Hartford in the winter is cold. More so when the mounds of snow around you are measured in feet, often taller than short people, and covered with a solid layer of ice. The mostly teenage crowd inside The Webster Theater were ready for Escape The Fate who brought their Masquerade of Death tour to the city. And that meant lots of energy and plenty of heat.Long before the headliners got up on the stage the crowd was sweaty and shedding layers of clothing. I never expected to see so much skin when the weather is freezing but a long winter often requires something to get you through. For one night Escape the Fate was that thing.
It was no surprise that the roof almost came off the building when the band finally took the stage. They got right into performing starting with two songs in rapid succession from their 2010 self-titled album. “Choose Your Fate” and “City of Sin” got the crowd moving and lead singer Craig Mabbit made sure to interact with the crowd by way of shaking hands with crowd surfers who were being pulled off by security. Some fan threw a hat on stage and Mabbitt made sure to wear it for a bit before tossing it back.
Most of the concert was songs off the albums Escape The Fate and 2008’s This War is Ours. The band continued firing away with “10 Miles Wide”, “The Flood”, and “Issues” which was the first big pop from the crowd. “Zombie Dance” in particular got the mosh pit working and wouldn’t stop until the show was over.
Mabbitt took time to talk to the crowd to encourage getting involved in the arts, particularly music. He also told the youth not to give up especially when someone says that you can’t succeed. He followed that up with a stage dive. He was swallowed up but emerged unhurt and ready to commence the rocking once again.
At the end of the concert the band reached back to their first album, 2006’s Dying is Your Latest Fashion with crowd favorite “Situations”. Then, they left the stage without a word. The crowd kept calling for one more song and the band returned to oblige. Mabbitt thanked the other bands on tour and sent out a warm wish for the band’s bassist, Max Green, who is currently in rehab. He then dedicated the encore performance to the two things the song was written about. First, all the members of the armed forces. Second, video games such as Halo and Call of Duty.
Next, he asked the crowd to partake in the Wall of Death. If you’ve never experienced one you’ll have to. I won’t put it into words, but check out Escape The Fate live and they’ll fill you in. Then the band played “This War is Ours (The Guillotine 2)”. But they didn’t stop there. The encore consisted of the entire trilogy with “Guillotine” and “The Aftermath (g3)”.The band was impressed with the crowd in Connecticut saying they’d be glad to come back. I was impressed no one complained about the freezing temps. They are from Las Vegas. But most impressive was the quality of sound. I was unsure what to expect but the live performance sounded almost exactly as the albums. Particularly lead guitarist Bryan “Monte” Money. If anything, he was born to play guitar. It was the type of thing to make one forget about the blistering cold and just enjoy the fresh air once outside.
MP3: Escape the Fate “Situations”