First up tonight were ‘Christian Metalcore’ band Gwen Stacey. Hailing from Illinois (as they constantly reminded the crowd), they seemed an unlikely choice of opening act, and judging by the faces in the audience, I wasn’t the only one who thought it. To be honest I can’t tell you what they played in their set as all their songs are very similar, and unfortunately for them, there are many bands out there doing the same as them but better. I wouldn’t say that I hated their set, but I don’t think they are well known enough in this country to be first support for a band like 36 Crazyfists. The crowd stood motionless through majority of their songs, and I began to feel sorry for them until they bought religion into it.
I may offend a few people with my views on this, but personally I don’t believe religion has any place in music, music is music, religion is religion and neither the twain should meet. Period. I fast lost sympathy for the band when the singer decided to talk about believing in Jesus and so did the rest of the room. It may work at Christian rock festivals, but talking about God will not make a room full of metalers start moshing to your music in Wolverhampton. By the amount of people not in the room for their set, I wasn’t alone in thinking this either. In summary, Gwen Stacey are talented musicians, but not my cup of tea.
Next up were Poison the Well. They have been around a bit longer than Gwen Stacey, which certainly showed in their stage presence. Front man Jeffrey Moreira prowled the stage like some kind of panther about to take down his prey. I was expecting him to break into some kind of mad screaming massacre but alas it was just a bit ‘eh’ for lack of a better word! Don’t get me wrong, they were much better than the opening act, but not what I expected on appearances.
A 7 man mosh pit did break out towards the end of their set, but I just got the impression that nobody here really knew who they were nor were they really that bothered. One girl said to me that they were just ‘filler’ music until Crazyfists came on. To give PTW their dues, they were a good band and tight musicians, but it was obvious that the 3 bands had been stuck together by the label they are all signed to (Ferret), and although 36 Crazyfists are a crowd puller, maybe the support acts needed a bit more thought.
Last and by no means least tonight were crazy yet friendly Alaskans, 36 Crazyfists. Front man Brock had already made a lot of peoples night by walking around the Wulfrun chatting to fans and having his photo taken. As we waited for them to appear on stage, it be came apparent what a funny bunch of guys they are! Taped to the front of the drum kit were the signs ‘Beware of flying drumsticks they will hurt’ and ‘Brock wont you join us in the world of warcraft’. The crowd erupted into a fury of cheers as they took to the stage and went head first into ‘I’ll go until’ the crowd lapped them up. Brock almost seemed a little taken aback at the reaction of the audience; maybe it was because of the lack of reaction to the other bands or something else, I’m not sure.
After parting company with major label Roadrunner Records and moving to a smaller label (Ferret) recently, I think this tour was a test for them to see how much support they still had, and they can’t have been disappointed with their loyal fans tonight. Going next into ‘Atoea’ the security had their work cut out as the crowd surfers stared along with mosh pits all round the room. It was weird to see how the nearly full Wulfrun went from virtually motionless, to a bunch of crazy moshers! Brock shocked the first 3 rows by taking a running jump into the crowd for ‘We gave it hell’, and lay on top of the crowd to sing the song out. ‘Bloodwork’ was a definite highlight in the set and with a good mix of songs from all the previous albums and finishing with ‘Slit wrist’, they were certainly a fabulous band to see live. Hopefully their new label will carry on pushing them to do bigger tours, and 36 Crazyfists will stay firmly in the public eye. After witnessing tonight’s show, you can’t help to think Roadrunner Records must be kicking themselves having let them go.
Set list for 36 Crazyfists
I’ll Go Until
We Gave It Hell
Heart & Shape
Skin & Atmosphere
Destroy The Map
The All Night
Review + Photos – Lucy Pryor