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Unstoppable Screams Tour 03/09/2018

Unstoppable Screams
Red, Lacey Sturm, Righteous Vendetta, Messer
March 9th, 2018
Bourbon Theater
Lincoln, Nebraska

With RED and Lacey Sturm each having such an intense fanbase, expectations were running high for the Lincoln, Nebraska stop of the Unstoppable Screams tour. It was no surprise that the line had already wrapped around the block almost an hour before The Bourbon’s doors opened.
While this would be Messer’s first time in Nebraska, Wyoming’s Righteous Vendetta has made it a point to pass through at least once a year since their first time playing Omaha in 2015. Tonight’s show would also be a reunion of sorts for fans or both RED and Lacey Sturm.
It had been a little over a year since RED had played a Nebraska venue, the last being in Omaha in 2016 for the 10th anniversary of their End of Silence debut album. Tonight would also mark the 9th time RED would be playing a Nebraska venue since their Omaha debut in 2008.
Lacey Sturm, however, is no stranger to rocking the state of Nebraska. With Flyleaf, Sturm toured the world and stormed Nebraska stages half a dozen times. Tonight in Lincoln would be her 2nd time performing within our borders as a solo artist.
Up first for tonight’s show would be relative newcomers Messer. MESSER means “knife” in German. With their opening slot on the Unstoppable Screams tour, the Dallas, Texas band “expects to cut a memorable swath through the Rock world” in 2018. Their set certainly did leave an impression on the crowd. Their style is a sound that is not only familiar but also new. Originally formed in 2010, Messer are a band that is building a grassroots brand of new modern rock that blurs the lines between nostalgia and modern art.
Hailing from Cody, Wyoming, Righteous Vendetta were a great addition to this tour. As I said earlier, Nebraska are no stranger to this quintet, and the crowd’s reaction to their thunderous set proved it. Touring in support of Cursed, the band’s 2017 release on Century Media Records, Righteous Vendetta used the stage time tonight to shake a few thousand fans to their core. Plus it was really cool to see the band jumping around the stage while so many fans were screaming the lyrics to War Is Killing Us All. Based on tonight’s live show, you could tell they are passionate about their music and truly enjoy their time on stage.
Lacey Sturm would be taking the stage next, and it was her performance that myself and so many others were most excited for.
For almost a solid hour, Sturm rocked the Bourbon Theater. Her set was a breathless rush of energy. Each track played was beautifully fluid, with Sturm’s performance encompassing tracks from her lengthy career and focusing not only on her solo material, but selected cuts from her Flyleaf days and a few cover songs. While older fans clamored to hear Cassie and All Around Me as Sturm twirled around the stage and bathed in brilliant blue lights, and newer fans sang along to I’m Not Laughing, Rot and The Soldier, it was the middle of the set that intrigued me the most. Heavy Prey, the first track Sturm wrote and recorded after her departure from Flyleaf, has generally been the track that only hardcore fans know about. After a lengthy introduction for Heavy Prey, in which Sturm explained the inspiration for the track, the band transitioned into a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Something I Can Never Have. Each of the tracks was originally found within the Underworld movie franchise’s soundtrack; Heavy Prey on 2012’s Underworld: Awakening and S.I.C.N.H. on 2006’s Underworld: Evolution (Original Score). Adding S.I.C.N.H. to the set was a completely unexpected and wonderful surprise. The cover had found a place within Flyleaf’s live sets, scattered throughout their 2006-2009 tours, and I had not heard the song live since their 2009 North American tour.
Sturm would also include a breathtaking cover of Cory Asbury’s Reckless Love before closing out the set with a motivational story about the reasons for writing All Around Me, and a twirling performance of the fan favorite track. Sturm used every second of her time on stage to encourage the crowd and let them know how much she appreciates the opportunity to share her message.
While Lincoln’s set a few songs shorter than the rest of the tour’s had been, there was a good reason. Sturm is 5 months pregnant with her and husband/guitarist Josh Sturm’s 3rd son, and wasn’t feeling the best during tonight’s show. Later on we were assured that she is fine and was just a bit overheated. Thankfully though Sturm is a trooper and as grateful for her fans as we are for her, and wasn’t going to let anything stop her from joining this tour. Sadly though, I imagine this tour will be her last for a few years while she’s juggling motherhood.
Headlining the Unstoppable Screams tour, RED closed out tonight’s show. With the crowd’s energy already at a breaking point, the band’s 16 song set was brutal to experience. RED’s stage dressing was more like a Victorian style graveyard. Fog crept along the floor as the band was soaked in red stage lights.
It had been years since I’ve seen RED in concert. So long ago that I think Jasen Rauch, who’s currently in Breaking Benjamin, was in the band. They’ve grown a lot since then. Their stage show was tight. Vocalist Michael Barnes was on point for the entirety of their performance. The Armstrong brothers, guitarist Anthony and bassist Randy, worked the crowd while Barnes paced the stage like a caged tiger. Fans swayed and bounced along as Barnes sang at the top of his lungs. The crowd matched him lyric for lyric, nearly as loud.
All in all the Unstoppable Screams tour was exactly what myself and a hundreds of other fans needed; a night to focus on some amazing music and forget about the troubles plaguing the world outside of the Bourbon Theater.

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