In their eager return after music’s big pause, Alexisonfire brought Fall of Troy to shred at SOMA San Diego. With a simple two-band set, us 30 somethings (which make up the majority of the fan base) were super thrilled to basically have our cake and eat it, too.
When Fall of Troy took the stage, the crowd was already packed in and ready to rock.
The heat wave that California is experiencing really helped open up the pit, because as soon as Thomas Erak took the stage, the pit was wide open, full of passing moshers. This is a trio of true metalheads, the performance complete with solid screams held down by bassist Tim Ward and a rippin’ drum performance by Andrew Forsman. The audience was obviously full of longtime FOT fans, because the entire floor was either singing along, moving or both. When Erak dropped to his knees for an epic solo, the audience gave him the spirit fingers he so deserved.
After a (seemingly) long set change, Alexisonfire stormed the stage and got right to business with “Drunks, Lovers, Sinners and Saints” and then “Boiled Frogs” — both off their 2006 classic album Crisis. The crowd responded with explosive enthusiasm by moshing and singing along to every line, which was felt throughout the entire venue. The energy that George Pettit exudes through his vocals is completely entrancing, especially since he has grown some seriously awesome metal hair. He was backed by some stunning melodic vocals thanks to Dallas Green, who held down the guitar and some keyboards excellently, too. Wade MacNeil, on guitar and backup vocals, has a personality and stage energy that I can only describe as unmatched. The facial expressions, the obvious passion in the playing, the straight-up tricks with the guitar… MacNeil is a guitar master. It was so refreshing (and cathartic) to see the guys rip through their classics like “Polaroids of Polar Bears” and “This Could Be Anywhere in the World”. The guys also showcased the incredible music that brought the band back together during the pandemic — their June 2022 album, Otherness. “Sans Soleil” struck with the crowd as powerful as their classics.
Fall of Troy and Alexisonfire are both incredible acts you seriously can’t miss. Alexisonfire will be doing some shows in Germany this fall, with hopes of touring again soon, while Fall of Troy has a few shows this winter. Don’t miss these guys!
Photography by Franny Kovacs