Review: We Came As Romans Shine in To Plant The Seed 10th Anniversary Livestream

We Came As Romans livestreamed it’s To Plant The Seed 1oth Anniversary show on April 23rd

We Came As Romans livestreamed it’s To Plant The Seed 10th Anniversary show on April 23rd. This show was a celebration of their first album, To Plant The Seed, which launched the band to fame. The band was in the midst of an anniversary tour for the album in 2020, but it was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The show was recorded at Sweetwaters Studio A in Fort Wayne, IN using their full touring sound and lighting rigs in addition to five VividLED panels. 

We Came As Romans livestreamed it’s To Plant The Seed 1oth Anniversary show on April 23rd

Most people think of LA, New York, Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans as the major US musical hotbeds.  However, Detroit is worthy to be included in this group. It is home to musical acts from multiple genres from pop to rock to hip-hop to metalcore. Artists such as Madonna, Eminem, Glen Frey, Big Sean, The White Stripes, Kid Rock, I Prevail, and Greta Van Fleet all hail from Detroit. We Came As Romans is another of these acts. 

The post-hardcore/metalcore band was formed in 2005 in Troy, which is a suburb of Detroit, by current members Dave Stephens and Joshua Moore.  The band is currently comprised of Joshua Moore (lead guitar, backing vocals), Dave Stephens (lead vocals), Lou Cotton (rhythm guitar), Andy Glass (bass, backing vocals), and David Puckett (drums). Clean vocalist, Kyle Pavone, was added to the band in 2008, but tragically died of an accidental overdose in 2018.  This was a hard loss for the band. They vowed no singer would stand in his place.  Instead of adding another member to the band, Stephens has taken over clean vocals, as well as continuing with his unclean vocals.

Several fans showed up an hour early for the show due to getting the time zone wrong.  The stream chat right from the start was focused on Kyle Pavone with comments such as “RIP Kyle” and “This is going to be emotional”. Fans discussed personal encounters with Pavone and listed off the different venues in which they had seen the band perform. The audience was from all over the US and the world from locations including Michigan, California, Texas, Arkansas, Mexico, Canada, Germany, and others. One man commented “This is mine and my wife’s first concert together”. Another stated “First time ever seeing these guys live, super stoked!”.  There was plenty of excitement in the air before the show even started.

The band performed all the songs from To Plant The Seed, which were scattered throughout the set, as well as songs from their Cold Like War and Tracing Back Roots albums. The show started off with video clips of band members discussing the album and the opportunities it opened for them.  They didn’t realize how impactful and influential the album would become.  They were just “six best friends having fun.”

To Plant The Seed” was the first song of the show.  The stage atmosphere was very similar to want you would see at a live in-person show.  Lighting was on the dimmer side and various lights illuminate the stage.  There were five LED panels on the back of the stage which displayed video scenes throughout the night.  I was interested in seeing how Stephens would handle the clean vocals.  Replacing Pavone is a tall order but Stephens did amazingly well.  He transitioned from unclean to clean vocals seamlessly.  Glass was also impressive with his complementary screaming vocals.

Kyle Pavone was in the band’s thoughts for this performance. “From the First Note” and “Carry the Weight” were two songs the band played that were not from the To Plant The Seed album.  These were the band’s first songs written after Pavone’s death.  Towards the end of the show the band paid tribute again to their lost comrade.  A video filled with clips of Pavone was shown showing his vibrant personality.  The background music for the video was the band’s recording of “Promise Me” with Pavone on vocals.  The video transitioned into the band performing the last part of the song with Stephens on vocals with Pavone still heard in the background.  After the song Stephens talked about Pavone, how “he wasn’t concerned about his past…wasn’t concerned with his future…he was so good at living in the present.”  This led to the next song, “Lost in the Moment”, which was written about this. It was one of Pavone’s favorites.

We Came As Romans closed out the show with their song “Cold Like War”.  The audience was pumped by the performance.  It may be depressing not being able to see bands in person, but livestream shows have been advantageous in some ways.  A lot of bands have been performing all the songs from some of their most popular albums.  Some of these are songs have not been performed live in several years and in some cases, they have never been heard live.  Fans were very excited to hear all the songs from To Plant The Seed. It was particularly special because the band announced in November 2019 that they would be retiring songs from To Plant The Seed and would not be playing them live anymore after the anniversary tour. 

Kyle Pavone is still in the hearts of the band and fans as evident from this show.  I am a Michigan native who grew up two hours from Detroit, so I have an affinity towards bands from the state.  After Kyle’s death, The Kyle Pavone Foundation was created by his family as a means for friends, colleagues, and fans to remember Kyle.  It is a promise to serve and advocate for the musician community in their time of greatest need, providing hope and a means to carry on. The foundation is based in my hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan.  Donations to the foundation can be made here.

This was the fifth livestream show that I have reviewed this year.  I sensed more excitement from fans during this show than the previous four.  It’s still not too late to watch the livestream and see the band perform songs from To Plant The Seed for the last time. Tickets and merchandise can be purchased at THEBARRICADE.LIVE.  The show will be available for replay until April 26TH at 11:59 PM ET.

Setlist

  1. To Plant a Seed (To Plant A Seed)
  2. Broken Statues (To Plant A Seed)
  3. We Are the Reasons (To Plant A Seed)
  4. Beliefs (To Plant A Seed)
  5. Dreams (To Plant A Seed)
  6. To Move on Is to Grow (To Plant A Seed)
  7. Wasted Age (Cold Like War)
  8. Hope (Tracing Back Roots)
  9. From the First Note
  10. Carry the Weight
  11. Encoder (Cold Like War)
  12. Intentions (To Plant A Seed)
  13. Roads That Don’t End and Views That Never Cease (To Plant A Seed)
  14. Searching, Seeking, Reaching, Always (To Plant A Seed)
  15. I Will Not Reap Destruction (To Plant A Seed)
  16. An Ever Growing Wonder (To Plant A Seed)
  17. Promise Me (Cold Like War)
  18. Lost in The Moment (Cold Like War)
  19. Cold Like War (Cold Like War)

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Post by Scott Raymer (Website | Instagram | Facebook)

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