I’ve been to The Forge in Joliet many times and it’s one of my favorite venues because of how intimate it feels. It feels like a homecoming every time I go to see a show. The Darkbloom II Tour was no different.
The bill consisted of We Came As Romans, Bodysnatcher and Archetypes Collide, and I was prepared for how much the show will feel like “the Wild West” as it went on. Archetypes Collide was first, and definitely knew how to open a show. I’ve only ever seen an opener get the crowd going as much as Archetypes Collide did a handful of times. Vocalist, Kyle Pastor, had jumped onto the barricade during the first three songs! I always appreciate a good band/crowd moment, but seeing the opening band do this really made me excited for what was to come since I’ve only ever seen one other band on the bill live before.
Archetypes perfectly set the stage for Bodysnatcher, a band I was dying to see. I’ve heard their music before and talking to venue security, I was expecting the crowd and photo pit to get rough. I was absolutely stoked, and Bodysnatcher did not disappoint. I feel this band is able to draw attention like no other because of how big their presence is on stage. Although the crowd was feeding off their energy and vice versa, you can tell they were waiting on one song in particular – and so was I. Bodysnatcher closed with one of their most popular songs, “King Of The Rats,” but honestly, it was the crowd who closed it down. I’m thankful they ended with this song because I’m not sure I would have survived the photo pit if they had played it during the first three songs. Between the crowd surfers and security, it was chaos – brilliant, raw chaos. The set was ethereal and left me wanting more. Thankfully, We Came As Romans were next.
I’ve had the privilege of seeing We Came As Romans (WCAR) before when they had toured with Underoath and The Ghost Inside. However, I left that show wanting more. I knew I had to see them again on a headlining tour, and tonight was the night. Since I had previously seen them, I had an idea of what to expect but, quickly, my expectations were exceeded.
I spoke with some fans on barricade during the set change and I could tell how excited they were to see their favorite band. Watching and photographing fans on barricade has become one of my favorite parts of live shows because it reminds me why I chose to do this and why I love music so much. Because of fans like this, the room was being charged up as we waited for WCAR to take the stage. I couldn’t get into the photo pit fast enough.
Seeing WCAR headline was very different than what I had seen before. The way they were able to interact with each other and their fans while performing made all the difference in the experience that even I felt like fangirling a few times! They played a handful of older songs, like “Lost In The Moment” and “Learning To Survive,” which happen to be two of my favorites, as well as a plethora of songs off their album Darkbloom. Maybe it’s just a fellow Midwesterner supporting other Midwesterners, but the setlist, lights, company, just felt like no other show. I felt as if I was watching friends of mine up on that stage, and I think that’s thanks to how humble this band really is. It was incredibly heartwarming to see them on this tour and if you are able to catch them at any remaining dates, do not hesitate. I can’t wait for them to come through the Chicagoland area in the future.
Remaining Darkbloom II Tour Dates & Tickets
October 27, 2023 - Norfolk, VA
October 28, 2023 - Carrboro, NC
October 29, 2023 - Columbia, SC
October 31, 2023 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
November 1, 2023 - Tampa, FL
November 3, 2023 - New Orleans, LA
November 4, 2023 - Dallas, TX
November 5, 2023 - San Antonio, TX
November 7, 2023 - Tuscan, AZ
November 8, 2023 - San Diego, CA
November 10, 2023 - Pomona, CA
November 11, 2023 - Las Vegas, NV
November 12, 2023 - Salt Lake City, UT
November 14, 2023 - Denver, CO
November 15, 2023 - Omaha, NE
November 17, 2023 - St. Louis, MO
November 18, 2023 - Cincinnati, OH
November 19, 2023 - Nashville, TN
We Came As Romans
Photos of We Came As Romans, Bodysnatcher and Archetypes Collide are by April Nicole