Bury the Hatchet Tour Featuring Falling in Reverse and Escape the Fate

Falling in Reverse / Escape the Fate Bury the Hatchet Tour Review 1.15.14 and 2.14.14

And a Survive This! Interview


            The Bury the Hatchet tour with Falling in Reverse and Escape the Fate was one of the most anticipated tours in the United States when tickets went on sale in late 2013. The promise of two bands previously thought never to play together- what’s not to love? The tour had its ups and downs, but after attending both the first (January 15, 2014) and last day (February 14, 2014) of the tour, the shows were almost as opposite as can be. For those of you who don’t know what all the fuss is about here is a little music history lesson: The original singer of Escape the Fate, Ronnie Radke left the band in 2008 after producing There’s No Sympathy for the Dead EP and the band’s first two full length albums Dying is Your Latest Fashion and the band’s self-titled album. A parole violation combined with Radke’s previous history landed him in jail with a two year sentence. While Ronnie was in prison, Craig Mabbitt, previously of Christian metalcore band Blessthefall stepped in to fill Radke’s shoes. Mabbitt went on to tour as Escape the Fate’s lead singer and later recorded two full length albums: This War is Ours and Ungrateful. Once Radke was released from prison he formed Falling in Reverse in 2010. Because of the unfavorable circumstance with Radke’s dismissal, there was a bit of a rivalry formed between Radke and Mabbitt. After several years of badmouthing, the bands decided to let bygones be bygones and set out on a co-headlining tour. This tour, appropriately named the Bury the Hatchet tour, was designed to end all the bad blood between fans, band members, and associates of the two bands. Once Falling in Reverse turned the other cheek, they picked up hardcore icons Chelsea Grin and the up and coming Survive This to join them on the road.

           Escape the Fate Live (16) Soundcheck411 writer Eric Walden attended the first show of the Bury the Hatchet tour on January 15th at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, California to see if Craig Mabbitt and Ronnie Radke would keep their word. Although the night was full of smiles and the special energy and nervous intimacy that is always found on the first date of a tour, the show was plagued with technical problems. This is somewhat expected and normal while the set-up and tech crews find their rhythm and sweet spot, but what the bands lacked in quality, they more than made up for with energy. All four of the bands: Falling in Reverse, Escape the Fate, Chelsea Grin, and Survive This came ready to party! 

            Survive This kicked off the show and got the crowd moving with their aggressive and energetic style. Lead singer Shawn Zyvoloski may have had problems with the volume of his microphone, but that didn’t stop his shockingly high-pitched screams from reaching a good portion of the theater. If you couldn’t hear Zyvoloski you sure could see his unique “dancing” style. His moves looked like a mix of aggressive ballet, and what seemed like rain dancing while he belted out his lyrics and stomped around. When he wasn’t showing his skills with a mic, or jumping onto the barricade leaning directly over the crowd; hundreds of eyes followed him back and forth as he ran and cartwheeled across the stage. Even if you’re not a fan of bands who show so much energy on stage you can hardly keep up, backup vocalist and guitarist Daniel Ingram took a mellower stance, but his clean cut and melodic lyrics nicely rounded out their sound. The bands vocals, even if muffled, blended nicely with the rest of the bands hardcore sound. Falling in Reverse (25)

            Chelsea Grin followed them up with a much more raw and guttural set. Drummer Pablo Veveros pounded on his double bass drum with the quickness and intensity of metal icons like Avenged Sevenfold or A Day to Remember. Some metal fans may dismiss Chelsea Grin as another indistinguishable screamo band, but they are so much more than that. After appearing on tours with essential hardcore bands, and festivals like the Vans Warped Tour, Chelsea Grin has developed a large, dedicated, and diehard fan base. If you shirk them off within the first few bars of their opening track, you’ll miss out on a band who prides themselves on delivering raw emotion without the produced sound so many bands have fallen accustomed to. Veveros’ heart- pounding backbone blended nicely with the shredding and solos of Chelsea Grin’s quick, deep, and stripped down rhythm section, but Alex Keohler’s loud and dystopian lyrics take the band to a whole other level. Similar to bands like NAILS, The Devil Wears Prada, Suicide Science and almost all of the bands attending the upcoming Self Help Festival on March 22nd you can feel Keohler’s vocals literally rattling your bones and tensing all the muscles in your body.

