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I don’t care what you’ve heard; Alabama knows how to party and Mychildren Mybride go out of their way to prove it.  The band goes out of their way to purge their breed of metal from the south (not southern metal) onto anxious audiences and June 25th at Emo’s in Austin was no exception.

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Emo’s is a very unforgiving venue with a stage smaller than most college bathrooms, and when you fill an equally limited floor space with tight-jeaned, stretched-lobed kids packed together like a deck of cards, the end result is down right boiling — especially in the prime of the Texas summer.  Despite the crippling warmth and tight conditions, Mychildren Mybride poured every ounce of intensity into their forty-five minute set until it was dripping from vocalist Matthew Hastings’ long black hair.

Their new album, Lost Boy was written for this exact purpose, it’s nothing revolutionary, it’s not the next big thing to change our scene, but that’s not what MCMB was trying to accomplish.  Lost Boy is specifically written to be a fun album, both to play and to listen to, and that enthusiasm translates brilliantly to the band’s live show.

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They started the show with “Terra Firma,” the opening track from the new album, and from the very first bass drop Austin was drilled by a mix of the new along with the highlight tracks from the band’s debut, Unbreakable.  “Boris the Blade” and “On Wings of Integrity” got every body in the sticky Austin venue piling towards the front, and while the audience wasn’t as familiar with their newer material, “Crimson Grim” was easily the heaviest song of the night.  MCMB ended their set with their wildly popular Halo homage, “Headshot” that got even the most video game apathetic individuals screaming about the adventures of the Master Chief.

After the musical molotov that was Mychildren Mybride’s set, headliners Haste the Day had a lot to live up to. However, it took the Christian metalcore mainstays awhile to heat up. The crowd, probably drained from the MCMB workout, was reserved for the better part of four songs before finally exploding to life. From there, frontman Stephen Keech enthusiastically directed his audience, but he didn’t command the same rapt attention that MCMB’s Matthew Hasting had mere minutes before.

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Despite cutting their projected hourlong set about twenty minutes short, Haste the Day still tore through about ten cuts from their catalogue, including a few new ones from the forthcoming album Attack of the Wolf King (namely “Wake Up the Sun” and “Dogs Like Vultures”). Opening up with the hook-laden “American Love” from 2004’s Burning Bridges, the band continued to gather momentum throughout the performance. Although bassist/vocalist Michael Murphy is the only founding member remaining, it seemed as though the tight new lineup had been playing together for years.  Guitarist Dave Krysl proved to be the band’s greatest asset, shredding eardrums with his rock-solid riffs and technical solos. His staggering chops- as well as the vocal interplay between Keech and Murphy- fueled crowd favorites like “Pressure the Hinges.” Later on,  the band hit an adrenaline-fueled peak during the breakdown of “Blue 42,” when Keech beckoned to the crowd: “We want to everyone in this room moving; no excuses!”, setting off a frenzy that resulted in a surge toward the stage.

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Haste the Day also set an example for sharing the message of Christ in a tasteful, non-abrasive fashion. Toward the end of the set, Keech delivered a heartfelt statement from the stage. “We believe in a supernatural God who came to this Earth to reach out to the people the church rejected,” Keech said. “We know that people here have a lot of different beliefs, but we’re not here to judge.”

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While they may have been slightly overshadowed by their opening band, Haste the Day proved that they’re still a force to be reckoned with in the Christian metal/hardcore scene.

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