A burning late afternoon show drew metalcore fans of all ages to Mesa Amphitheatre this week for the return of Motionless in White. The Touring the End of the World Tour boasted one of the most stacked heavy lineups of the year and the brutal Arizona sun did nothing to prevent thousands of black-clad fans from moshing the evening away.
Australian heavyweights Alpha Wolf had plenty of early attendees out in the pit to see them shred their way through a sprinting 30 minute set. The band made the most of their time onstage, getting the first circle pit going and fulfilling their duty of warming up the audience for the rest of the show yet to come. After the Burial followed and kept the same energy for their set as well. Vocalist Anthony Notarmaso prowled the amphitheater’s short stage, glaring at the audience and delivering a powerhouse performance to an ever-growing crowd.
By the time the sun had set, Knocked Loose made their entrance as the direct support for the evening. The Kentucky five piece has done nothing but impress the further they progress in their careers and Tuesday night was a perfect testament to how this band gets down. Opening with “Deep in the Willow”, the fans pushed themselves either at the barricade or towards the roiling mosh pit to keep a frenetic pace that never calmed.
Vocalist Bryan Garris’ uniquely blistering screams crashed over the now huge audience and they shouted the words back at the stage just as loudly. Knocked Loose played with a tight-knit intensity that longtime fans have watched them hone to perfection in recent years. The end of the set brought “Counting Worms” and “Everything is Quiet Now” and, while the Motionless in White fans were excited for the headliner, they would certainly not object to even more music from such an excellent supporting act.
The stage transformed for Motionless in White and the band played a brief video diary detailing their preparations for their final tour of 2023 to the delight of the fans waiting in the grass. A wall of light went up and the band emerged in full makeup and costumes- many of which were emulated by eager fans just on the other side of the barricade.
Between the masked dancers shooting sparks from their belts to the wall of fire that blasted the entire venue, MIW let everyone know that they didn’t skimp on this tour’s production value. The musical part of the performance was just as impressive and the band was even joined by Alpha Wolf’s Lochie Keogh on “Immaculate Misconception”.
The band took their time with the 16 song setlist, pulling out new music mixed in with older fan favorites. The audience was in absolute raptures at seeing the band perform at such a heightened level and the members of MIW certainly made their fans feel like part of the family- no matter how much rage was behind those vocals.
The night came to an early end (courtesy of Mesa’s strict noise curfew) but everyone jumped, moshed and danced to their heart’s content, closing out with “Porcelain” and “Scoring the End of the World”. The cheers could be heard from far outside the venue as sweaty fans emerged to enjoy the unseasonably cool late summer evening, already looking back at one of the year’s best tours.
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Story and photos by Olivia Khiel