The British progressive metal band Monuments kicked off their US/Canada tour with a mixed genre line-up featuring Essenger and Sammy Boller.
Kicking off the tour package is the instrumental act, Sammy Boller. The guitarist lit up the stage and got the room moving with his smooth playing that looked effortless but was anything but. There were points that were almost melodic compared to the metal headlining band, but then there were moments where there were more complicated and intricate solos. He had a bass player and drummer to help fill out the sound and complete the songs but it was clear that the guitar playing was the star of the show. The crowd loved the songs and were thoroughly enjoying the songs. A vocalist was not missed.
Next up was Essenger. This musical act has a very different sound to the headliner and classifies this as a mixed bill. Essenger is a one-man band who was singing, playing guitar, and keyboard all at the same time. The room was a bit more empty for this act, some of the fans of the headliner may not be the biggest fans of the different genre that was more on the electronic/EDM side of music rather than metal. The people who did stay to enjoy Essenger’s side were vibing away while he played songs such as “Lost Boys” and “Half-Life.” This being a solo act made it impressive alone. He didn’t miss a beat on any of the music he was juggling.
It was clear most of the crowd had come for headliners Monuments from the second they stepped onto the stage. Fans were excited to hear them play and made it very clear by screaming the lyrics, dancing, jumping, and headbanging throughout their entire set. The band’s new vocalist Andy Cizek (also from the band Makari) is the only American member of the band and notably has recently joined the band. He is the new face of the band as the person with the microphone and speaking to the crowd in between songs. He certainly demanded the crowd’s attention with his impressive vocals and stage presence.
Their latest album In Stasis has Andy on vocals and it’s clear the crowd was a fan of the new material when they played songs such as “Lavos” and “Opiate.” Andy’s vocal range is outstanding in both his clean and unclean vocals. The instrumentals of the band are just as impressive, not a single member missing a note and being exactly in time with each other. It was clear that Andy had crushed learning the band’s older hits such as “I, The Creator,” too. The room might not have been packed but everyone there was moving and enjoying themselves. It was impossible not to move to certain songs when they played so well.
With this band traveling all the way from the UK, it was a shock that the room was not more full but it was a weekday show and also a smaller venue, in general, that doesn’t always host this genre. It was a special treat for those who did attend because they all got to enjoy this show on a more intimate level and be closer to the stage.