Words and Photos by Charlie Martel (Montreal) and Nathan Katsiaficas (Boston)

Metalcore giants Parkway Drive are currently in the midst of a massive trek across North America in support of their latest full length release Ire, with Miss May I and openers Thy Art Is Murder and In Hearts Wake rounding out the lineup.  We caught up with these crazy Australians over the course of two nights as the tour made its way to Metropolis in Montreal on November 13th and the House of Blues in Boston on November 15th.

The Ire Tour is the first headlining run for Parkway Drive on this side of the Atlantic in several years, leading many of the stops on the tour thus far to sell out. This was the case at night of the 13th in Montreal, which saw Metropolis at capacity, with more than 2300 concert goers in attendance. While it’s not uncommon to see the venue this full, heavier concerts here rarely sell out, so this was pretty awesome to be a part of. On this night, fans were so excited for Parkway Drive to hit the stage that they took to crowd surfing during the stage change-over after Miss May I’s set.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the this tour’s setlist is heavy with newer material from Ire. The band kicked both nights off “Destroyer” and “Dying To Believe” off of the new record before digging further back into their discography. With five full-lengths out I’m sure many fans would disagree on what would comprise the perfect Parkway Drive set list, but the band has thrown together an ~80-minute crushingly heavy assortment of tracks that should appeal to fans old and new and includes several fan-favorite oldies like “Idols and Anchors” and “Carrion,” from 2007’s Horizons, and “Romance Is Dead” (which they offered up to the audience in Boston to vote on, versus “Swing” from 2012’s Atlas), as well as more recent tracks such as “Karma” and “Deliver Me” from 2010’s Deep Blue, and “Wild Eyes” and “Dark Days” off 2012’s Atlas. For diehard fans such as myself, there were some older tracks like “Boneyards” that were noticeably missing, but it’s understandable that they would want to change things up once in a while. Frontman Winston McCall effortlessly switched between these different eras of the band’s music, breathing new life into the older tracks and completely slaying them along with the newer songs. McCall was in his usual form, cracking jokes and teasing lead guitarist Jeff Ling who is wheelchair-bound for this run after suffering a surfing-related fracture in his foot just before the band was to leave for the tour.  For his part Ling was hilarious on stage, wheeling his chair around in circles when McCall called for circle pits as bassist Jia O’Connor gave chase. During their set, audience members had apparently thrown several baseball caps onto the stage, so McCall decided to make a game of it, inviting fans to throw any others they wanted to up for Ling to wear during their final song. I’m not sure of the final count but he had upwards of 15 hats stacked on his head as the band launched into the final track of their encore, “Home Is For The Heartless.”  The Ire Tour continues on through December 6th, so there’s plenty of time to catch them stateside before they head back across the pond–you won’t regret doing so if you can make it out!  The remaining tour dates can be found after the photos from Boston below!

The Ire Tour:

11/18 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar
11/19 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
11/20 Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
11/21 Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
11/22 Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
11/23 Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues
11/24 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
11/25 New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
11/27 Houston, TX – House of Blues
11/28 San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theater
11/29 Dallas, TX – House of Blues
11/30 Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
12/01 Denver, CO – The Fillmore
12/02 Salt Lake City, UT – Murray Theatre
12/03 Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater
12/05 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
12/06 Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues

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