Love or hate them, Escape the Fate is a homegrown band that was driven to success by their Las Vegas fan base. Fresh out of high school Ronnie Radke (vocals), Max Green (bass) and Robert Ortiz (drums) joined with Monte and Omar on guitars, completing the band, developing their sound out of a North Las Vegas garage. I have not seen Escape the Fate since before their battle of the bands performance (Sept 2005), responsible for launching the band into a record deal. Needless to say, I was quite excited to hear them in a true venue, with lead singer Craig Mabbitt, and see what I’ve been missing over the last five years.
As a diehard “soldier” (fan) during their early days, I went to every abandoned warehouse and crammed coffee shop show, supporting their uniquely metal-hardcore and presence. Once EtF began gaining recognition, I was disappointed to hear much cleaner, poppy versions of their songs. In late 2004 their shows were heavy, with great mosh pits and slam dancing. By the summer of 2005, everything was more image driven and their edge wore off. Although I continued to support the band, buying their EP, first album, and miscellaneous merch, nothing felt or sounded the same as it did in the beginning. Through hell and back with Ronnie Radke, it’s impressive they stuck it through, reformed, and continued to make music.
As the lights dimmed, the shriek of the fans was unmistakably pre-pubescent, I looked around to find few that were my age or older. Contradictory to age of the crowd and my expectations, Escape the Fate entered out one by one, igniting the audience, and wasted no time starting of heavy. Max and Monte were playing precise and fast, lit by flashing strobe lights, getting the audience to scream and dance just like the old days. Although I am familiar to Ronnie’s style, Craig was full of energy and did a great job, complete with stage theatrics that kept the girls up front screaming.
Escape the Fate kept the energy and volume cranked up through the entirety of the show. Max and Craig often paused to talk to the audience, reminisce on their Vegas beginnings and thanked their “soldiers” and family for supporting them to reach this point. Escape the Fate played a variety of their collection, both new and old with ferocity: Choose Your Fate, Massacre, 10 Miles Wide, The Flood, Something, City of Sin, Issues, Bad Blood, Situations,This War is Ours (The Guillotine II), The Aftermath (The Guillotine II)
Escape the Fate closed the evening with a prolonged goodbye, Robert threw his drum sticks, and invited everyone to their afterparty and record release on November 2nd. After their performance, I left the show reminded of why I was a dedicated fan years ago. I spent the next week listening to their albums and am looking forward to what they will release with their new label. Their distinct blend of metal and hardcore was what hooked me, and from the sound of things, Escape the Fate has their edge back.
Check a live video of this performance at Artist Direct