Friday night saw Australian metalcore veterans, Parkway Drive, tear Rochester a new one. With a line of fans that wrapped around the Main Street Armory hours before doors, the chaos to come truly was a spectacle to behold. Having not hit the Western New York area since 2014 during their Vans Warped Tour run, it was not the least bit surprising to see hundreds of fans clamoring to get a good spot to catch Parkway Drive in action. With their current tour centering around their 7th studio LP, Reverence, I was more than ecstatic to catch PWD’s live rendition of new tracks and signature hardcore style.
After openers Polaris, The Devil Wears Prada, and August Burns Red hyped the crowd up to an absolute breaking point by keeping the mosh pits and the infamous “Wall of Death” alive and well, PWD was ready to close out one of the best nights of metal Rochester has seen in quite some time. As the old gymnasium floor acting as the GA section swelled to maximum capacity, the lights went out and Parkway Drive hit the stage to earsplitting applause. Kicking shit up with “Wishing Wells” from their latest album, lead vocalist and frontman, Winston McCall, came storming out onstage to join the rest of the band.
Displaying a commanding stage presence as their killer light production illuminated the entire auditorium, PWD’s intense sound seemed to activate something in the air; the amount of crowd surfing and moshing that ensued so early on was baffling. Even McCall had to admit after their second song that the Rochester crowd was one of the “heaviest fucking crowds” they had seen so far on tour.
Playing a collective mix of songs from their early years as well as ones off Reverence, Parkway Drive proved immediately why they are such a dominating force in the metalcore scene. Dodging bodies and avoiding numerous kicks to the head, witnessing a PWD was happily something I was fortunate enough to cross off my bucket list. Closing out the night with an encore of “Crushed” and “Bottom Feeder” from their 2015 release, Ire, Parkway Drive seemed to radiate all the youthful intensity from their previous years and then some. Showing absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon, Parkway Drive continues to shatter the glass ceiling of conventional genre tropes as they ascend to even higher levels of metal. For more information on their current “Reverence North American Tour”, hit the link here!