Texas in July, a five piece metalcore band from Lancaster, PA, played an explosive set to a sold out crowd at the Championship Bar and Grill in Trenton on Saturday, April 20, 2013. This marks the long awaited return of the band after they played their last set in Trenton exactly two years prior.
The show also marked the return of Texas in July to the touring scene after a two month break that followed the band’s last tour earlier this year.
A seasoned touring band, Texas in July has played shows at venues all over the United States, in Canada, and as far away as Germany. The band has been playing shows at Championship dating back to before they released their first full length album, I am, in 2009.
“It’s definitely a smaller place, but you never really know what the vibe is gonna be like in any room, and it just so happens that this venue holds a great vibe.” said Ben Witkowski, the band’s bass player.
Texas in July’s set did not begin until 10 on Saturday night, but the excitement in the air at the venue could be felt much earlier than that. Fans started arriving as early as four o’clock in order to socialize with fellow concertgoers and to watch the sets of the six supporting bands that played leading up the main event.
“A lot of people come out,” said Witkowski. “So when we play here it’s not only a show it’s like a reunion with people we’ve known since the beginning. I really enjoy the shows here.”
When it came time for Texas to take to the stage the air outside was crisp and chilly, but inside the room that houses Championship’s backstage it was damp and heavy. Fans packed themselves into every available bit of space in the classroom sized stage area.
The moment that the band played the first note of Bed of Nails, the first single off of their recently released self-titled album, the crowd broke out into utter chaos. Fans near the front of the stage jumped in time with the music and screamed out the lyrics, while behind them a space was cleared for more energetic fans to mosh and dance to their heart’s content.
Alex Good, the band’s vocalist, did an excellent job at getting his crowd engaged in the music. While bellowing his guttural vocals into the mic, Good prowled back and forth across the stage, making sure to address as many crowd members as possible. It was also exciting to watch Good share his microphone with fans that were eager to sing the lyrics with him.
Getting a chance to watch Adam Gray, Texas in July’s drummer, was a spectacle unto itself. Gray wore a face of utmost concentration throughout the set and played even the most technical parts with incredible precision. Gray also managed to toss his drumsticks in the air, almost as if juggling them back and forth, only to catch each stick the moment he needed it to hit the drum again.
Ryan Lawrence, Mercer Alum and Communications Major at Stockton College stood front and center through the duration of the set. “The show was fantastic. They put on one of the best live shows I have ever been to, and the crowd was awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better night.” said Lawrence.
When the set was over the band walked off stage, but the crowd was not ready for the show to end. In traditional fashion, the room chanted “One more song!” Taking the cue, Texas in July returned to the stage to play one final song. The song, Elements, has been a crowd favorite since the band’s sophomore release. At the end, the band and the fans came together to shout the songs final lyrics. “I am the fire, the wind, and the sea/I will surround you like a spreading disease.”
Following the set, the band members took some time to meet with their fans . The sense of camaraderie between the band and their fans was overwhelming.
“It was an awesome opportunity to play a show with a big national act that I actually listen to myself. Not often does a chance like that come around, especially with the NJ metal scene not being at its strongest.” said Tyler Arce, vocalist for the band Endless Obsession, who performed as one of the supporting acts that night.
Texas in July puts on an exciting and memorable live performance that stands out.
Even music fans that are not metal fans would be hard pressed to not appreciate musicianship and energy present throughout their performance.