Australian metalcore giants Parkway Drive are currently in the midst of their third tour of North America in 12 months, accompanied this time by supporting acts We Came As Romans and Counterparts. Despite the frequency of their visits, they are still drawing massive crowds, as evidenced on the night of October 8th at the House of Blues in Boston where some 2000+ fans came out to see these Aussies crush it almost 1 year to the date after they’d last played the very same venue. The night began with a set from local western Massachusetts thrash metal band Lich King. While they were noticeably out of place on this lineup, they put on a solid set and got the crowd ready for tour openers Counterparts.
I was first turned onto Counterparts last year and have been following them ever since, so it was great to finally get to see them live. I’d definitely set my expectations pretty high, and I was not disappointed by these Canadians in the slightest as I watched frontman Brendan Murphy storm around the stage, screaming out angst-ridden lyrics as a cacophony of controlled chaos rang out in accompaniment from his bandmates. Although they were the opening act on the tour itself, fans in the audience didn’t stand still for their set—in fact there were a few bloodied faces in the audience by the end of their performance. Much of their set was pulled from their recent release Tragedy Will Find Us, but the band did dig out a few older tracks for diehard fans in attendance including “Outlier” and “The Disconnect.”
By the time We Came As Romans emerged, the audience was all warmed up and ready to go. Admittedly I haven’t really followed these guys much since ~2011, so it was neat seeing how they’d changed and evolved since then. Their set included recent hits like “Tear It Down” and “Regenerate,” as well as older fan-favorites like “To Plant a Seed” and “Mis//Understanding.” Although drummer and founding member Eric Choi just recently left the band mid-tour, you wouldn’t know it from their live set, which was impeccably tight and musically precise.
After moving a bit more for We Came As Romans, the audience was maybe a bit too anxious for Parkway Drive. I’d never seen fans crowd surf during intermissions between acts at a metal concert before, but lo and behold, there were at least ten that did so during a crowd sing along to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” Finally, Parkway Drive emerged, launching straight into the song “Crushed” off of their recent release Ire. Much to the excitement of diehard fans in attendance on this night (myself included) their setlist was different this time around, and included tracks like “Gimme AD,” “Horizons,” and “Boneyards” from older albums Killing With A Smile and Horizons. As frontman Winston McCall himself admitted to the crowd, with something like 60-70 songs under their belts, it’s hard for them to throw songs in on demand (fans had been shouting for various older tracks), as they often have to relearn them ahead of a tour. So while I would’ve loved to see other oldies like “Idols and Anchors,” “Romance Is Dead,” and “Dead Man’s Chest”—just to name a few—I completely understand their decision to focus more on newer material and songs from their more recent releases. Highlights of the set included newer hits like “Vice Grip” and “Devil’s Calling” as well as songs like “Wild Eyes,” “Karma,” and “Sleepwalker” from 2012’s Atlas and 2010’s Deep Blue. Returning to the stage to rowdy chants of “PARKWAY DRIVE! PARKWAY DRIVE!” the band closed the night out with an encore of “Bottom Feeder.” Parkway Drive never fails to put on a killer show and tonight was no different. I don’t think I could ever get sick of seeing them live—here’s hoping they come another 2 or 3 times next year! You can catch the tour through October 25th when it ends in San Diego. A full list of remaining tour dates is included after the photos below.
10/12 — Chicago, Ill. @ House of Blues
10/14 — Dallas, Texas @ Gas Monkey Live! *
10/15 — New Orleans, La. @ House of Blues
10/16 — San Antonio, Texas @ Aztec Theater
10/17 — Houston, Texas @ House of Blues
10/19 — Phoenix, Ariz. @ Pressroom
10/20 — Las Vegas, Nev. @ House of Blues
10/21 — Salt Lake City, Utah @ In The Venue
10/22 — Reno, Nev. @ Cargo
10/23 — Sacramento, Calif. @ Aftershock
10/24 — Riverside, Calif. @ Municipal Auditorium
10/25 — San Diego, Calif. @ House of Blues