Show Review: Russian Circles/KEN mode/Inter Arma

Russian circles tour

Venue – The Orpheum

Location – Ybor City, FL

Date – 2/13/2014

Lineup – Russian Circles w/ KEN mode, Inter Arma and Tides Of Man

We made it to Ybor nearly 3 hours before the doors of The Orpheum were even suppose to open, so we spent them wandering up and down 7th street until it was time to go inside.

Unfortunately due to different reasons I had to miss the opening band and Florida locals Tides Of Man, I do heavily recommend that you all go and check them out, they’re a very cool instrumental band.

I walked inside in time to catch the Virginia natives as they were setting up their gear. Inter Arma are a strangely unique band to say the least, combining influences from black, stoner and doom metal to create a fierce and alluring sound. This was my second times seeing this band, and the first time I was one of maybe seven or eight people in the crowd, so when I saw that a good 60 or so people showed up by the time they started playing I was pleasantly surprised and glad for Inter Arma, they definitely deserve more recognition that they get. The band’s performance was spot on, but I mostly enjoyed watching their drummer TJ do his thing, he’s by far one of the most entertaining drummers to watch.

Up next were the band I was mostly excited to see, KEN mode. I truly can’t think of very many bands that are as underrated and underappreciated as KEN mode are. They’ve been a band for fifteen years now, and they are constantly touring, they were also at the show I saw Inter Arma play last year where only seven people showed up, and again I was glad to see they had a good crowd this time around. KEN mode are one of the most energetic and chaotic live bands to see, all three band members give it their absolute everything with every performance. I don’t think the Russian Circles crowd knew what to make of KEN mode, they are by far a more chaotic live band than the rest of the bands on the tour, but they still manage to fit it all the same. I can’t stress this enough when I say that every one of you need to check out KEN mode, if you’re a fan of darker and more abstract hardcore such as Norma Jean, you will love these guys.

And now it was time for in my opinion the finest instrumental band in the business, Russian Circles. This was also my second time seeing this band live, but first time as a headliner, so I was anxiously looking forward to the long set. Russian Circles are without a doubt one of the most musically tight bands I’ve ever seen, their playing is so incredibly precise, but still manages to be unpredictable. Another thing I love about Russian Circles as that even after five full length albums, they still play something from every record when they tour.

If this tour comes to your town, go, it’s rare nowadays to see a tour package that’s so diverse and fits together perfectly.

Russian Circles’ setlist

2)Harper Lewis

KEN mode’s setlist

1)Counter Culture Complex
2)The Hammer Party
3)No; I’m In Control
4)The Promises Of God
5)Your Heartwarming Story Makes Me Sick
6)Book Of Muscle
7)The Terror Pulse