Spiritbox knows how to have a good time. That’s not just from the first-person standpoint of witnessing the Canadian metal band tear up Irving Plaza in New York during their second consecutive sold-out show – they do it in all senses of the phrase. Before their roughly hour-and-a-half set started, DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide” and Beyonce’s “All Up In Your Mind” played in preparation. During the show, the band went into their own iteration of No Doubt’s “Hella Good.”
Who says that a metal band can’t create a space to dance? Besides that, it was all business within this Eternal Blue Tour stop. As Spiritbox entered their Eternal Blue track, “Sun Killer,” a curtain was up in front of the stage as a cool way to illustrate some trippy illustrations. It gave the first three songs an ethereal vibe – where “Sun Killer” served as a melodic point, songs such as “Hurt You” and “Yellowjacket” were there to pull the pin from the grenade from the band and crowd's perspective.
As lead singer Courtney LaPlante’s unclean vocals echoed throughout the room, it set off a tidal wave of crowd surfers. Throughout their first album and EPs, the band has shown a penchant for taking you on a journey and making you want to rip it up as they switch a song. It’s a dichotomy that makes Spiritbox so unique – songs like “Rotoscope” had fans dancing and moshing within three minutes. The big screen at the back of the stage served as a marker for the crowd to erupt – one example was during “Holy Roller.’
The beginning of the spoken lyrics flashed across the screen, and it was almost ritualistic in how most of the fans were chanting it back. Mind you, some people returned to Irving Plaza the night before to rejoin this mass celebration of a band that continues to gain well-deserved acclaim. Minnesota’s own After The Burial set the tone for the night to move briskly. Lead vocalist Anthony Notarmaso spoke in between songs about how the band had released their 2019 album Evergreen, and as they got into the thick of things touring in support of it, the world shut down because of the pandemic.
Like many musicians, there were worries about whether live shows would resume and whether music ensembles could survive it. With that spirit in place, After The Burial placed a spirited set earmarked by a crowd favorite, “Behold The Crown.” For Spiritbox, there’s nowhere to go but onward and upward. The band is set to be the opener on tour with Shinedown and Papa Roach later in the year. If the headlining tour indicates what those audiences will expect, the Canadian metal band’s star will only shine brighter from here.