As far as the metalcore, screamo bands go, I'd have to say that Every Time I Die is one of the better in the massive bunch. Since the entire metalcore movement started, it's been hard for me to find any of it worth listening to but for some reason it's still immensely popular. Therefore I was really surprised when I showed up to the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver and the venue wasn't even half full. The venue had even hung up 'the curtain' in the middle of the dance floor, behind the soundboard, to keep kids up in front and close to the stage. I'm sure the weather played a part in poor attendance too. It had been raining all day and had gotten worse close to show time, probably making parents reluctant to give their kids a ride...
Despite the small numbers, Every Time I Die came out blazing. I was grateful for their energy since it always makes a band more interesting to watch and easier to photograph. Both guitarists, Andrew Williams and Jordan Buckley, were continuously moving, stopping about and headbanging. Mike Novak (Drums) and touring bassist Josh Newton, supplied a solid rhythm foundation. The crowd was really getting into the show, some crowd surfing and LOTS of screaming girls. I heard one fan next to me say, after plugging his ears, "Damn! They're just a band. It's only people." Keith Buckley (Vocals) jumped out into the barricade at one point causing utter teenage female chaos. It seemed like the more energy the crowd had, the more energy the band put out on stage, which is great showmanship.
Their songs aren't particularly long so fans got a good variety of tracks. Every Time I Die's older material, from albums like Last Night in Town (2001) and Hot Damn! (2003), seemed to have less singing and more of a 'rapping' or spoken word feel at times. The new album, The Big Dirty (2007) contains a sound more like rock and roll. Screaming permeates every song and if you want to hear a solo, go home. I do think their guitar work has matured from a strange and disambiguated grind sound to a choppy grunge. I like their newer material much better.
Towards the end of their set, as the energy was fading, Keith Buckley called for a circle pit as large as the dance floor. To my surprise, and amazement, he got it. It was the biggest circle pit I have seen, even out of all the metal shows I've been to. Maybe at metal shows everyone's just to drunk to get that sort of production off the ground... Anyhow, Buckley was also impressed and said, "This is the best show we've played in Denver." He ended the night by saying. "It's better to destroy than create what is meaningless." You can take whatever you'd like from that. I don't know if I agree.
Overall, Every Time I Die's stage show is great. And with the addition of new material from The Big Dirty, the music isn't half bad either. They seem very well rehearsed. The members themselves are a bit stereotypical of the screamo, metalcore scene, wearing lumberjack plaid shirts. And Keith Buckley constantly did what I call the 'screamo wiggle', a sort of dance, swaying back and forth as he sang.
Every Time I Die is currently on tour with Underoath. Underoath was just terrible and nearly every member of the band spit on the stage, on photographers and into the crowd within the first song. It's just disrespectful, even if the screaming sixteen year olds like it. If you're going to this show, go to see Every Time I Die.