WhiteChapel Brings Their Sound to Alaska

Over 500 people of all ages, races, and genders have gathered and begun walking inside the Club Millennium and heading upstairs, for the single greatest concert event this year. Playing were WhiteChapel, the Deathcore band from Knoxville, Tenn, with three local Alaskan openers, The Sky Rains Blood, Forewarning and To The Depths. At that moment people were still finding themselves getting into the building, unscathed, unbruised, dry and not a scratch on them. By the end of the evening this will be different. At the end of the night at 11:20 pm just about everyone in the building will be sweaty, battered, bruised, beaten, bloody. Just like at most shows there are two or more opening bands to get everyone ready and pumped. The night’s opener was a band unknown to just about everyone before now, The Sky Rains Blood. Having no clue who this band was, I had zero expectations for them. Regardless, though, they were a great opening band that was able to get people running and jumping right from the first song. Even as people were still shuffling to get inside the building, more people joined the action as soon as they’d get in, getting everyone stoked for more metal to come. Second to play was local Valley band Forewarning, an excellent, heavy and very fun band. Forewarning is a band with hard breakdowns and great lyrics to scream along to. Not only that, but it’s a band with an awesome stage presence. They were all on the stage jumping and throwing themselves around, the vocalist even going as far as grabbing me by my hair and screaming into my ear as I screamed the next lyrics back at him. The third band to play, the last of the local Alaskan openers and loved by many in the local music scene, was To The Depths, also know to some as To The Derps. They are one of the finest unsigned local bands we have, in my opinion, with amazing musicians and awesome people in general. This is a band that really likes to get in the face of their audience, whether it be guitarists Aric Hanley and Tyler Dobson getting on top of the barrier to play a solo or vocalist Garrett Thomas shoving the microphone in everyone’s faces to get help singing their songs “For The Horde” (a song about the popular online game World of Warcraft) or when they do their cover of the infamous “Annotations of An Autopsy” song “Welcome To Sludge City.” By the end of their set everyone is already worn out and has a couple of injuries, but that won’t stop these raging metal fans that just can’t seem to get enough. All the opening bands are through; the floor is covered in water, sweat. People are drenched in sweat; everyone is trying to either get water, cold air or a good viewing spot as the equipment is being set up for WhiteChapel’s appearance. Dimond Junior Kelsey Verduin and I are patiently awaiting right at the very front, crushed between the stage’s barrier (going as high as my ribs) and the hundreds of people inside. It’s hot, it’s painful, but it will be absolutely worth it. At least 15 minutes have passed since To The Depths finished playing, and things are still being set up and prepared for WhiteChapel. Everyone got restless and multiple times came short bursts of everyone shouting “WHITECHAPEL! WHITECHAPEL!,WHITECHAPEL!” along with some other, more explicit shouts. Several minutes later all the lights shut off, then the stage lights come on and flash as a smoke machine spews smoke from the back and the members of WhiteChapel start to come on stage as the screams of hundreds of people fill the club. People start moving, voices start shouting, the ground starts shaking. WhiteChapel starts with their song “Possession,” which is perfect. The best part of it all is that during multiple songs vocalist Phil Bozeman gets the microphone in with the audience so they could sing along to words in songs such as Possession and This Is Exile. In between every set, each time the bassist (Gabe Crisp) flicks a bass guitar into the air. The third time he does this I would’ve caught it if my hands hadn’t been so covered in sweat and water. The pick slips right out of my fingers and out of sight completely. WhiteChapel plays a fairly small set that most are surprised at. It is only about an hour-long set. But it is an hour of extreme metal, great fun. The only thing I would say I disliked about it is that for whatever reason WhiteChapel does not give an encore performance, which really makes me and just about everyone else very upset. Still, getting the regular set is amazing enough, too much to be able to put into words. And after the show I got some other people’s input on it. Verduin later explained what her favorite part of it was. “Seeing Phil Bozeman and getting to see my boyfriend (Tyler Dobson guitarist of local band To The Depths and junior at South Anchorage High School) do vocals with Phil (Bozeman) during ‘This Is Exile’,” she said What didn’t people like about it, I asked Kiana Slone, a senior at Dimond. “It was really sweaty and everybody was rubbing against me and they were all sweaty and smelt bad,” she said with a laugh. On a scale of 1-10 what did these three give it? Kiana Slone gave it an 8/10 because “I had a really good time and really enjoyed the show but it was really sweaty.” Brandon Fisher also gave the show an 8/10. His reason for an eight was “Cuz it could’ve been better although it was still really amazing.” You could see that everyone had a great time that night. As people flooded out of the doors smiles could be seen, cheers could be heard from blocks away. Some people left this show with new merchandise, new friends, new scars, but most importantly everyone left with the memory of one of the greatest metal shows to ever be held in Anchorage, Alaska.