There’s always a special place in my heart for bands from my home state, Michigan, especially Detroit-based I Prevail. I started following their progress after interviewing them and watching them absolutely kill it at the Northern Invasion Festival in 2017. The band, which has been described as metalcore, punk, and post-metalcore, went from relative obscurity to YouTube stars in 2016 with their cover of Taylor Swift’s Blank Space. But that particular tune was left off the setlist at Old National Centre Thursday night, as I Prevail focused heavily on new tunes from their Trauma album, which was released in March of this year.
I Prevail hit the stage hard, opening with the heavy and defiant Bow Down. They roared through the rest of their 14-song regular setlist with incredible energy and passion. Co-founders Brian Burkheiser (clean vocals), Eric Vanlerberghe (harsh vocals) and Steve Menoian (lead guitar), backed by Dylan Bowman (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) and Gabe Helguera (drums) were perfectly in sync as they punched through song after song, switching fluidly between the melodic and metalcore sections of each song.
The fans in the packed Egyptian Room received every song with tremendous enthusiasm, singing along, moshing, head banging, and surfing. They cheered the return of show opener Justin Stone, who is featured on Rise Above It. They became respectfully quiet during Goodbye (interlude), which is about the loss of Vanlerberghe’s best friend. Then they went straight back to moshing and partying for the rest of the set, which concluded with Dead on Arrival.
I Prevail came back for an encore, starting with Breaking Down, which has been a huge hit on Sirius XM’s Octane channel and hit the #23 spot on Billboard’s Rock Airplay chart last month. Breaking Down was every bit as good live as I’d hoped it would be, and like any great tune, it was made even better by sharing it with others who feel the same way about it. The show ended with another defiant song, Come and Get It from I Prevail’s debut album, Lifelines. You could tell the crowd was just waiting for Vanlerberghe to growl, “It’s about to get rowdy,” because they started jumping before he even finished the line. It was a fantastic way to end an awesome set!
Indianapolis was the second-to-last stop on I Prevail’s Trauma tour, but they’ll be back in Indiana with A Day to Remember and Beartooth at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on November 14, 2019.