Wage War at House of Blues in Orlando, FL

Fans feeling the holiday spirit lined up in the rain for Wage War’s sold-out hometown show, their last of the year.

The crowd eagerly awaited the start of a second sold-out night at House of Blues. Gideon was the first of a stacked four-band lineup. Before they took to the stage, the house began playing country music, an indication that Gideon was about to start. The lights dimmed halfway through a song and Gideon walked out, one member at a time. Daniel C. McWhorter was the final one to walk onto the stage while guitars started squealing with his signature cowboy hat. The crowd went wild. The entire room started to move as they began playing “Locked out of Heaven” from their latest album MORE POWER. MORE PAIN. They started the night with a bang. The set was comprised of older and newer songs. All heavy and nothing in between, except for the country songs that play between songs. The Alabama metalcore band left the stage after playing their final song of the night “Bite Down” and had the crowd wanting more immediately.

After what seemed like an eternity for this crowd who was so excited for the next band, Zero 9:36, the room went almost completely black except for some bar and merch stand lights. For a few seconds, it was quiet until the intro riff of “The End” started playing over and over again for a few seconds, getting the crowd pumped up. This rock/rap-styled riff continued until the lights started to get brighter and brighter while vocalist Matthew Cullen walked out. He grabbed his already-placed mic on stage and the song began. The mainly rap-oriented songs were matched with heavy guitar riffs and catchy hooks that set them apart from the rest of the show. The crowd didn’t care though, as they screamed every word they knew right back at vocalist Matthew Cullen. The crowd loved it.

The show was halfway over and it was getting a bit later, but with still so much energy in the room, Erra took to the stage to an all-purple-lit room. Starting with their latest release “Pale Irist,” a giant circle pit formed as the fast-paced song began. Crowd surfers started to storm up to the stage as the chorus began, with people yelling the lyrics right back to singer and guitarist Jesse Cash. The set contained songs from almost every release as well as a heavy rendition of “Stockholm Syndrome” by Muse, the only cover of the entire night. Everyone in the room loved every second of it.

It was starting to get late but that didn’t bother a single person in the room. Everyone was just as excited now as they were when they were waiting in the pouring rain waiting to get inside. The room was still filled with loads of energetic crowd members chanting “Wage War” right up until the second they went on. The room went black one last time and the back of the stage was lit by a red screen with an animated cover of Manic along with an intro speech and a heavy build-up to set the mood for the rest of the performance. The build-up gets heavier and more intense. Finally, Wage War walked out together, almost as one. The build-up led into the song “Relapse” to start the hour and thirty-minute long set. A heavy beginning for an extremely diverse set. Songs like “Stich,” “Don’t Let Me Fade Away,” and “Gravity” filled the set. The crowd screamed every single word of the entire set. While they played, the giant screen at the back of the stage showed different animations for each song. Some contained lyrics for sing-alongs and another comprised of old pictures from when the band first began touring in their early days. Moshers didn’t stop moving the entire hour and a half the band played. When the band finally finished with “Circle the Drain,” the crowd began screaming “One more song.” When vocalist Briton Bond walked out, he explained they had two more for the crowd since this was the last show of the year for them. They ended the show with an acoustic version of the song “Johnny Cash” and wrapped up with “Manic” from the latest release Manic. The crowd screamed with joy and continued to yell “One more song” before the lights came on and the amazing night had come to an end.

WAGE WAR
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ERRA
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ZERO 9:36
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GIDEON
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HOUSE OF BLUES ORLANDO
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About Chris Christofi 6 Articles
Following a departure from touring as a vocalist in a band, Chris found himself unable to not have the music scene be a part of his life. Post-lockdown that all changed. There's nothing like capturing moment in a live venue, nor anything more unpredictable and challenging. He try's to capture memorable moments from nights to remember for others to relive them over and over.