GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Marianas Trench, a Canadian pop rock band from Vancouver, stopped in Grand Rapids Tuesday during their Suspending Gravity Tour.
The band released their latest album, "Phantoms," on March 1. It's composed of 10 tracks that encapsulate the feelings that haunt you post-breakup, especially when the relationship was a whirlwind.
The album reached No. 1 in the pop genre in both Canada and the U.S. Lead singer, Josh Ramsay, said this tour has been their most successful U.S. tour to date.
By the time doors opened at 7 p.m. the line had already wrapped far beyond underneath the overpass and curved with the street around The Intersection. The line moved slowly as people trickled into the venue.
As the crowd got settled, DJ George Thoms got the party started with a mix of songs that had many people singing along and dancing to the music. The intersection is mostly all standing room but there were a handful of tables in a VIP section that could be purchased for $60.
Throughout the concert the crowd seemed to mind each others personal space, not getting too wild. Marianas Trench appears to appeal to a wide variety of fans as there didn't seem to be any set demographic. There was a solid mix of men, women and people ranging from all different age groups.
Toronto native Scott Helman opened for Marianas Trench with a lively and intimate set. Helman was given a warm welcome by the crowd and he gave an excellent performance.
He was only 15 when he signed his first development deal with Warner Music Canada. He said when he wrote the song "Machine" that he believed he was writing it for the world, and learned later that he had written it for himself while he was going through a hard time.
His music is laden with emotion that is vivid in a live performance. At one point, Helman asked the crowd if they'd mind if he sang without the microphone for a moment. The crowd gave a resounded yes through cheers.
A hush fell over the front of the venue and Helman's voice carried through the venue. Without the help of technology the power of his vocal skills was highlighted. His performance, as a whole was spirited, and well rounded.
Helman played for roughly 35 minutes. After he wrapped anticipation grew as the the equipment was swapped for the main event. AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" was played to ignite the crowd before Marianas Trench took the stage.
Just after 9 p.m. a short introductory video began setting the stage for Marianas Trench to enter and play the minute-long introduction piece, "Eleonora," which is featured in their newest album.
The band kicked off the show with a few of their new songs before diving back into some of their older material. No matter what song played, the crowd was feeling it. Ramsay's vocals did not disappoint.
There were two video displays on each side of the stage which featured different clips depending on the song that was being played. The stage lighting shifted as well and only added to the entire experience.
To the dismay of the security guards, Ramsay spent some time among the crowd. It was hard to tell where he was, but occasionally you could see a bit of blue hair or a microphone in the air and the crowd would shift in that direction.
Ramsay asked the crowd how many of them had been to one of their concerts before and it was roughly split between half newcomers and the other half back for another show.
The first time the band walked off stage, the crowd continued to cheer until Ramsay returned to the stage. The lights were dimmed and it was just him and a guitar as he performed an acoustic version of "One Love" and lots of cellphones went up in the air as people recorded the intimate rendition.
After Ramsay finished "One Love" the rest of the band joined him on stage to wrap up the concert with "The Killing Kind," which is the final song from their latest album and is nearly seven minutes long.
Marianas Trench performed for around an hour and 40 minutes and didn't seem to ever be ready to slow down. It was an incredible experience.
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