I Prevail’s True Power Tour – Chicago, IL – 10.09.22

I Prevail
with Pierce the Veil, Fit For a King, + Yours Truly
Aragon Ballroom
Chicago, IL
Oct. 9, 2022

With their hot topic tees at the ready, fans walk from parking garages, get out of ubers, and get off buses to line up at the Aragon Ballroom (sometimes cheekily referred to as the Aragon Brawlroom). A venue that holds 5,000, the space doesn’t often host a full metalcore lineup, but this tour’s bill is the exception to the rule. 

Opening the night are Yours Truly and Fit For a King, both of whom may have played early in the night, but still packed a punch. Once they had the crowd all wound up, nothing could turn the energy in the room down. 

Leading up to I Prevail were true veterans to the scene, Pierce the Veil. A band that has stood the test of time, Pierce the Veil has not lost their flair for the dramatic in the slightest. Their set begins with the introduction to what some would call their magnum opus, Collide with the Sky (CWTS). The lead in from “May These Noises Startle You in Your Sleep Tonight” to “Hell Above” created a build-up of anticipation so strong, it felt like the room would burst at the seams any second. 

Within a song, the audience was hooked, and even when vocalist Vic Fuentes introduced a new song (the band’s first new track since 2016, “Pass the Nirvana”), the crowd so clearly enunciated every word, they gave the band themselves a run for their money. This continued for the entire set. In a nine song set (eight, if you skip the intro), the band managed to…

  • highlight a new single
  • play three tracks off of CWTS
  • give some love to their most recent album, Misadventures
  • close out with a song that all the TikTokers and oldheads alike went wild for… “King For a Day.” 

In the midst of this stacked set, they did more than just play and sing – they performed. Running across the stage like lightning, bassist Jaime Preciado leapt across risers, leaning out over the crowd, flashing a smile and going wild. Guitarist Tony Perry kept quiet and cool, but made it a point to toss picks out to the crowd every chance he got. With Lionel Robinson (ex. Letlive.) holding it down on the drums, and vocalist Vic Fuentes serenading the crowd with a twinkle in his eyes, the entire night was unmatched. 

Even during their outro, the band made sure they did not just say farewell, they gave it all. Preciado and Perry threw their instruments diagonally across the stage, and Fuentes sent his up into the air as well, all before their bow, with the stage was shrouded in pillars of smoke and glowing blue and white lights. Even Robinson came forward to take a bow and throw some sticks into the crowd, and the roar of the crowd was indescribable. 

As if anything could top their set…right? But then I Prevail made their appearance. Another band that has broken boundaries and held a significant amount of staying power in the alternative scene, I Prevail was most definitely worth the wait. 

A rock band in the most classic sense of the word, but also so far outside of the “norm,” this band has got it all. With Brian Burkheiser crooning and hitting every note, and Eric Vanierberghe growling alongside him from the first song of their set, the dichotomy of heavy metal meets Backstreet Boys is undeniable. This is a unique position to be in as a metal band, because though clean vocals are more common than they used to be, the amount of refined polish of Burkheiser’s voice juxtaposed against the rough depth of Vanierberghe’s is surreal. 

Pair the vocals with the rhythm and beats, and you’ve got a recipe for success. With guitarists Dylan Bowman and Steve Menoian grooving, and drummer Gabe Helguera keeping everyone in time, the band has definitely got it down. Mix this with an incredible stage production – beaming laser lights, full LED screen going in the background… this is what you expect at a rock festival, not in the Aragon Ballroom. It is a dream. 

I Prevail does an incredible job of servicing every fan of all ages, and it shows, as they mix pop-style tracks with musical pieces that are heavy enough to break bones to. Vanierberghe coaxes the crowd into a wall of death about five songs into the set, and all the while, push pits and circles are open all over the floor. In between them, fans of all ages, 14, 15, 45, 55, are all nodding along, watching, listening, speculating. Everyone is extremely kind to one another, and personal space is something that appears to be a far more common commodity than it typically is in a metalcore setting I Prevail has created an environment that is fun, energetic, and entirely kick-ass. They are the epitome of True Power, just as their album title would suggest.

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