Fit For A King at Saint Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, MI

Fit For A King fires up fans on The Hell We Create Tour with support from Northlane, Alpha Wolf, and Kingdom of Giants.

Kingdom of Giants starts things off with an impressive set. They have been around since 2011, but tonight’s set is mostly from their 2020 album Passenger, including the opening track “Burner” which finds lead singer Dana Willax intensely working the whole stage and getting fans engaged. Early in the set, he drops into the pit to get up close to the fans in the front rows. The floor divides at one point and a wall of death and a massive mosh pit ensue. They follow that with “Sync” and “Night Shift.” Dana takes a moment to introduce a new song, “Wasted Space,” that is being released on March 3. It has solid bass and drums and some crunchy-sounding guitar. The crowd is having a blast as many are now crowd surfing to the front. They close it out with “Bleach” and “Wayfinder” where Dana tells the crowd, “get your hands up one time”, and they respond with arms waving. This five-piece band from California for this tour also consists of Justin Joseph (bass), Red Martin (guitar), Julian Perez (guitar), and Truman Berlin (drums). The fans show their appreciation with screams and cheers.

Australian band Alpha Wolf is extremely brutal and loud. They lead with “60cm of Steel” and then follow it with “Creep,” both from their 2022 EP The Lost & The Longing. Lochie Keogh stalks the stage while delivering the harsh vocals, and occasionally head bangs and throws in jumps. It does not take long for the crowd surfing and moshing to start up again. Towards the end of “Hotel Underground,” Lochie drops to his knees in front of the drums and continues to scream and sing. “Acid Romance” hits hard with the dual guitar attack by Scottie Simpson and Sabian Lynch, as well as the powerful drumming of Mitch Fogarty. The floor is in constant motion with moshing, fist pumps, and crowd surfing. Following “Sub-Zero,” they play “Bleed 4 You” from their 2020 release A Quiet Place to Die. While a bit slower-paced, it is still heavy and features some soaring and more lucid vocals from Lochie. They start to wind it down with “Black Mamba” and then close their set out with “Akudama.” It has the crowd continuing to surf and mosh, as well as swat at beach balls in the air. They have certainly done their job to entertain the crowd and keep them warmed up for the two bands still to come.

Northlane gets off to a shaky start as they are 25 minutes late to take to the stage. A technical issue with some gear that was not communicating and was corrupted needed to have a firmware update to get it working. Kudos to the sound crew for salvaging the set.

The lights dim and some intro music plays as Northlane takes the stage. Lead singer Marcus Bridge gets things rolling by singing by himself on “Clarity” from their current release Obsidian before the rest of the band join in. During “Plenty,” rhythm guitarist Josh Smith throws in many jumps and kicks. Adding to their cool sound is the electronic synths/programming by Jon Deiley, who also plays lead guitar. “Echo Chamber” is one of those songs where the programming adds to the vibe and this upbeat song has the crowd bouncing, crowd surfing, and singing along. Nic Pettersen is a machine on the drums as he cranks out the rapid-fire beats. “4D” has some solid low-end that you call feel at the back of the floor, and “Carbonized” has the crowd waving their hands in the air.

Northlane is another Australian band and has been cranking out awesome music since 2009 with six studio albums. They were supposed to headline a US tour in 2022 but due to issues with visas, they ended up canceling it. Fans have been waiting for years for them to return and there are many tonight that are fans. They keep the energy high with “Quantum Flux” from their 2013 album Singularity which starts with some clean vocals, and then ramps up and has the crowd singing and bouncing up and down. “Clockwork” is another familiar song from Obsidian that gets the mosh pit in full motion. After “Bloodline,” they close out their set with “Talking Heads” from their 2019 album Alien which has Josh joining in on the crowd surfing while still playing guitar. The fans love it. Here is hoping that they come back to the states for a full-blown, headline tour.

Headliner Fit For A King hits the stage to loud cheers and screams and kicks off with the title track from their latest release The Hell We Create. Like most of their songs, it is hard-hitting and led by the harsh vocals and screaming from Ryan Kirby. Bassist Ryan O’Leary is amped up tonight as he launches high split kicks often, while also adding the solid bottom end and some vocals. Following “Falling Through the Sky,” they play “Times Like This” which has Daniel Gailey playing a ripping solo, as well as throwing in jumps off the riser. Ryan O’Leary continues to entertain with tons of spinning including whipping his bass around in circles. The song also includes some thunderous drumming by Trey Celaya.

The middle of their set has a sequence of brutal songs that is mind-blowing. It has the fans going wild with moshing, crowd surfing, and headbanging. It starts with “Vendetta” from The Path which gets fans singing loudly, “My Vendetta,” while Ryan holds the mic out toward them. This is followed by “Reaper” and “Eyes Roll Back,” both from The Hell We Create. There is a sea of crowd surfers and moshing is rampant on the floor. “Backbreaker” from their 2016 album Dark Skies features Daniel letting out pinch-harmonics on guitar, some wicked fast drumming by Trey, and Ryan O’Leary crowd surfing.

Before the crushing song “The Price of Agony,” Ryan tells the crowd, “Everyone on their feet,” and they respond with jumping. During the song, he also tells them “Spin it,” and a circle pit breaks out. They leave the stage briefly after “What You Left Behind,” and then return for some encores. Ryan shows off his clean vocals on “When Everything Means Nothing.” Ryan takes a moment to proclaim, “This is the best crowd we ever played,” as well as noting that it was the second show to sell out on this tour two months in advance. They close it out with “God of Fire,” complete with some flames on the displays behind them. The song is driven by some cool riffs and also has the crowd split again and do another wild wall of death.

Fit For A King has come a long way and is gaining fans on every tour and album cycle. Just a few months ago they passed through Detroit and were an opening band. They have earned being a headliner with their great songs and wild live shows. What a great evening of metal by them and the other three bands. Be sure to catch this tour when it hits a nearby city.   

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About Gary Pahlow 62 Articles
Gary is located in Rochester Hills, MI and has been officially photographing and writing concert reviews since early 2016. His main music interests are metal and hard rock, but he is also a fan of most genres including alternative, indie, jazz, and even some pop and country. When not covering or attending concerts, you can find him traveling with his wife or watching the Detroit Red Wings.