Recently, I had the special opportunity to go to Spiritbox’s first North American headline show in Grand Rapids! They played to a sold out crowd at The Intersection in Grand Rapids, with A Sense of Purpose and Fire From The Gods opening the show.
Starting out the night, we had A Sense Of Purpose. They are a 4 piece metalcore outfit from Cleveland, Ohio. This was my first time hearing them before. Vocally, I was very interested in this band. I felt like there were similarities to Landon Tewers’ vocal capabilities, which was a great sound. I appreciated that they had a good balance between clean and unclean vocals (with both sounding great). Instrumentally, I felt that the band had the metalcore sound down to a T. However, I felt like they had a special vibrance to their sound that most metalcore artists miss the mark on. Definitely a cool act, you should certainly check them out. This band is for fans of artists like Glass Hands, Sentinels, and FRCTRD.
Next up, we got Fire From The Gods. This Chicago 5 piece had a different vibe, but put on a great performance. It was also my first time hearing this band. I felt like, stylistically, they were a nice mix of nu metal and modern metalcore that works incredibly well. Vocally, this band is very unique in my opinion. Totally captivating clean vocals, with some rap mixed throughout. On top of that, the unclean vocals were amazing too. Instrumentally, this band had a bit of a mix. There were a lot of different sounds throughout their set. Some songs were straight up metalcore songs, whereas some had more of the nu metal vibe that I mentioned earlier. I personally really enjoyed the variety their set brought. This band is for fans of artists like Gemini Syndrome, Palisades, and STARSET.
Finally, Spiritbox entered the stage with a bang. If you aren’t familiar with them, Spiritbox are a metalcore/progressive metal band from Vancouver Island, Canada. Their lineup consists of the wife/husband duo Courtney LaPlante and Mike Stringer (both previously of iwrestledabearonce) on vocals and guitar, Zev Rose (of Earth7) on drums, with Josh Gilbert (previously of As I Lay Dying) filling in on bass. Releasing their debut album Eternal Blue just last September, they have spent much of the last year supporting other artists and playing festivals. However, with this show being their first headliner in North America, we were in for a special time.
Opening their set with Circle With Me, they immediately captivated those inside The Intersection. They sounded absolutely massive. Despite playing on a sprained ankle, it was evident that LaPlante gave it her all vocally. She swaps between soft clean vocals and harsh unclean vocals with incredible fluidity. Additionally, we got some extra heavy screams from her on a few songs, which was a sweet surprise. Instrumentally, Spiritbox is a very interesting artist to watch. I feel like the drum parts in their music fit each song very well. On top of that, Zev Rose is a fantastic drummer. It is evident from the energy in his performance, he truly gets into it when he plays. String wise, Spiritbox’s guitar/bass parts tend to be a bit more on the technical side. It is one thing to listen to music like that at home, but it is always so cool when you can physically see it being played in front of you. As a bassist/guitarist myself, I was very impressed with both Stringer and Gilbert. I did not realize how complex some parts of certain songs were, so it was very fascinating to see live. This band is for fans of artists like Silent Planet, Sleep Token, and Architects.
Spiritbox ended the night with an encore of Rotoscope and Belcarra. As they left the stage, LaPlante told the crowd, “thank you all so much, we will never forget this”. It was a lovely end to a phenomenal show, and marks what is just the start of the unstoppable force that is Spiritbox.