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Animals as Leaders and Periphery Pack the Showbox

Animals As Leaders and Periphery are on a North American co-headlining tour dubbed the Convergence tour which made a stop in Seattle at the Showbox. Those who were looking for some seriously good musicianship came out in droves to experience sensory overload as both bands put on a performance that blew everyone away.

Getting the evening started to a near capacity venue, Astronoid hit the stage and performed some incredible music with some great beats and superb riffing. Astronoid is based out of Boston, MA and consist of Matt St Jean (drums), Mike DeMellia (guitars), Casey Aylward (guitars), Daniel Schwartz (bass) and Brett Boland (guitar / vocals). They have released a full length album, Air. The band were only allotted thirty minutes, which was more than enough the get everyone in the crowd who as not familiar with their music moving and grooving as their set progressed. Astronoid were full of energy, especially guitarist Aylward. The band definitely made many a new fan on this evening. 

After a brief intermission, the house lights go dark and one by one the members of Periphery, who are based out of Washington, DC and to many are considered the pioneers of djent, made their way to the stage. Spencer Sotelo (vocals), Misha Mansoor (guitar), Mark Holcomb (guitar), Jake Bower (guitar) and Matt Halpern (drums) launch into “Icarus Lives!” and the entire audience is jumping – so much so that the barricade separating the crowd from the stage would sway back and forth. The band proceeded to tear through “Motormouth”, before slowing the pace with “Remain Indoors”, then getting back to the heaviness with “Prayer Position”.

Sotelo put on a commanding front man performance, getting the crowd to sing along with him as well as getting the crowd to form a large circle pit “Graveless”. The crowd went absolutely crazy and song at the top of their lungs during “Marigold” which brought a huge smile to Mansoor, Holdcomb, and Bowen, as they interacted with the audience. Periphery ended their stellar 75 minute set with “Lune”.

Animals As Leaders, is made up of Tosin Abasi (guitar), Javier Reyes (guitar) and Matt Garstka (drums) and they are an instrumental band based out of Washington, DC. Their music is a blend of progressive metal, jazz, funk, fusion and djent. The band is touring in support of their latest release, The Madness of Many. From the strike of the first note of “Arithmophobia” the audience were mesmerized and proceeded to witness a clinic put on by technically proficient musicians. Moving right into “Tempting Time” and Ectogenesis”, Animals were on top their game.

Great sweeping melodies, excellent extended range progressions by both Abasi and Reyes, and serious time keeping by Garstka – let’s just say they made what we heard sound awesome as they made it look easy to pull off. The band played many fan favorites such as “Physical Education”, “Ka$cade”, and “The Woven Web”. Abasi was able to showcase his virtuosity on the acoustic guitar during the melodic song “The Brain Dance”.  Watching Garstka pound and beat the drums into submission during “Tooth and Claw” was incredible to witness live. Animals finished their exceptional performance with “CAFO” which saw a serious mosh pit erupt and a slew of crowd surfers making their way over the crowd and into the security area in front of the stage.  

The band made their exit, the audience begged for more, but as the house lights were brought up, everyone left the venue knowing that they just witnessed a seriously rock solid show put on by musicians who are masters at their crafts. This was definitely one of the best shows of the year.

Animals As Leaders Setlist
Tempting Time
Cognitive Contortions
Tooth and Claw
Physical Education
The Brain Dance
Private Visions of the World
Inner Assassins
The Woven Web

Periphery Setlist
Icarus Lives!
Remain Indoors
Prayer Position
The Way The News Goes…
Mile Zero

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