            Falling in Reverse (12)These harder bands may have brought the genre back to its roots, but once Escape the Fate took the stage the crowd was more than ready. Fans of Escape the Fate have waited over a year to see a California show. Craig Mabbitt played some songs off of their newest album, Ungrateful, that was released a month before the tour, and the crowd could hear his new take on the band’s previous material. Sadly the fans were in for some trouble. Mabbitt sang his heart out on tracks like Ashley and Ten Miles Wide, but yet again the vocal levels were so low most of his lyrics were muffled if not completely drowned out by Robert Ortiz’s quick drumming, or Kevin Gruft’s shredding. Escape the Fate kept the crowd revved up and energized but it is understandable that some fans of Escape the Fate wouldn’t appreciate Craig voicing songs originally sung by Ronnie Radke (Falling in Reverse founder and lead singer)  because they lose authenticity, originality, blah blah blah. Those songs may not have been written for Mabbitt, but he more than pulls them off. Besides, Mabbitt didn’t just stumble on stage, the remaining Escape the Fate members hand-picked him because they believed he could fill Radke’s shoes. If you think you’re an “original Escape the Fate fan” you owe it to yourself to see Mabbitt try his hand at the older songs. You might be pleasantly surprised. Regardless if you consider yourself an old-school fan, new- school fan, or not a fan, Radke had one last ace up his sleeve at the end of the show that made every fan in in the entire venue go crazy. 

            Finally it was time for the main event. Once the curtain at The Wiltern fell, you could literally feel the anticipation. If the thousands of screaming girls weren’t a clue already, Falling in Reverse has quickly established a huge following since their first official show in early 2011 despite numerous lineup changes. Although Falling in Reverse can now pack a house at the drop of a hat, they have become notorious for sometimes not bringing the energy in their albums to their live shows. Luckily this show wasn’t one of those times. In fact, it was almost the polar opposite. Radke hopped on stage in front of the packed house with a burst of energy arguably unseen in his career until now. Of the eleven times Soundcheck411 writer Eric Walden has seen Falling in Reverse, Radke has never packed so much energy and enthusiasm into one performance.

         DSC_5364   The Wiltern had one of the biggest stages on the entire tour, but that didn’t stop Radke from covering the entire area of the stage when he was running back and forth. If he wasn’t engaging the crowd with his energy on stage, it was only because he brought the show directly to them. Running across raised platforms, monitors, and the benches of the front barricade, Radke made the large theater feel like a small town show similar to the recent string of shows at intimate venues like California hot spot Chain Reaction, but it didn’t stop there.  Everyone knows bands ask fans to sing along, fill in the chorus, or repeat lyrics, but it mostly ends up sounding like a jumbled off key mess. As Radke strutted across the stage to the tune of the drum and thick bass lines he constantly held out the microphone. Every time he paused, the crowd echoed all the lyrics of the 16 songs set right back at him. This feat is rarely achieved, but proves their spot on the main stage at this year’s Van’s Warped Tour is well deserved. Just because the last set of the night came to a close doesn’t mean the show was over. You could even say that the Bury the Hatchet tour set a new standard when it comes to encores.

            Falling in Reverse may have been headlining the tour, but it seems Radke hasn’t completely forgotten who helped him climb the totem pole to fame. Once the lights dimmed after Falling in Reverse’s final song, fans just had not had enough. The whole theater was full of chants and screams begging the band to take the stage once again, and Radke had something special in store for the night. Slowly the image of the cover of Dying is Your Latest Fashion was projected onto the stage under the drum kit and the crowd erupted with cheers when Ronnie walked back on stage with all of his former band Escape the Fate. Craig Mabbitt picked up the backup vocals while Radke and the rest of the band sang both Not Good Enough For The Cliché and Situations to finish the show. This unexpected surprise set the tone for the rest of the tour; a fun, exciting, energetic and new take on an old style unlike anything Falling in Reverse or Escape the Fate have done before.

            Escape the Fate Bus Prank (4)Exactly a month later, on February 14, thousands of fans including Soundcheck411 writer Eric Walden and Photographer Nicole Lemberg flocked to the Fox Theater in Pomona, California to spend Valentine’s Day moshing, crowd surfing, and screaming lyrics of their favorite songs. Plenty of the fans that this writer met outside had been to a stop on the Bury the Hatchet tour at least once before, and were prepared to wait for hours to see it all unfold again. Once the fans got through some unorganized trouble and line confusion at the front gate they saw that the nonstop touring had taken a toll on the bands’ energy. The bands may have been tired from their long stint of shows, but the stage crew really shined at this last performance. The unsung heroes of rock and roll refined the technical aspects of the show down to a “T” and completely eliminated the problems at the first date of the tour a month before. Sadly, nothing in show biz is perfect, so for everything the bands and crew did right, some aspects that may have been out of their control seemed to fall apart and kept the show from achieving perfection. A lot of the show carried on the same as in January, but a few standouts including a new and improved set list from Escape the Fate, and refined vocals with improved quality made the show totally worth a rerun.

