• Curtis Ebl

Blessthefall // Escape The Fate - Celebrating 10 Years - St. Louis, MO

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

Beau Bokan of Blessthefall - Photo by Curtis Ebl

Emo boys and girls rejoice! MySpace era juggernauts Blessthefall and Escape The Fate have teamed up for a co-headlining tour across North America. 2019 marks one decade since the release of each band’s sophomore album, Blessthefall’s Witness and Escape the Fate’s This War Is Ours, both of which significantly contributed to their respective rises in popularity.

Though both bands are now established acts, their longevity was called into question in anticipation of their second albums. Coincidentally, both releases were the first appearances of the current lead vocalists, with Beau Bokan in Blessthefall and Craig Mabbit in Escape The Fate. This made the importance of the efforts even greater as lineup changes can destroy bands. Thankfully, the groups continued their upward trend to acclaim. A celebration was in order and the ten year stamp provided the perfect opportunity.

Support for this tour was provided by Islander, an Alternative-Nu metal-esque act from Greenville, South Carolina. The four-piece started off the night with an aggressively unique showcasing. Singer Mikey Carvajal gave spectators a performance worth their money as he climbed on the rafters and smashed a drum symbol on his head. This made it difficult for people to not pay attention and created hype for the headliners to come.

Blessthefall took the stage soon after, beginning their set with album into track, “2.0.” Over a mid-2000s era chugging style breakdown, singer Beau Bokan and backup screamer Elliott Grunberg repeatedly chanted ‘we're not dead, we're not like you said.’ The intense build up came to a peak as the band flowed into the next song, “What’s Left Of Me,” grabbing the entire room as heads and hands bowed.

Bokan’s signature singing style was further showcased over the next few songs, from the soaring chorus of “To Hell And Back” to the sing along classic “Hey Baby, Here’s The Song You Wanted.” The interweaving of vocal styles of Beau’s cleans and Elliott’s shrieking screams paired harmoniously to make an obvious standout during the performance. Another highlight was lead guitarist Eric Lambert’s intricate picking style which provided an essential dynamic to the show. It was brought to the front of the mix, alternating between classic metalcore riffing and headbang-inducing chugging.

Concluding Witness with the slower track “Stay Still,” Blessthefall finished off their set with tracks “Cutthroat” and “Hollow Bodies” from their more recent catalog. The heaviness of the closing songs caused fans to burst into a frenzy of bodies clashing into one another. As singer Beau Boken thanked the crowd and exited the stage, an atmosphere of excitement lingered in anticipation for the next headliner.

Escape The Fate was provided the perfect platform to further feed into the onlookers' lust for more. Walking onto the stage with a massive grin as he looked over the crowd, singer Craig Mabbit began the set with album opener “We Won’t Back Down.” Once again, spectators erupted into a rage, passionately screaming along to every word of other album staples “Ashley” and “You Are So Beautiful.”

Lead guitarist Kevin "Thrasher" Gruf skillfully shredded a melodic intro to the band’s heaviest track on the album, “This War Is Ours (The Guillotine II).” Drummer Robert Ortiz ferociously pounded his kit, the double kick drum pulsating through the crowd’s chests.

Closing out the album with the theatrical track “It’s Just Me,” ETF encored with more of their most recent hits. Songs “Broken Heart” and “I Am Human” from their 2018 release I Am Human were both received with welcomed reception. The show closed out with “One For The Money” which is currently their most streamed song on Spotify.

Commemoration for these very important albums was not only necessary for the bands but also for the late 2000s era. The releases created a lot of opportunities despite the trying circumstances of both groups having changed main vocalists. For those looking to scratch their itch for great music with a dash of nostalgia, this tour will hit the spot.

Photos by:

Curtis Ebl


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