Live Coverage || "Valley Of Death" release party @ Backstage, 15/11/2019

Alright, alright, alright. On November 15th 2019, California hardcore powerhouse Lionheart released their latest album, "Valley Of Death". The band was on tour with Deez Nuts, Kublai Khan, Obey The Brave and Fallbrawl playing release shows in Europe -now, to be fair, they all recently dropped albums so it only made sense to celebrate together- but Lionheart's actual release party took place in a sold out Backstage in Munich.

When Fallbrawl went on stage, people had already started gathering to the front. The Germans were in great shape, putting on a heavy af performance. Unfortunately, the sound wasn't always on their side but this didn't stop them from enjoying themselves -the vocalsit even jumped in the crowd for the final song. We were off to a good start.
Up next was Obey The Brave. The Canadians went on with "No Apologies", the first single off their latest album, and immediately got down to work. The setlist due to the short stage time didn't include anything off of "Mad Season", which I'm a bit upset about, but I was glad to hear some of my favorite old songs again ("Full Circle, "Live & Learn", "Raise Your Voice", "Get Real"). Fans seemed to like the spectacle as much as the smiling bad did. Also, the new french song, "Calme le Jeu", sounds pretty tight live. Moving on with Kublai Khan. The Texas outfit never grew on me musically but I can't deny how good they are on stage. Being great performers, they got the kids pumped really fast.
Time had come for Deez Nuts to party like there was no tomorrow -and they did, by storming the stage with the song of the same title. Vocalist JJ Peters sounded a little raspier than usual but it didn't seem to affect his performance. The band was tight and keeps getting better and better. Their set was fully energetic and the new songs translate pretty well live, proof being the numerous moshpits and stagedives. The vigilent security guards did a great job with crowd surfers and even allowed some who got away to jump on stage and dive back into the crowd. The setlist was pretty balanced, with new songs and old hits in the mix, but it was "Band Of Brothers" that got the venue singing in one voice.
From the second Lionheart stepped on stage, the crowd got wild, screaming rhythmically "LHHC!". The band was at the top of their game, kicking off the set with a couple of new songs, which the crowd responded to immediately, and kept going full throttle for the next hour. Eventually, and between blasting "Hail Mary" and "Love Don't Live Here Anymore", vocalist Rob Watson took the time to address mental health issues and how they had affected him in his life, gaining the full attention of the crowd as his words resonated with them. Now, we know that Lionheart has a rather soft spot for doing song covers, so it came as no surprise when after a quick speech in German by the band's guitarist, Walle, that the band played a part of Rammstein's "Du Hast". Not only that, but the intro of The Beastie Boys' "(You've Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)" served as an introduction for the band to the eager audience. The pattern of crowdsurfing-turning-stagediving continued to a greater extend as the packed room echoed our voices. The fans had their wish granted and "LHHC" ended the set, along with blazing smoke guns and spark fireworks -and a certain JJ Peters doing his part.
Overall, the release party was a pure party and definitely a night to remember. All the times I had to skip Lionheart at festivals due to schedule conflicts were worth the wait and I'm stoked the California outfit is back, stronger than ever.

All pictures courtesy of Dearohwell photography.

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