15 Years of Senses Fail unleashed in Dallas, Texas
On the evening of March 6th, 2017, Gas Monkey Bar and Grill played host to the 15th anniversary tour of Senses Fail’s inception, bringing along pop punk and hardcore bands Like Pacific, Movements, and Counterparts.
Opening up the show with a high energy, nostalgia triggering set was Like Pacific, an angry and melodic pop punk band originating in Toronto. As if set aflame, the members took to jumping high and going crazy within moments of going on, opening with songs “Richmond” and “Commitment”. Setting the precedent for the evening, they mix the vibes from older bands (as Senses Fail usually brings an older crowd) and that of newer age pop punk, a fitting opener for the wider range of bands to perform. With fists in the air, the familiar crowd let loose as they performed solid and memorable jams, antagonized by the vocalist stating “Nobody’s too cool to clap”. At the very end of the set, a massive moshpit developed in the blink of an eye, surprising and knocking back many.
Next up was more somber pop punk act, Movements. Toting more cleans, spoken word pieces littered throughout, and rougher strained vocals, the music was catchy and brought the higher energy feeling down a bit to the melancholy end. Enjoyably depressive and catchy, Movements performed a shorter yet beautiful set, opening with song “Protection” and leading into “Hatchet” as well as new song “Colorblind”. Further on into the evening, they closed out with “Kept”.
4.Colorblind (New Song)
Another element of style fitting the tour bill, hardcore band Counterparts was next in line, a change of pace from the two previous pop punk bands. A somber soundclip from the movie “Her” played over the PA to set the tone as they jumped right in to an energetic and upbeat fast metalcore set, with the song titled “Stranger”. Very violent and catchy, the sound jumped from one extreme to another while maintaining fluidity, as thrash beats, blast beats, melodies, djenty rhythms and two steps all meshed together to form their crazy set. Acting as a polar opposite to the speed of the songs, breakdowns came through and opened pits up, pushing the entire standing area back. Hardcore dancers threw their limbs in every direction as exaggerated deathcore riffs played over, hurling themselves at those who chose to mosh or not. Melding melodies with intricate patterns, the guitarist lent his vocals as well, reinforcing the vocal prowess displayed and atmosphere Counterparts laid out. As they wrapped up, a clean guitar piece served as an outro with a heavily reverb distorted snare hit, emphasizing the finality of their performance.
Senses Fail, the headliner celebrating the 15th anniversary of their band’s inception, loaded in as the crowd shifted as well. Performing their 2006 hit album “Still Searching” in it’s entirety, they loaded in guitar cabs bearing the album cover as the mildly older crowd in attendance pushed to the front. To the cheers of all in attendance, vocalist Buddy Nielsen took the mic as the opening for intro track “The Rapture” played through the PA, dancing and swinging the microphone around in contrast to the stark depression looming over the album. Fighting those feelings off as living proof, Buddy’s stage presence exhibited a man reborn from the ashes of the years of pain. Whether scatting between songs, an impromptu smashmouth cover for a few seconds, or goofing around and interacting with the crowd, it was clear Senses Fail has found new wind under the sails and plan to keep kicking ass for many years to come. After addressing and thanking the crowd for the nonstop support, he enlightened those in attendance that they were originally planning to disband sometime early last year, but this tour as well as personal life developments have completely reinvigorated them to keep fighting and helping people with their music. Going into further detail, they also announced their newest music sounds like Senses Fail in the direct center of it’s heyday, somewhere between albums Let it Enfold You and Still Searching. Even if I hadn’t spent my entire youth leaning on the albums this band has put out, I’d still have respect for how likeable and personable the guys all conveyed themselves as. They continued to play through the album and I found myself fighting back tears, screaming the words and remembering all the times I’d looped Still Searching and going to skateboard in some of the hardest times of my life. It absolutely floored me to see others there just as passionate, screaming the lyrics alongside me. The emotional closer to the album, “The Priest and the Matador” played through and just when I feared our evening had come to a close, they led into additional bonus songs “Mason’s Revenge” and “Stretch Your Legs to Coffin Length”.
Walking off stage, it took no less than five seconds before everyone began shouting the band’s name to return, to which Buddy announced they’d be performing a lengthy encore. Dedicating the song to people who’d grown up without a father, they performed “Family Tradition” followed by the song he’d written to his wife, dedicated to loved ones with illnesses titled “Jets to Peru”. While they were on their 15 year anniversary tour, Buddy spoke to the crowd to inform them that the tour’s title “Quince Anos”,(INSERT TILDE OVER N IT’S IMPORTANT OK) spanish for 15 years, was actually misprinted on their merch, missing a tilde and leading it to translate roughly to “15 anuses”. (Side note, I found that hilarious and made sure I grabbed a shirt.) Announcing a song I never thought I’d see live, they described the next one up as “the best song ever” and that they’d only played it maybe 2-3 times ever, titled “Blackout” to which the crowd sang back to the band. Closing out with the fan favorite “Bite to Break Skin”, a massive moshpit erupted to close the night out and let loose what was left of the bottled emotion coming out on a Monday night.
Senses Fail is my favorite band ever, and have been since I decided I liked music. I am without a doubt insanely biased toward this performance. There’s no sense in lying here, my excitement was so tangible I couldn’t sit still. It was a pleasure to witness the bands before Senses Fail perform and I couldn’t have thought of a better handful of acts to support them, with openers ranging from angry, sad, and heavy just like the headliner encompasses. The night I spent at the Gas Monkey Bar and Grill was one of heavy emotion, brought forth not only by nostalgia but by the performances happening directly in front of me. If you’re anything close to a fan of any of these bands, this is a performance you can’t miss.
3. Sick or Sane
4. Can’t Be Saved
5. Calling All Cars
6. Shark Attack
7. Still Searching
8. To All The Crowded Rooms
9. Lost and Found
10. Every Day Is A Struggle
11. All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues
12. Negative Space
13. The Priest and the Matador
14.Stretch Your Legs to Coffin Length (bonus track)
15. Mason’s Revenge (bonus track)
16. Family Tradition
17. Jets to Peru
18. Buried a Lie
20. Bite to Break Skin