Concert Review: Emery at Peabody's, 8/17

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The audience looked they were about to get root canals last night. The opening band didn’t help — mumbling, screaming and unsure.

Fortunately, the next band, Kiros, brought both humor and musical prowess from Canada. The group’s high-energy rock ‘n’ roll moved through the crowd, creating the kind of enthusiasm befitting a place like Peabody’s. Singer Barry MacKichan’s piercing vocals carried the band through its set, ending it all with a sweeping orchestral ballad.

With its Christian message and vigorous pop-rock, the next group, Ivoryline, sounded eerily similar to Christian rockers Anberlin, especially on the anguished and fast “Remind Me I’m Alive.”

Australian band Closure in Moscow brought smiles to everyone's faces. Frontman Chris DeCinque slithered and shimmied across the stage, as the rest of the group played music that was one part indie and one part '70s rock. Throughout their set DeCinque was a blur of action — flipping off the crowd, biting his mic cord and banging on a cymbal.

Then came headliners Emery. They didn't let up, no matter how long they had been playing. After launching into the crowd-pleasing “The Party Song,” the audience’s enthusiasm went from steadily increasing to completely euphoric.

It was like the crowd held everything back until Emery came onstage. The South Carolina band covered every inch of the stage as it played its potent blend of Christian screamo rock. New songs like “The Smile, the Face” showcased the band’s new, mature and softer style. So did “In Shallow Seas We Sail,” the melancholy title track from Emery’s latest album.

As spastic as the band appeared, Emery still managed to play like a cohesive unit. They're a band that knows how to evolve without changing their sound so drastically that old fans will abandon them. They're in for the long haul. —Brittany Moseley

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