He Is Legend, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster & Wilson @ The Marquis Theatre (8/13/14)

Photos & Review: Mega Deaf Tour
Featuring: He Is Legend, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster & Wilson
The Marquis Theatre, Denver, CO. 8/13/14

Photos by: Shannon Shumaker
Review by: Dom Vigil

Before I even walked into the doors of The Marquis Theatre on Wednesday night to catch He Is Legend, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Wilson, I knew I was in for a treat. I’ve been listening to both He Is Legend and Maylene for years now, and every time I’ve seen both bands, they’ve put on incredible shows. And with He Is Legend’s new album, Heavy Fruit dropping in just a short week from the show, an amazing performance was basically guaranteed.

The first group to perform was Detroit-based party band, Wilson. I had listened to them a couple of times prior to the show, so I figured that I knew what to expect and boy, was Wilson’s performance everything that I wanted it to be and more. Over the years, it’s become apparent to me that most opening bands don’t really put too much effort into their live show, because realistically, the majority of the crowd isn’t there to see them. Wilson, however, made it very apparent that they didn’t care if anybody in the room had ever listened to them before - they were just on stage to have a good time.

The thing that stood out the most to me about Wilson was their energy both on and off stage, considering the fact that their vocalist spent just as much time in the crowd as he did on stage. Wilson practically demanded crowd participation throughout their set, whether it was by making everyone clap along with one of their songs or throwing the mic out to the crowd during their cover of ACDC’s “Back In Black,” which made them incredibly fun to watch. They weren’t humble and they weren’t there to just open up the show and then fade into the background - Wilson was there to make an impression, and judging by the amount of smiling faces in the crowd by the end of their set, they succeeded.

In the aftermath of Wilson’s explosive performance, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster got ready to storm the stage, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stoked about seeing them again. Maylene is definitely one of my favorite bands to watch live because of vocalist Dallas Taylor’s commanding (and sometimes intimidating) stage presence, and thankfully, this show was no exception. From the moment that the first notes of their first song rang out, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster had the full attention of everyone in the crowd, though it wasn’t until their fourth song, “Tough As John Jacobs” that the energy in the room really shifted. The second that those first unmistakable guitar chords rang out, the crowd went absolutely insane.

One of the best parts about Maylene’s performance (besides their insane stage presence) was their setlist. They played a healthy amount of songs from each of their records, keeping all fans in the crowd, old and new, happy. And while their set may have been a little long for any non-fans in the audience, for myself and everyone else screaming along with them in the crowd, it was perfect.

After Maylene, the crowd was practically buzzing with anticipation for the headliners: He Is Legend. The Marquis was packed with a near sold out crowd of fans, all excited for one of their favorite bands to take the stage. And once again, the energy in the room shifted as soon as He Is Legend began to play. Having stood up front for the majority of Maylene’s set, I decided to relax near the back of the venue where I could really take all of He Is Legend’s set in without worrying about being shoved or crowd-surfed on, and I was definitely glad that I did. Above everything, He Is Legend sounded completely on-point, especially Schuylar Croom’s vocals. His voice practically commanded the crowd, demanding everyone’s attention as their old songs flowed seamlessly into newer tracks off of Heavy Fruit.

While He Is Legend’s energy wasn’t as high as Maylene and the Sons of Disaster’s (Schuylar spent a lot of time standing behind the mic stand) it didn’t matter for the die-hard fans in the crowd who were singing along with every word. It was near impossible to tear your gaze away from the band for fear of missing something amazing, making He Is Legend’s performance near flawless, especially when my view wasn’t obstructed by kids holding their cell phones in the air to record their favorite song. Everyone was there to have a great time and really live in the moment, and that’s what a real metal show, especially one with so many amazing bands, is about.