Photos / Review: Vanna says farewell to Austin, Texas

Who: Vanna, Kublai Khan, Ghost Key, Backwordz

Where: Come and Take It Live, Austin, Texas

When: August 20, 2017

All good things must come to an end. After 13 years together, Vanna announced that they were disbanding. But before that, they would go on one more farewell tour before saying goodbye. Support consisted of Backwordz, Ghost Key, and Kublai Khan at the Austin stop.

Rap Metal band Backwordz opened the night with their high energy and politically backed messages. Bassist/vocalist Alex James started things off by going right into the pit to rile audience members up. To keep up the liveliness, the band made sure to fill their set with plenty of kicks, jumps, and spins. The band recently released their cover “Waiting For The End,” by Linkin Park as a tribute to Chester Bennington.

Hailing from Illinois, hardcore band Ghost Key was up next. Musically, they pack a punch and are keeping melodic hardcore very much alive. Towards the end of their set, lead singer Austin O’Brien took a few minutes to speak to the crowd, and spread messages of positivity through negative times. He also mentioned that lead singer of Vanna, Davey Muise, encouraged him and his band to continue pushing through at So What?! Festival a few years back. The band is now signed to Invogue Records and released their debut album, If I Don’t Make It back in early 2017. Personal favorites off the record include “Ache” and “Indecision.”

Texas natives Kublai Khan put on yet another solid performance, and did not fall short of giving it their all. In addition to playing crowd favorites such as “The Guilty Dog” and “Ghost Pains, Part III,” they played the single “The Hammer,” off their newest album, Nomad. Later on, O’Brien from Ghost Key joined them on stage for guest vocals, and the crowd went insane. The band recently announced their signing to Rise Records, and have just started their fall national headlining tour.

Vanna finally took the stage, and the energy was bittersweet. You could see the mix of emotions throughout the crowd, but all their focus was on appreciating this final show to the fullest. Crowd members were ready to yell their hearts out and mosh like it was their last chance. The band played songs off their newest album, All Hell, all the way back to 2005 with This Will Be Our Little Secret. They played crowd favorites such as “Pretty Grim,” “Safe To Say,” and “Trashmouth.” During any given point in their set, you could find someone on someone else’s shoulders, crowd surfing, or sharing the mic with Muise. At one point, vocalist/guitarist Casey Aylward got on Muise’s shoulders, and it really represented what a Vanna show is like. Before ending the show, Muise made sure to thank the crowd for their support through all these years, and to remind everyone of their worth. The final song of the night was “Flower,” and the room simultaneously swayed together and closed their eyes as they sang along with Vanna for the last time.

The show came to a close, and emotion swept through the crowd. Tears were being shed and comforting embraces were being shared. Vanna was a staple in the post-hardcore scene/foundation, and we will never forget it. They have a few remaining dates left before their final show on December 17th, in Worcester, MA.

Post and photos by Megan Choi

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