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Review: How The Edge Stole Christmas

Joe Kinler, Staff Writer

102.1 The Edge put on its annual show, “How The Edge Stole Christmas,” at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie on Dec. 2. The show boasted a strong line up of newly popular bands leading up to the final performance of headlining band Rise Against. The show built up a lot of hype in the weeks preceding its arrival, and successfully executed an engaging and balanced show.The first band up was a Texas-based rock band Electric Touch. Instrumentally, the band performed well and had some very impressive guitar solos. A strong bass pedal and solid drum fills warmed up the crowd for the rest of the show. While not the most ‘electrifying’ or appealing band to hit the stage, they pulled off a decent start to a night of rock.

Next in line was the indie rock band The Naked and Famous from New Zealand. Prominent harmonized vocals and a catchy synth grabbed the crowd’s attention and pulled them into the show. During the song “All of This”, the band even had synchronized head bangs and movements to the beat of the song. Finishing their performance with their widely popular song “Young Blood”, The Naked and Famous gave an engaging performance that truly started the show.

The Joy Formidable, an alternative rock band from London, hit the stage following The Naked and Famous. While only being a three-piece band, they put on a big performance. The guitar was loud and blended nicely with lead singer Ritzy Bryan’s vocals. The band as a whole had a very rock-influenced, aggressive tone. The pit grew more active as the drums thundered and the bass boomed. During their final performance, the guitarist and bassist both dropped their guitars on the spot and walked offstage without a word. By that point, the crowd was pumped up and ready to go.

Alternative rock band AWOLNATION from California gave the ensuing performance. Playing songs like “Jump On My Shoulders”, singer Aaron Bruno’s scratchy vocals brought the crowd to life. By the time the band played their hit song “Sail”, the crowd in the pit started moshing. During the end of “Sail”, the guitarist even had an improvised solo which added a whole other layer of authenticity to their show. Getting the crowd involved in their music with powerful lyrics and instrumentals, AWOLNATION provided an intense performance.

A Day to Remember performed a very crowd involving show. Regardless of the song, this metal band from Florida had heavy guitar, drums, bass and vocals from start to finish. Toilet paper rolls were flying through the crowd by the time they played their song “All Signs Point To Lauderdale”. With many of the breakdowns in their songs, the crowd went crazy. Once they walked off the stage, the crowd was more than ready for the headlining performance which would follow.

The lights dimmed as the speakers played a radio broadcast. As the mood set, Rise Against walked on stage. Jumping straight into the song “Re-Education (Through Labor)” the pit filled to the brim as the band put on a near-perfect performance. Every part of the music was good and present. The guitar was assertive and rang clear, the bass boomed, the drums exploded in a flurry of fills. Lead singer Tim McIlrath sang true to each song. His vocals were clear and expressive, and he sang each song with absolute ease. Before the song “Hero of War” McIlrath addressed the troops and his support for them. The band had built a lot of hype before the show, and they held true and even out performed the hype in their performance. They encored, and left the stage on the song “Savior”, leaving the audience on a good note.

For the variety of the bands who performed at “How The Edge Stole Christmas 2011”, they all performed very well. The blend of different styles of music kept the show interesting, while still providing a remarkable overarching rock feeling throughout the show. The show was quite an experience, and definitely a concert worth attending.

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