Detroit-based post-hardcore act We Came As Romans.

Guitarist Ben Bruce of Asking Alexandria.

The third band to take the stage was Breathe Carolina. The colorful and flashy light display that they opened up their set with and maintained throughout the whole show was fantastic, complimented the music, and added another dimension to the quality of their performance.

Breathe Carolina’s set consisted of a select few songs from their debut album “It’s Classy, Not Classic”, along with an assortment of songs from their newer album “Hello Fascination”. These included “Take Me To Infinity”, “Welcome To Savannah”, and a crowd favorite, “Hello Fascination”; the title track of the album. For much of the set, the crowd danced and sang along, simply enjoying their music, which features electronic-pop sounds, in addition to more hardcore sounds.

Formed in Colorado, Breathe Carolina has released an EP, along with their two full length albums thus far. As their popularity level continues to rise, they will be playing on the Vans Warped Tour for the full tour again, as they did last year. This year, they’re one of the biggest names appearing on the list of bands that will participate on the summer-long tour.

David Schmitt sings at Crocodile Rock.

The following, I See Stars, took the slot that Breathe Carolina would normally be playing in, due to the fact that one of their members was late to arrive at the venue. They are another young post-hardcore band with a very unique sound. They use a great deal of synthesizer in their music, in addition to combining catchy clean vocals with strong screamed vocals.

The band’s set was very strong both in stage presence and in musical presence. Supporting their 2009 album, “3D”, they played songs including their hit song “What This Means To Me”. Sounding very similar to their CD, the band managed to replicate the musical quality and adrenaline of the songs on their record, on the stage. Including a brief appearance of guest vocals from David Schmitt of Breathe Carolina, the band jumped around on stage and put on an above average show all around.

I See Stars will be headlining an East coast tour with VersaEmerge during the end of April and beginning of May. Similar to Breathe Carolina, they will also be playing at the Vans Warped Tour.

Devin Oliver of I See Stars is only 18, but he can already bring a great voice to the stage.

The headlining band, Attack Attack! is an electronic post hardcore band with a very large fan base. Despite a recent change of frontmen, their fans have still stuck with them. The new screamer, Caleb, moved from playing keyboard to screaming after their old screamer, Nick, left the band just prior to them going on tour. The band’s sound has changed a good deal since their debut album, “Someday Came Suddenly”, but they have remained just as heavy as before.

Their set consisted of a brand new song called “AC-130”, along with songs from their debut, such as “Stick Stickly”. The crowd went crazy during their set and had what appeared to be a great time. At one point, the band told the crowd to lift someone up to sit on their shoulders, and a good portion of them complied, making the pit two stories as they finished up their set.

The band has no upcoming tour planned until they play the entire Vans Warped Tour this summer, similar to fellow tour members Breathe Carolina.

Johnny Franck of Attack Attack! headbangs during the band’s set.

The Artery Foundation Across The Nation Tour featured a very powerful and talented lineup of young bands. With only one band that has more than one full length album released, there is much to look forward to from all of the acts involved. Despite its coming to an end, the tour is definitely a memorable one.

As far as the venue goes, it may not be quite so memorable. The Crocodile Rock Café is a very cramped venue to catch a large tour at. With so many people packed into an average sized building, there was much confusion concerning fans trying to exit the building between sets, in addition to it being very hot inside. Poor organization and overselling the show were the two biggest problems that led to a mediocre night at best at The Crocodile Rock Café.

Note from the authors: We would like to send a special thank you along to Nonafaye Williams at Fearless Records. She was the one who set us up with press passes for this show, along with others and gave us this great opportunity. We appreciate it very much!

Also, we’ll be reviewing and shooting at the Alternative Press Tour at The House of Blues, which features Never Shout Never, Hey Monday, The Cab, Every Avenue and The Summer Set. In addition to that, we’ll also be shooting for and reviewing The Maine’s headlining tour with Cartel and Artist vs. Poet at the Pearl Street Ballroom within the coming weeks. More shows to follow!

If you would like to follow all of our photography, please visit our photostream on flickr, here: