When I walked into the newly opened venue, Empire Live, in Albany, NY, I knew immediately that it was going to be a fun show. The room was already packed and alive. There were 5 bands on the bill, each bringing their best. I think ever since live shows started back up again, it’s been hard to tell who has more energy—the fans, or the bands. I saw so much passion and excitement from all 5 acts on Monday night that you could just tell how much they missed being up on stage performing for their fans.

First up was Defying Decay. They are a Thailand-based alternative metal band that truly deserves all the attention in the world. They had incredible live sound and worked so well with one another on stage. Their performance was truly an insane experience, it was unlike any music I’d ever heard at a live show before. They definitely captured my attention.

Next up were Saul, a rock band from Iowa, and Tetrarch, a band from Atlanta. It was my first time seeing them live and both bands had just as much energy as Defying Decay. They fit the bill perfectly and put on great performances.

Next up was Crown The Empire, a band that I’ve seen and photographed several times. The crowd went wild for them, fans were crowd surfing like crazy, even bringing the band drinks to have on stage. They played their newest singles, “Dancing With The Dead” and “In Another Life,” two very different-sounding songs that had the crowd going wild, myself included.

And finally, the group we all were waiting for, Atreyu. I was particularly stoked because I really dig their new album, Baptize. I had seen and photographed them back at Disrupt Festival in Massachusetts in 2019, so now that I took the time between that day and now to listen to them, the experience meant a lot more to me.

The band played a stacked set including their hits such as “Bleeding Mascara” and “Ex’s and Oh’s,” with the pit opening up the second the band took the stage. A fight even broke out midway through the set, which just shows how amped up the crowd was to see the band. One of my favourite moments from that night was when frontman Brandon Saller got behind the drum kit to play “Bleeding Mascara”—fans went absolutely mental!

Atreyu (w/ Crown The Empire, Tetrarch, Saul, Defying Decay) @ Empire Live (Albany, NY) on November 22, 2021

Seeing them perform “Untouchable” live was incredible, it is a new off from Baptize and is definitely one of their strongest. Fans sang along excitedly and the smoke machines really added to the experience.

The band finished the night off strong with “Lip Gloss and Black”; the pits did not die down until the very last note rang through the venue. All in all, it was a stacked line-up and a great show, Atreyu still brings it after all of these years.

Catch “The Baptize Tour” at one of these remaining dates:

11/26 — Detroit, MI — The Majestic
11/27 — Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
11/30 — Cleveland, OH — The Agora
12/1 — Grand Rapids, MI — The Intersection
12/2 — Joliet, IL — The Forge
12/3 — Belvidere, IL — The Apollo Theater AC
12/4 — Minneapolis, MN — Skyway Theatre
12/6 — Kansas City, MO — The Truman
12/7 — Denver, CO — The Summit
12/9 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Depot
12/10 — Boise, ID — Knitting Factory
12/11 — Portland, OR — Roseland
12/12 — Seattle, WA — The Crocodile
12/14 — Santa Cruz, CA — The Catalyst
12/15 — San Diego, CA — House of Blues
12/16 — Santa Ana, CA — The Observatory