After around 18 months of no shows for most of us, it’s hard to even find words to describe the emotions a lot of us felt watching these bands take the stage during one of the last summer Saturdays of 2021.

Great American Ghost was playing to a hometown crowd as they opened up the show as hundreds of people filed into the outdoor stage of the Worcester Palladium in Massachusetts. For The Acacia Strain, even though their most recent release, Slow Decay, came out in summer 2020, it still felt like it was a fresh release with the sheer lack of shows in the meantime to let loose and punch somebody in the face.

My personal favorite, Every Time I Die, graced the stage with their Buffalo brand of chaos and intensity. Having just announced their upcoming full-length, Radical, that will be released in October, we were treated to finally hearing live renditions of new singles “AWOL” and “Post Boredom.”

As they closed out their set, Jordan Buckley stood tall on top of a guitar cab, a shining beacon of hope to get us through the rest of 2021. The United States may have the Statue of Liberty, but ETID fans have the Statue of Buckley to guide us in the dark moments. 

Great American Ghost

The Acacia Strain

Every Time I Die

Continuing in the theme of shining beacons of hope, the night’s headliners, The Ghost Inside, were ready to storm onto the stage and hit the crowd with the bombast of energy that comes from their stage presence and live show.

It’s hard to determine what’s hotter: their stage presence or their pyro displays. Their story of survival and recovery has become legend in the heavy music scene. This was only their third show back after the tragic bus accident that left all the members lucky to be alive, but you would think there had never been a single band hiatus nor any life-threatening injuries in their recent history.

Embracing the festival-style stage with additional pyro and smoke flares, this was the first time we had a chance to hear any songs off their self-titled release from last summer live and explosive. Closing out the set with the first lead off single from that album, “Aftermath,” you found yourself wanting to let loose with a guttural yell along with vocalist Jonathan Vigil when the song hit it during the bridge and breakdown.

Vigil again emphasized that there will likely never be a touring future for the band, but shows like these will continue for as long as they are able. 

The Ghost Inside

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I should've been born during the era of 80's glam rock. Pikachu whisperer. Live by the pickleback, die by the pickleback. Caffeine runs in my veins.

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