The Octane Accelerator Tour hit Phoenix on Sunday, bringing new and emerging artists featured regularly on SiriusXM’s Octane channel across America.
Opening up the evening was on-the-rise alt-metal band Afterlife, who has seen incredible streaming success with their latest release, Breaking Point.
While the size of the crowd at the Crescent Ballroom Sunday evening might have been a bit of a contrast, the energy brought by the entire band surely was not. After introducing themselves with “Anthem” from their Vicious Cycle EP and “PSA” off their latest record, vocalist Tyler Levenson revealed, “we’re only a couple days in and we’re having the times of our lives!”
“Fists as high as you can!” he urged the crowd before rocking them with heavy-hitting “Sacrifice”.
Levenson was joined by guitarist Andrew McGuire, bassist Tristan Edwards and drummer Luke Walkinshaw. The band brought huge presence to the stage with coordinated head-banging and spinning throughout the set.
In a moment of vulnerability, Levenson shared that the song “Broken Home” is about his own battle with domestic abuse.
“No mother or father should ever lay their hands on a child. This song goes out to anyone that’s ever been affected by that,” he said to the audience.
With each song, Afterlife compelled the audience to get to know their dark side a little bit better, winning the room by the end of their set.
Bouncing back from an early tour illness, Canadian rock band Royal Tusk took the stage for their third performance of the tour. The band opened up with “First Time” which was fitting for their first time in Phoenix on their first full US tour.
Royal Tusk brought their newest album on this run, amping up the energy from their previous releases. The music was heavier and edgier, bringing loud guitar to the forefront for a grunge rock feel.
“If you guys wanna move, this is the song!” lead vocalist and guitarist Daniel Carriere advised the audience leading into “Northern Town”.
Each song was filled with real energy and passion, engaging the crowd in dancing and clapping along. Before finishing with “Aftermath”, Carriere encouraged the audience to keep singing along.
“We want to meet every one of you guys in here because you guys have made us feel so welcome!” bassist Sandy MacKinnon exclaimed.
“We love you Phoenix! It’s been far too long!” Like a Storm lead vocalist Chris Brooks shouted to the enthusiastic audience.
The headlining New Zealanders pulled out all the stops, filling the stage with fog, blinding LED screens and even skeletons with didgeridoos. After opening with a few fan favorites, the band charmed the crowd with new song “Solitary” from the recently-released Catacombs.
The crowd was excited and vocal, loudly requesting “Galaxy” from the pit.
“That’s why we became a band, so people could tell us what to do!” bassist Kent Brooks joked before launching into a rendition of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”. The elated fans were appeased with a performance of “Galaxy” immediately afterwards.
After ending the set with “Devil Inside”, the audience begged for more and Like A Storm returned.
“This was our first ever single in this country!” Brooks recalled of the song “Chemical Infatuation”. The band demanded even more from the fans, as they screamed the words to “Love The Way You Hate Me”. Meeting their energy, Chris personally joined the audience for this last song, ending a truly high octane evening.
Story and photos by Kristen Bourdeau