A totally sold-out and wildly rambunctious show is no doubt the perfect way to start a tour. The excitement could be felt around the block as people lined up outside the doors of The Underground for the very first show of Memphis May Fire’s Remade in Misery Tour, all of which was unleashed the second the band hit the stage that night. It was a cathartic event for many.
Originally exploding onto the metalcore and post-hardcore scene at the start of the 2010s with a pair of essential albums, The Hollow and Challenger, the Texas four-piece have kept a steady pace the past decade. Consistent with a new album release every two years and strong live performances alongside various other bands, Memphis May Fire have maintained a solid presence and delivered reliable, albeit increasingly radio-friendly, songs that have helped define the current state of heavy music.
Like every other artist, the group was stopped in their tracks by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. With all future plans on pause indefinitely, the band hit the studio to begin work on what would eventually become their seventh album, Remade In Misery. Remade is certainly the correct word choice; the record is a lean and tight 11-track redefinition of who Memphis May Fire truly want to be and are when they’re at their best. Striking that dynamic balance between hard hitting metalcore riffage and soaring, instantly catchy choruses has always been the game, but Remade In Misery is the band’s best and most successful endeavor in that regard. Some extra time with little constraints seems to have done wonders for their songwriting and execution.
Charlotte, North Carolina had the honor of launching the band’s first proper headlining tour since the pandemic; a kickoff to a huge trek across the country that goes all the way into the start of August. With this being their first album in four years (the longest fans have gone without one) as well, the energy from both the band and the crowd that evening was especially incendiary. The venue was already packed and only getting fuller by the second before it was even 7 pm, with the sun still shining bright outside the doors.
Of course, there was also an initial, unavoidable air of unease and unhappiness: That very morning, the Supreme Court of the United States made its historic ruling repealing Roe v. Wade, setting women's rights back half a century. A good rock show is certainly one satisfying way to get some rage and despair out of your system, and true enough, once the lights went out and the first band - Ohio heavies Wolves at the Gate - started their set, the news and negative feelings began to dissipate.
The band tore through a 7-song set of metalcore goodness mostly comprised of tracks off their own new album, Eulogies. With only a couple songs left to go, guitarist and vocalist Steve Cobucci took a moment to deliver a genuinely passionate speech that indirectly addressed the day's events. As a Christian band, Cobucci stated how disheartening it is to witness terrible acts be committed in the name of Christianity and the ways in which the religion has been used for personal and political gain. It was a rare, somber and reflective moment that felt necessary among the usual concert festivities of moshing and jumping around.
Rain City Drive (formerly known as Slaves) was up next, moving the place with music that had a little more groove to it. Singer Matt McAndrew crooned and swayed onstage with great beats and hooks provided by the band, standing out from the more direct rock and metal sound of the other acts that night. I myself had to go grab a pair of their shorts after they opened their set with three certified bangers ('Waiting On You', 'Talk to a Friend', 'Heavier') in a row.
Nu metal revivalists From Ashes to New officially set off the pits and inspired the crowd surfers with a scorching set that covered their whole discography. They even debuted two of their new songs, 'Heartache' and 'Broken By Design', both of which shook the venue like a bomb. By the time they ended things with their 2015 hit 'Through It All', the drinks were flowing, the crowd surfers were aplenty and the pits were only growing wider. It was still a Friday night, after all.
Matty Mullins was all smiles and giggles once Memphis May Fire finally arrived and sent the sold-out crowd into a proper frenzy. The band hadn't played Charlotte since 2017, so that time away combined with fantastic new tunes seemed to have brought everyone out with rabid anticipation. Even with high expectations, Memphis May Fire delivered in spades. It's impossible to deny the unbridled happiness that was present in that building throughout the night as the band tore it up onstage. Even a technical hiccup four songs in didn't slow down the momentum one bit.
The band debuted some new songs of their own off of Remade In Misery, and the recent fan favorites were met with a great reception in the live setting. 'Left For Dead' and 'Your Turn' delivered crushing breakdowns that had the whole place banging their heads and 'The Fight Within' successfully opened their encore with a bit of a different mood after a main set of partying it up metalcore style. On their classic hit 'Vices', Danny Case of From Ashes to New joined the group (and the entire crowd) in singing along.
"I know it's hot in here, but I'm wearing a jacket and you're not!" Mullins teased the crowd as the place began to swelter. Not that too many people there seemed to mind; the place never stopped moving during Memphis May Fire's entire set. Ending the night was 'The Sinner', the best song from the band's older days that pleased the old guard (like myself) after a thorough celebration of the new. The band is in tremendous form as they embark on what is sure to be one of their most memorable tours of their whole career. Mullins, Kellen McGregor, Cory Elder, and Jake Garland proved in front of the ecstatic Charlotte audience that night that for some artists, the best is yet to come. This new album and reenergized live show will surely carry them as far as they'd like.
Memphis May Fire is currently on tour in support of 'Remade in Misery'. Check out the dates below and listen to the new album via Rise Records HERE.
Jun. 28 - New York City, NY - Gramercy Theatre (Get tickets)
Jun. 29 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club (Get tickets)
Jun. 30 - Montreal, QC - Fairmount Theatre (Get tickets)
Jul. 02 - Toronto, ON - Velvet Underground (Get tickets)
Jul. 03 - Pontiac, MI - Crofoot (Get tickets)
Jul. 05 - Columbus, OH - King of Clubs (Get tickets)
Jul. 06 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge (Get tickets)
Jul. 08 - St. Louis, MO - Red Flag (Get tickets)
Jul. 09 - Kansas City, MO - Truman (Get tickets)
Jul. 11 - Denver, CO - Oriental Theater (Get tickets)
Jul. 12 - Grand Junction, CO - Mesa Theater (Get tickets)
Jul. 13 - Salt Lake City, UT - Grand at the Complex (no FROM ASHES TO NEW) (Get tickets)
Jul. 15 - Seattle, WA - The Croc (no FROM ASHES TO NEW) (Get tickets)
Jul. 16 - Portland, OR - Bossanova Ballroom (no FROM ASHES TO NEW) (Get tickets)
Jul. 17 - Berkeley, CA - UC Theatre (no FROM ASHES TO NEW) (Get tickets)
Jul. 19 - Ventura, CA - Ventura Music Hall (Get tickets)
Jul. 20 - Pomona, CA - Glass House (Get tickets)
Jul. 22 - San Diego, CA - Soma Side Stage (Get tickets)
Jul. 23 - Las Vegas, NV - 24 Oxford at Virgin (Get tickets)
Jul. 24 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent (Get tickets)
Jul. 26 - Lubbock, TX - Jake’s Backroom (Get tickets)
Jul. 27 - Austin, TX – Emo's (Get tickets)
Jul. 28 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live (Get tickets)
Jul. 30 - Pensacola, FL - Vinyl Music Hall (Get tickets)
Jul. 31 - Orlando, FL - The Beacham (Get tickets)
Aug. 02 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade (Get tickets)
Aug. 03 - Nashville, TN - Basement East (Get tickets)