XV Tour Concert Review: Project 86, Children 18:3, Write This Down

Project 86 Performing at the XV Tour

Christian Music Zine write Robert Shell recently caught a show on the XV Tour, read about the events that transpired that night.  (All pictures credited to Robert Shell as well) The XV US Tour came to ‘The Garage’ in Burnsville, MN this past Thursday night (6/ 23/11). I had never been to this venue before, but was a fan right when I walked in. There was quote from Soul Asylum painted in big letters on the wall saying, “I need somebody to shove.” Underneath, in the same lettering, it says “Mosh at your own risk.” ‘The Garage’ is part of the Burnsville Civic Center, which reaches out to high school and middle school students to give them a safe place to hang out, which was very obvious by the age range at the show.

The show got started off with a band called Slaves to Righteousness, a local alternative/pop rock band from Brooklyn Park, MN. With a lot more vocal practice they have a chance to be pretty decent. As of right now though it seemed they had some difficult time keeping their voices strong throughout the entire set. They have some catchy songs and it will be interesting to watch them as they continue in their careers. Anyone who is planning to go to Sonshine Festival (Wilmur, MN) can check out Slaves to Righteousness there.

The XV US Tour lineup began witha band I had never heard of, Day of Vengeance, and to be honest I didn’t have a clue what to expect. However, throughout the set I was continually blown away by each song. Despite some technical difficulties, they absolutely killed it. Day of Vengeance have found an amazing balance between breakdowns and melodies. Being fully unfamiliar with them prior to this show I can’t tell you the names of any of their songs they played. What I can say is that I made sure to pick up one of their cd’s before I left and I highly recommend you check them out too. It’s going to be really exciting to see what’s in store for this Florida band, who will be hitting up Life Fest and Cornerstone this summer.

Write This Down Rocked, Despite Air Quality Issues

After Day of Vengeance, it was time for Write this Down, my third time seeing them live and it’s always been a solid show. Their set started with a fog machine fiasco. The machine started too early and by the time the set got underway the stage could not be seen by anyone. The first three songs had the feel of a Goralliz show. We could hear the music, but could not see the band. After awhile, the band finally started coming into view. With the exception of one older song that I didn’t recognize, they stuck to playing songs off their self-titled Tooth and Nail release (including Renegades and Alarm the Alarm). Besides the fog machine issue, they played a fun set that had the whole crowd singing along.

Write this Down has a couple tours coming up that you can catch them on, providing tour support for The Letter Black on the Fire for Fire tour. They have also announced that they will be providing support for Blindside’s return to The United States. I got a chance to chat with the guys about this news and they all couldn’t emphasize enough how stoked they were for this chance. That will be a tour that you will want to get to.

Children 18:3 Are Always Cause For A Fun Night

Children 18:3 was up next on the tour lineup and was by far the largest turn out of the night. This didn’t come as a huge surprise since Children 18:3 is form Minnesota and has a large following here. The show started off with Seth (drums) lighting his symbols on fire, getting a huge roar from the crowd. The group kicked off their set with ‘Rains ‘A Comin’ and then continued to play a mix of songs from their discography, including the crowd favorite ‘All my Balloons’. The set came to a close with Seth’s drum solo which has become a main stay at Children 18:3 shows and as always gets the crowd to go wild. I never really know what to do with them but they are good people with a real heart/passion for what they are doing. One thing of note from the show is that David (vocals/guitars) has traded his normal look for a big bushy beard, which got him much love from the crowd.

It was finally time for the headliner, Project 86, and at this point the difference of age in fans was noticeable. The crowd had gotten smaller and older by the time Project 86 came on stage. It was obvious throughout the set that the majority of those who stayed around were well versed in their knowledge of P86 songs. As I write this, I struggle with whether they are still Project 86 or not. For a lot of us older fans, it was sad to see another tour with neither Randy Torres or Steve Dail there, having been several years since I have seen them on tour with Project 86. Not having them there didn’t make a difference in the sound at all as those who took their posts have done a great job and for those who don’t know any different they wouldn’t have noticed.

This show had one of the best set lists that I have ever seen Project 86 put together. They kicked off their set with the live favorite “Spyhunter” which got the crowd moving right away (even the old guys). Throughout the set, they included songs from all seven of their albums. To the delight of veteran fans there was a large chunk of songs from Drawing Black Lines. Among those was “PS” which was only the second time in twenty-five plus times seeing them live I have heard that played.

A highlight of the set is when Andrew Schwab (vocals) took some time to stop and talk with the crowd. He lamented over the fact that for too long he missed so many chances to “give a voice to the voiceless”. A new initiative that Project 86 has teamed up with is the Mocha Club. For the cost of 2 Mocha’s a month (7 bucks) people can help out with relief and development projects in Africa. The team Project 86 has partnered with helps women in Nazaret, Ethiopia who have been force to enter a life of prostitution to get out of poverty. You can check out/contribute to Project 86’s team here.

After several more songs they closed their set with “One Armed Man (Play On)”. As usual Schwab had left the stage before the band ended play. Before the the rest of the band could even get close to getting off the stage the “One more song” chant had already begun. After a brief break (is it just me or do bands not wait long anymore? ) the band came back out. Schwab asked the crowd what song they wanted to hear. After several attempts to make out what the crowd was saying “Sincerely, Ichabod” was chosen to the appreciation of the crowd. After an don’t hold anything back final song the show was over. It has been eleven years since the first time time I saw Project 86 and I have yet to see a frontman that controls the stage like Andrew Schawb. It may just be him now and they may be getting older, but they never disappoint. It is well worth checking them out the next time they are in your town!


2 responses to “XV Tour Concert Review: Project 86, Children 18:3, Write This Down

  1. Micah July 21, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I managed to catch this tour and I got to chat with Day of Vengeance a bit. They’re really nice guys and a friend of mine picked up their CD. While I normally don’t like my music that hard, they actually make it listenable. :P

    Write This Down inspired me to pick up their album a few days later. I caught them two weeks afterwards at Lifest and they put on one heck of a show. One of my favorite live bands. More people need to know about them.

    And Children 18:3 reminded me why they’re one of my favorite bands. Seth opened up with a bang by lighting his cymbals on fire! Really? They never disappoint.

    Project 86 didn’t do much for me. I’ve only heard a few songs by them and by the end of the night all their songs blended together.

  2. Tyler Hess July 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Cool! thanks for sharing, Micah!

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