It’s been 3 long years, countless delays, a couple of venue upgrades and a change in support, but I Prevail finally toured the UK.
For such a long wait, it felt somewhat fitting that the Michigan based metal band would close their long delayed tour in perhaps the biggest venue they have ever headlined, London’s Wembley Arena.
Originally billed to be supported by Dream State and Wage War, I Prevail were eventually supported by Finnish eurovision contestants Blind Channel, as well as, British punk metal band Trash Boat, and to say that these bands were exceptional support would be an understatement.
Blind Channel played a spellbinding set of songs off their album Lifestyles Of The Sick And Dangerous closing off with their infectiously catchy eurovision song “Dark Side”.
Trash Boat follows on from Blind Channel and warms the crowd up further with songs predominantly off their new album Don’t You Feel Amazing? but with a few surprises along the way.
With guest appearances from Charlie Rolfe of As Everything Unfolds and I Prevail’s very own Eric Vanlerbeghe, as well as, an impressive cover of Linkin Park’s “Given Up”, Trash Boat almost stole the show from I Prevail.
The time finally comes when the lights dim and the crowd roars and I Prevail take to the stage. The band chose to open dramatically with the single “There’s Fear In Letting Go” off their new album True Power. Vocal duo Brian Burkheiser and Eric Vanlerbleghe exude energy as they relish every moment they are on stage and ensure the crowd does too.
The pits begin to open and “Body Bag” begins to play, sending Wembley Arena into a manic frenzy. The band kept the energy up and the music fresh with “Self Destruction” and “Bad Things”, before taking things old school with “Come And Get It” off their debut album Lifelines.
The mosh pits cease for a moment after the moshing crescendo that is “Come And Get It”, as “Hurricane” follows from the band’s Grammy nominated second album Trauma.
Considering this tour was originally in support of this album, I was surprised more wasn’t played off it, fortunately, the new album True Power, of which the tour is now in support of, is such an exceptional album in its own right, being in my opinion, as good as, if not better than Trauma, that the show doesn’t suffer as a result.
“Hurricane” slows things slightly, moving the crowd away from moshing and onto jumping and headbanging, which is continued into their next song “Feel Something”.
I personally could’ve done with another I Prevail song such as “Deadweight”, “Let Me Be Sad”, “Stuck In Your Head” or even their Taylor Swift cover “Blank Space” instead of this ILLENIUM collaboration, however, I Prevail play a solely metal rendition of this dance track, which I personally enjoyed more than the record itself.
“Feel Something” ends and the lights go out, and the band perfectly engage the crowd into mosh pit mode with the opening verse of System of A Down’s mega hit “Chop Suey”, before bursting into, arguably the best track on True Power, “FWYTYK”.
Although I’m sure many would’ve loved the full version of “Chop Suey”, however, the opening was all that was needed to hype Wembley Arena up and “FWYTYK” swoops in perfectly to send the crowd wild. “Breaking Down” follows on, slowing the show down one final time, before I Prevail end their set with back to back bangers with “Choke”, “Deep End” and “Scars” before leaving the stage.
The crowd chants for more and they get more and then some. The band comes back out for an explosive two track encore of “Gasoline” and the Grammy nominated “Bow Down”, both off Trauma. A perfectly heavy end to a perfectly heavy night.
Although, I Prevail were supposed to tour Trauma originally, the band featured a decent number of songs from all three of their albums and despite the understandable arguments some may have over certain songs included on the setlist, there is no denying that whatever song I Prevail play, they play it with such gusto and showmanship that they win over even the most skeptical of spectators.
I just hope it doesn’t take another three years for them to return.
Words by Dan Harden // Photography by Martina Liberini