In 2006 the release of Breaking Benjamin’s Phobia became my holy grail. At the time I craved the severity of each intro, rage behind clashing symbols, and uncalled for angst. Eleven years later this album is still in my rotation but the aggression has since been replaced with urgency, courage, and pursuit. Wednesday night I stood in awe as Benjamin Burnley hurled Louisville back through the Alt Rock renaissance. I found my place adrift a collection of like-minded admirers as we waited with little patience for an opportunity beyond measure. The lights dim, anticipation is at a standstill, and from the obscurity, a flash of smoke erupts, echoed by the affliction of Burnley’s guitar. As a mass we lose our minds. From the balcony of Mercury Ballroom to the bar there is a thunderous allegiance. Each composition presented is the testament of Burnley, our crestfallen genius, and we call back the lyrics in an effort to prove these same compositions have become our personal narrative.
Shaun Foist lashes out behind his Pearl kit, weakening me for the blow that is Keith Wallen. I watch him surrender to the seduction of the instrument in his grasp. Mirroring the crowd and relentless ambition I stand tall in the comradery of mutual desperation to scream the words of Breaking Benjamin beyond a level I am physically capable. We howl of independence, desolation, and inspired defeat. As if on cue, drinks appear in the air across the expanse of the sold out ballroom. A disillusioned hopefulness keeps my arm extended while Burnley pleas each verse from Ashes of Eden.
Breaking Benjamin was ushered in by a band of badassery hailing from Detroit, Michigan. Wilson is an unforgettable experience and mandatory show for those craving properly used distortion and maverick lyrics. Chad Nicefield embraces the role of frontman with an infectious vitality that contaminates the band and forces its way through enraptured spectators. It is possible for alt rock to be professionally polished and maintain the gnarled sound that makes it unique to all things under the ‘rock’ umbrella, Wilson is my proof.
Apart from the obviously incredible acts on stage, the venue itself made the show. Mercury Ballroom allows for a certain amount of intimacy while still remaining quite open. Although the show was completely sold out at no point in time did it feel as though there was an overwhelming crowd. The bar was heavily staffed and ready to take orders, entry was quick, and merch tables were easily accessible. Overall this show was outstanding! Make your way out this weekend to catch a show of your own. Head out to an arena, dive bar, or open mic night. Support this incredible art.
To find out more about Breaking Benjamin http://breakingbenjamin.com/
To find out more about Wilson http://wilsonpartyanimals.com/
To find out more about Mercury Ballroom http://www.mercuryballroom.com/