Starset Concert Review with The Word Alive and Another Day Dawns
The Castle Theatre
Friday November 30th 2021
Starset is a progressive hard rock band from Columbus, Ohio formed by vocalist, Dustin Bates. They are touring in support of their fourth studio album, Horizons. The band was formed in 2013 and their first album, Transmissions, was released in 2014. Starset has grown to be a popular band drawing fans of all ages.
A show that happens on a Tuesday is usually not well attended in the quiet twin cities of Bloomington-Normal. The Castle Theatre is a small venue that has a capacity of about seven hundred people. Starset fans traveled to see the show aka live “demonstration” and packed The Castle. Starset, from the beginning, shared the story concept of The Starset Society created them to spread the message they received from space. They are a unique band with a unique story and a catchy sound. The band had an eat and greet with fans where they hang out and eat food with them before doors so their fans have the best positions in the venue. While I did not attend the eat and greet, I have heard that the band is very personable and perform an acoustic set. Their fan interaction is one of the reasons for their success.
The night was slated for a total of four bands however All Good Things had to bow out of the tour due to someone contracting Covid. We all keep thinking that we are post-Covid however Covid still abounds. I am thankful that we can still gather and see a live show.
The night started with Another Day Dawns. They are a very good band from Lehighton, Pennsylvania. The band is a blend between grunge and metal. The band has a solid fan base and was one of five finalists in the nationwide competition NeXt2Rock hosted by Cumulus Media. They performed great and were happy to meet with fans after the show. Honestly, they fell into a number of great, touring bands who all seem very similar. They do rock. Find out more about Another Day Dawns here:
Another Day Dawns website
The second band in the lineup was The Word Alive. They are a metalcore band formed in Phoenix, Arizona. The band had toured extensively and I first met them on Warped Tour. The touring band consists of vocalist Telle Smith, guitarist Zack Hansen, bassist Tyler William Ross, and drummer Mat Madiro. The band came out with blue makeup across their faces in a horizontal line about 2 inches under their eyes. Telle came out wearing an orange jumpsuit. They released their sixth album, Monomania on February 21, 2020. The Word Alive songs are a supportive for those fans who suffer from depression and just life in general. Their predominant song, Life Cycles, “I’d rather die for what I believe, than live a life without meaning”. Dare I say that they are a modern emo band.
The stage transition between The Word Alive and Starset took a while. The venue had to bring in extra power earlier to keep the lights on during the show. There were small risers and the backdrop were led panels that crossed the entire stage. There were laser lights crossing the stage and fogger jets. The band consists vocalist Dustin Bates, bassist Ron DeChant, guitarist Brock Richards, drummer Adam Gilbert, Cellist Zuzana Engererova and violinist Siobhán Cronin. The band started with the song “The Breach” and the screen behind them had cartoon versions of the band. The band was dressed in dystopian, sand colored gear and each member had three red dots on their left temple. Those dots are how they controlled by the evil powers in their story. The story the band tells is one that both astronomy and sci-fi geeks can love. In addition, their music is really catchy and I found that I knew most of their setlist from hearing them on the radio.
Parts of the show had the screen on the back showing dystopian society images while projected members of the band singing or playing. It was a high production show in a small venue. You cannot get that value from another band out there. Starset had their own intermission where a regular band has a drum solo, they had a reset transmission. After their reset, the band returned in white space suits and their stage backdrop moved to space.
The complete setlist:
Where The Skies End
Let It Die
Point of No Return
It Has Begun
Die For You
Frontman, Dustin Bates, thanked the audience and explained how they have evolved. He wanted the band to be part hard rock metal, one part symphonic, and one part cinematic. The fans support make all that possible. The merch they had ranged from the standards T-shirts, albums, posters to the special signed jacket and guitar.
You can attend the demonstrations yourself and see the amazing show.
See where on their website: Starset Online