            All of these improvements to the show really exceeded the expectations of fans, especially fans who had already seen the show, but the real differences happened afterword, or off the stage. No last day celebration would have been complete without speeches, time to hang out with fans after the show, and the dreaded “Tour Pranks”. It has become common practice for bands to have “tour pranks” at the final show after bonding for such a long time on the road. While Escape the Fate was away playing their last set of the Bury the Hatchet tour, Falling in Reverse members took the opportunity to fill Escape the Fate’s tour bus waist high with thousands of packing peanuts. Ronnie took it upon himself to interrupt the show and call out Escape The Fate during their set. As soon as the members of Escape the Fate left the stage, they ran to their home away from home to find it packing more than just bunks and memories. Photos started popping up all over Twitter of Falling in Reverse’s not so little present, but Soundcheck411 photographer Nicole Lemberg was right there to capture all the fun.Falling in Reverse (63)

            Overall both the first and last show of the Bury the Hatchet tour brought very different experiences to the table. It was nice to see Falling in Reverse with so much energy, and Escape the Fate sounding better than ever before. Also the added bonus of seeing Ronnie Radke and Craig Mabbitt together is one for the history books. Both shows brought old school and new school fans together for a night they won’t ever forget. Epitaph really pulled out all the stops for this one.


 Soundcheck411 Writer Eric Walden Interviewed Shawn Zyvoloski after the show to talk about Valentine’s Day, their spot on the 2014 Vans Warped tour, and what they did to improve their show over the Bury the Hatchet tour.


Eric Walden:  I saw Survive This preform on the first day of the Bury the Hatchet tour, and again on the last. Between the two your vocals were clearly more refined and clear the second time around. What did you do to improve your already distinct sound?

Shawn Zyvoloski:  Well first of all, I wasn’t sick this time. I had a voice, I wasn’t tired, and I started chewing gum on stage. I used have to drink tons of water every show, but now I’m down to about a bottle or half a bottle at every show. It just keeps my throat moist and clear.

Soundcheck411:  So what’s your favorite type of gum?

Shawn Zyvoloski:  I chew anything that’s fresh, or like minty. I’ve been doing Orbit Winter Fresh for a little while now.

Soundcheck411: Today is Valentine’s Day. If you had the best Valentine’s Day in the world what would it be?

Shawn Zyvoloski: I think it would be absolutely awesome to be in Hawaii on the beach at night with perfect weather at a candle light dinner, and then I would go swimming. I’m a little romantic, but I’d like a little rhythm section there to make it special.

Soundcheck411:  Do you have a valentine tonight?

Shawn Zyvoloski: No, not tonight, but I got this awesome present. (*Holds up a small stuffed bear holding a heart that says happy Valentine’s Day) I was pretty stoked about that.

Soundcheck411: If you could choose any celebrity to be your valentine who would it be?

Shawn Zyvoloski: I’m gonna go with Demi Lovato. She’s a metal fan, and I like Disney

Souncheck411: Survive This has been announced for the 2014 Warped tour. Who are you most excited to see?

Shawn Zyvooski: I’m really excited because The Ghost Inside is there. They’re really cool.

Soundcheck411: Are you going to head out to see The Ghost Inside at this year’s Take Action tour?

Shawn Zyvoloski:  I was already there when it was in Vegas

Soundcheck41: You beat me to it.

Shawn Zyvoloski: Hmm who else am I excited to see on Warped Tour? … I’m just stoked that Falling in Reverse is going to be there, Chelsea Grin is going to be there, we’re also going to be there. It’ll be nice to see ¾ of this tour again. I’m mostly excited about doing a homecoming show I don’t know who else I’m excited for . It’s just a cool lineup so I’m pretty happy to be going.

Soundcheck411:  What do you think it was that tipped Kevin Lyman off that you guys are as awesome as you are?

Shawn Zyvoloski: We just got lucky. We played the right show at the right time I guess. We’re really fortunate to have the full Warped Tour this early. Kevin’s just awesome to us so I’m happy we’ve done what we’ve done whatever it was.

Souncheck411:  Are there any local bands from your hometown (Las Vegas) that Kevin needs to know for next years Warped Tour?

Shawn Zyvoloski: On the heavier end I’d say Imperial Tide

Soundcheck411: Is there anything else you would like to say to the Soundcheck411 Readers?

Shawn Zyvoloski: Yes! I love you and /happy Valentine’s Day.

Review and Interview by Eric Walden

Photos from the last night of tour, February 14, 2014 in Pomona, CA

Falling in Reverse

Escape the Fate Live

Escape the Fate Bus Prank