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CONCERT REVIEW: Parkway Drive Set Amsterdam Ablaze With While She Sleeps & Lorna Shore

It was the show many have been looking forward to for months. Parkway Drive would finally make their triumphant return in The Netherlands after 3 years of absence, and they would bring along their friends in While She Sleeps and Lorna Shore.

Lorna Shore have been making some major waves in the scene since the release of the first single with new frontman Will Ramos: To The Hellfire. As a result, the room was already filled when the first opening act took the stage. While their performance was a tad static, the band’s musical prowess trumped all expectations as they kicked off their set with the aforementioned To The Hellfire, with the audience standing in shock and disbelief as Ramos performed the gnarliest breakdown of all time in phenomenal fashion. The band’s first EP with the new line-up has been very well received and the singles from the upcoming album haven’t killed that hype. The future is looking very well for these talented musicians. Lorna Shore continued to impress with the live renditions of Suneater, Cursed To Die and Into The Earth, making us hyped for the album release later this year.

While the fans were audibly still discussing what they had just witnessed, it was already time for While She Sleeps.

It’s been a fun ride, seeing While She Sleeps progress over the years. Both in songwriting as well as popularity. I remember seeing the band on their co-headliner with Cancer Bats back in 2014 in a small room that was only half full, to now see them as direct support for bands such as Parkway Drive and Bring Me The Horizon, as well as playing huge shows of their own. With an extensive and impressive discography, WSS had their pick of the litter when it comes to compiling a setlist, with big focus on the new releases. Personally I was surprised nothing from Brainwashed or This Is The Six was played this evening, especially as the flags from the Brainwashed era were on stage as part of the decor, but their newer albums SLEEPS SOCIETY, SO WHAT? and 2017’s You Are We were the ‘only’ 3 present on the setlist. While She Sleeps played a great set, with lots of energy and saw frontman Lawrence Taylor crowdsurfing a few times. Bassist Aaran Mckenzie was particularly energetic on stage, jumping around and sweeping up an already rowdy crowd. WSS are always a treat to watch and tonight was no exception.

The night was already made with those 2 incredible artists performing, but of course we had the headliner still to go. The almighty Parkway Drive, who recently unleashed their brand new album Darker Still unto the world and saw mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, as has been the case since IRE. The show started in a unique fashion, with many hooded figures coming onto the stage with torches, slowly building up to the musicians taking their rightful places on stage. Kicking off their extensive set with the debut single off of Darker Still: Glitch. Bad reviews or not, the fans in the packed AFAS LIVE didn’t care, and many were already shouting back the words to the new songs.

When you regularly go to Parkway Drive shows whenever they roll through your town, you have grown accustomed to a certain standard. It must be rough for Parkway Drive to uphold or even surpass that high level of showmanship throughout each tour. This tour didn’t see an upgrade on pyro or pyroworks, but rather upgraded on a more emotional level. With more songs similar to Cemetery Bloom on the setlist, with the title track Darker Still being the best example, Parkway Drive showed how diverse their musical talent is, even bringing a string quartet on stage for the performance of Shadow Boxing and the aforementioned Darker Still. During these shows, the moshpit evaporated and became a quite literal beacon of light, with many fans holding up their phone flashlights. While this is not for everybody, this is the side of Parkway Drive that has come out more with each album release. They are not the same people as they were 20 years ago (obviously) and this is reflected in their music.

This current Parkway Drive tour is one of the best they have had so far, partially due to the insane support acts. Check out the photos from the evening in the gallery below. 

Lorna Shore:

While She Sleeps:

Parkway Drive:

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Glenn van den Bosch