Who: The Good Fight Tour: Otherwise, Wayland, Vital Empire
Where: The Palladium, Worcester, Massachusetts
When: March 25, 2018
I’ve been a fan of Otherwise and Wayland’s for a while and have not had a chance to see them until they came to the Worcester Palladium on The Good Fight Tour.
I got to the venue a little bit late, so Vital Empire was already on stage performing when I walked in. I was immediately blown away by their production. For an opening band on the small stage upstairs, they had really nice lights and effects. Everyone had great presence and got the audience hooked on their performance. I loved that they had an extra drum on either side of the stage – one with a V and the other with an E, the band’s initials – that two other band members would beat at certain times; when they combined the extra drums with the drum kit, it really elevated the performance and made you feel like you were at a big show. Everyone in Vital Empire looked like veterans on stage. Vocalist Aaron Lee Pose has a unique voice, slightly raspy in the perfect way, and the audience loved him. Guitarist Justin Patterson (JP) was spot on and bassist Jaron Gulino, besides doing a great job of holding down the music, was one of the most entertaining bass players I have gotten to see live; JP and Gulino also interacted with each other really well, which made the whole performance more fun. Drummer Jessica Patterson is a very strong drummer and has become one of my new favorites. I will not be surprised if Vital Empire headlines the main room at the Palladium one of these days and I will very happily be right in the front.
Wayland was up next. Their set started with drummer Nigel Dupree and lead guitarist Philip Vilenski, until bassist Dean Pizzazz and vocalist Mitch Arnold joined them on stage. Their set was technically amazing; the guitar solos were perfect and I did not hear a single note put wrong by vocalist Arnold. I noticed drummer Dupree drop a drumstick, play one-handed for a second as he grabbed another one, and get right back into it, with nothing but a slight smirk as evidence that anything had happened, which shows how experienced the rockers are and how seriously they take their music. Their set included “Through The Fire,” “Get A Little,” and “Back To Life.” It was really good rock ‘n roll, but – where with Vital Empire I was into it from the beginning – this set was more like a slowly burning candle. With each song, I was slowly dragged further and further in. It was not until their final song, “Reno,” that I really fell in love with their set. By the end of it, I think Wayland did a fantastic job and it’s a shame that they played to a room that was so empty.
Headliners Otherwise took the stage about as subtly as a tornado with a set list that featured a lot of songs off their most recent album Sleeping Lions, like the title track, “Won’t Stop,” and “Beautiful Monster.” They also played older classics “Heaven” and “Soldiers,” which brought vocalist Pose from Vital Empire for a guest spot. The venue was pretty empty, but the audience that was there was obviously there for Otherwise and they were not disappointed with the reception from the band. Vocalist Adrian Patrick made a point to sing directly to every single person in the audience. Guitarist Ryan Patrick plucked a pair of sunglasses from a fan’s head and wore them for a song before returning them back to their owner. Bassist Tony Carboney kept the audience entertained on his side of the stage and even drummer Brian Medeiros was able to get in on the action from behind the drum kit. The audience loved them and their set was fun. I would not go out of my way to see Otherwise again, but if they were in the area again, I would most likely go see them again.
Post and photos by Karen Shalev
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