Live Review: Flyleaf - The Sunset Strip House of Blues
Thu, 21 Oct 2010 09:30:46
Flyleaf genuinely possess the power to save hard rock.
That was immediately evident from the very moment the band hit the stage last night at the Sunset Strip House of Blues stop of their "Unite and Fight" Tour. An ominous intro—complete with flashing lights and spacey orchestral instrumentation—welcomed Flyleaf to the stage, and they slowly slid into the hypnotic and heavy "In the Dark," from their standout second album, Memento Mori.
With a rumbling bass line, Pat Seals built an unbreakable foundation for the song as guitarists Sameer Battacharya and Jared Hartmann traded ethereal six-string swells, coloring the song with a vivid vibrancy. James Culpepper pounded out a calculated beat, and the song came to life with an uncontainable energy. At the forefront, Lacey seesawed between refined vocal chaos and an engaging lilt. Suffice to say, the packed crowd instantly (and willingly) tumbled down the rabbit hole into Flyleaf's world for the next 70-plus minutes.
"Beautiful Bride" bound a riff that Pantera would be proud of to Lacey's one-of-a-kind scream. The song swirled from elegant thrashing into a heavenly choral break that illuminated just how innovative and intriguing Flyleaf really are. "Again" exploded with epic enigmatic flare as the entire audience recanted the refrain back to Lacey.
Frenetic red and blue lights pulsated in unison with the steamrolling catharsis of "Cassie" making for a blindingly brilliant display. Lacey twirled center stage, nailing each note as she spun 360 degrees, while Seals climbed to the top of his amp and jumped at least 10 feet in between the two airborne guitarists. "All Around Me" resounded as a modern classic live, and the band sharpened the track with a heavier slant.
Sitting on the PA for "So I Thought," Lacey got close to the fans in the front of the barricade. It was a moment where the energy from the stage spilled into the venue in gorgeous fashion. "This Close" and "Missing" pushed the band into the realm of legendary hard rock with their heavenly choruses and impenetrable instrumental intricacies. Flyleaf's genius comes from the yin and yang at the heart of their sound. Lacey can sound as angelically real as Fiona Apple, while the band rips through an anthemic Metallica-style arena metal. It's that one-of-a-kind mix that makes this band so transcendent on stage and on tape.
At one point, Lacey took an important moment to speak. "We're just a group of friends from a small town in Texas," she said. "We're so thankful for you. Just because we're standing on stage doesn't make us better than anyone in this room. We're just normal people."
The crowd silently listened, and she continued, "It's amazing to me that so many good things can come out of so many bad things. It's important for you to hear. You're created with a purpose only you can fulfill, and it's so important you do it. We want to challenge you to arise and be all you can be."
Lacey's message was met with the biggest cheers of the night, and the band closed an unforgettable show with "Arise" and "How He Loves Us."
Hard rock and the world are better because of Flyleaf.
Were you there?
Check out our latest interview with Lacey here! Also, ask Lacey anything via our "Letters to Lacey" column here!