Students say metal music has a ‘positive impact’

NCHS students react to the November concert of various metal bands at Bloomington’s Castle Theater.

Students from Normal Community who attended the concert, show what music is to them. (From left to right) Triston Watkins, Addii Strum, Jonathon Basham, and Rebecca Willmitch.

The Word Alive, I See Stars, Crown The Empire, Get Scared, Dayshell, and Palisades played the Castle Theater in Bloomington on Friday, November 8th, a leg of their “Started from the Bottom Now Were Here” tour. Four Normal Community High School students attended the concert;  Jonathan Basham (10th), Addii Strum (10), Rebecca Willmitch (10) and Triston Watkins (11).

When the four were asked to describe the concert, Basham commented “outstanding”; Strum:”energetic and exciting”; Willmitch: “amazing”; and Watkins: “one of the best concerts I’ve seen…”

The four offered different response when asked to describe high school, relying with “outcast”, “terrible”,”boring”, and “different.” There is a marked difference between the words used to describe November’s concert and the words used to describe high school.

To think that high school students would rather be at a concert than at school isn’t shocking, according to Willmitch: “I feel way better at concerts for tons of reasons, especially compared to school. One reason [is] for the fact people are always more accepting of me and I feel more liked and outgoing at concerts than I do at school.”

The show began with Palisades playing, having recently recorded at Chicago Gridlock Studios in Orlando, Florida. Palisades released the EP, I’m Not Dying Today , in 2012  and the studio album Outcasts in 2013.  The first song Palisades played was “High and Low”, with lead singer Louis Miceli getting the crowd involved after by asking “You guys can I talk to you for a minute? Has anyone been judged by the clothes they wear or where they come from?” The crowd raised their hands and cheered.

Miceli answered some questions from fans between songs, advice for high schoolers trying to get into the music business? “Social networking is key, and if you really want to succeed never give up and make your band your career.” When asked for one word to describe his high school experience, Miceli replied “Outcast.”

Palisades ended their set with a bit of advice for the fans:“Never be afraid to do what you want in life, get out there and take it, never be afraid, ever.”

After the show, when NCHS student Triston Watkins was asked if he spoke to any of the band members, he replied: “I met The Word Alive and I was talking to Tyler Smith [lead singer] and he told me ‘ you are your own person. Be who you want to be and not what everyone else wants you to be.’ ”

Dayshell performed after Palisades, towards the end of their set, they dedicated the song “When You Fall Asleep Tonight” to the fans.  Lead singer and founder of the band, Shayley Bourget decided to depart from the band Of Mice & Men in 2012. Bourget comments on this on Dayshell’s official website saying “I want to push boundaries, This is our own style, it might be heavy and upfront, but there’s beauty behind that.”

Sophomore Addii Strum believes music helps students bond and become more involved and motivated in school “because a lot of music has a positive message behind it and bands make music to try and inspire people and boost things like self confidence.”

Junior Jonathan Basham added: “Music helps them focus on other things, and escape to a different world.”

Get Scared played after Dayshell’s set, ending  with the popular single “Sarcasm”. The band has released two studio albums, Best Kind Of Mess in 2011 and Everyone’s Out To Get Me in 2013.

As Get Scared played, Crown The Empire walked in front of the stage with their heads down and the crowd roared. According to Alternative Press, “the band is from Layton, Utah and the band was formed with the intention of pushing themselves out of their comfort zones, the result of this is a mix of gothic/horror imagery and driving the post-hardcore/metalcore, adding a dark touch to their sound.”

When Crown The Empire performed, the two lead members were jumping off of the stage and urging the fans to crowd surf. The seven-piece band from Dallas, Texas has released one studio album The Fallout in 2012 and an EP Limitless.

The next band after this is I See Stars, this band came out with hydraulics and strobe lights, towards the end of their show they had someone come out in a chicken suit and he performed on stage then he jumps into the crowd as then the fans rip apart his costume. They first appeared to America’s youth in 2010 on Warped Tour and touring with the band A Day To Remember. They have released 4 studio albums, 3-D in 2009, The End of the World Party in 2011, Digital Renegade in 2012, and the recently released album New Demons in 2013.

Then lastly the band to end the show was The Word Alive, the band ended the concert playing their hit single “Life Cycles”.  The Word Alive was formed in 2008 from Arizona by Craig Mabbitt of Escape the Fate. They released their first studio album Deceiver in 2010 with Fearless records, and then their sophomore album “Life Cycles” in 2012. After they got finished most of the bands stood by their merch tables, fans bought some of the merch and interacted with the bands.