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The Metalcore Dropouts Tour came to an explosive end in Minneapolis this weekend. The Devil Wears Prada, Fit for a King, Counterparts, and AVOID had been touring all over North America for almost two entire months and it was time to close it all out. Let me tell you - not only did they do just that, they went completely beyond any expectations one could have for a final show of a tour. Every single band gave it their absolute all, and dual features and band swaps galore occurred - and there was at one point at least 3 separate circle pits.

Seattle’s AVOID were up first - these (relative) newcomers to the scene have quickly made a big name for themselves with their brash, no-punches-pulled all-fun approach to metalcore and having a good time. That energy came through easily - their set was in-your-face, honest, and utterly charming. The crowd responded in kind - rare is it to see circle pits opening up for the first act, but the Minnesotans were ready to throw down right away.

Keeping the night going up next were Canada’s Counterparts. These absolute goliaths of intensity put everything out there - Brendan Murphy has a reputation for leaving absolutely nothing on the floor for a performance, and being my first time seeing them, that reputation is earned and if anything is understated. The entire band plays like this is the last show they’ll ever play, so when Murphy screams “Grieving though you haven't left my side / As I write a eulogy for those still here” - you can tell not just he, but everyone in the band really mean it. A stellar performance, rivaled in intensity only by the esteemed Johnny Booth.

Fit for a King were up next, and the massive lighting glowed a clawing orange, the whole setup looked like the maw of a great beast. The metalcore heavyweight hit the stage to “End (The Other Side)” - and to a raucous cheer. FFAK’s ability to interchangeably swap between a heavier, brutal deathcore sound and a poppier, post-hardcore influenced sound are what made their set stand out - with vocalist Ryan Kirby stealing the show as he seamlessly blends an unbelievable range of vocal styles across their deep discography. A set standout was a live rendition of “Reaper” from The Hell We Create, as well as a vocal feature from touring photographer Anthony Tran, but nothing could compete with Fit for a King’s members handing off instruments to others and all simultaneously crowd surfing as they played their last song.

The Devil Wears Prada stormed the stage shortly after to close out the chaos. Despite playing on a large stage with a very large elevated substage, the absolute mayhem that is TDWP performing live made it feel like there simply wasn’t enough room for all of them to perform together. Mike Hranica desperately, urgently rushing all over, up, down and around the stage to scream his heart out is a sight to behold, and you could really feel the extra intensity coming through from playing the very last show. Each song seemed to build in intensity as they worked their way across their discography, culminating in a deep cut of “Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?” being played for the encore. A stunning way to close out the tour, and an incredible experience for everyone in attendance.


Joseph Dunst

Photojournalist - Minneapolis  

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