If we’re talking about selecting difficulty, let’s just say Periphery went all out and clicked Chaos just before kicking off with their Southeast Asia tour. Everything was going well for them in Australia. They ran five successful shows and fans still can’t stop talking about their performances to this day.
But when they were scheduled to fly to Singapore, they found themselves stuck in the Land Down Under. Due to unforeseen circumstances that made them miss three flights, the progressive metal act had some tough decisions to make: cancel the rest of the tour and go home, or carry on broke but as heroes to fans who’ve been waiting to see them live since the release of “Icarus Lives!” and “Jetpacks was Yes!”
The Sumerian Records act chose the latter and soldiered on despite the fact they’d reach Millian in St. James Power Station a lot later than expected. Doors were expected to open at 6PM, but the massive queue of metal fans snaking around the venue waited for another hour and a half before settling inside. By the time local opening act Forests were ready to hit the stage, Periphery finally made it to the Lion City for the first time, and rushed to the venue.
There was something endearing about Forests’ presence. From their awkward grins to their announcements of “good news” that they were about to end their set to give way to Periphery, the math-pop act knew exactly how to treat their audience. Right after their quick set, fans were escorted out of the venue to give Periphery the bit of soundcheck they needed.
“We have the best crew,” guitarist Misha Mansoor says, opening about how their airport conundrum was solved before climbing back to the stage to get the mix just right with FOH engineer Alex Markides at the board. Nearly two hours later, Periphery returned backstage for a quick breather and fans were led back inside Millian, ready more than ever for the Grammy-nominated troop of traveling troubadours to shred the night away.
One by one, Periphery stepped on stage. Screams grew louder and louder as vocalist Spencer Sotelo pressed the mic to his mouth, saying, “Alright, Singapore! We’re gonna have some f–in’ fun. Here we go!” And just like that, all the exhaustion and stress from the past 24 hours were forgotten. It wasn’t in the least evident that these guys had just rolled out of a plane. Their energy was raw, annihilating the crowd with an unrelenting force that demanded everyone to break their necks to the band’s complex riffs.
With five studio albums to show for, Periphery’s performance shined with tracks off their newer records, leaving out their self-titled debut from making it to the setlist. It only made sense though. In an interview from two years ago, drummer Matt Halpern didn’t hold back to admitting he hated playing “Icarus Lives!,” and instead connected the song with how the audience would go “completely apeshit” for it.
This time around, it seemed like it didn’t matter that Periphery didn’t play the song that put them on the map. No one (except perhaps that one guy at the back who shouted for it) moaned in disappointment with the tech-heavy unit’s decision to skip their first record. Even Yellowcard frontman Ryan Key and bassist Josh Portman looked just as psyched to be there in the crowd. The audience sang through every song word for word, raising heavy metal horns to the ceiling, with a great sense of passion only a powerful band like Periphery could muster out of an audience.
Missing from the show was bassist and producer Nolly Getgood, who’d stepped aside from playing live shows last year to “focus on the studio side of (his) music career” in the UK. Instead, his bass tracks were played alongside Periphery’s live performance, keeping their sound full and heavy, as they do on the record.
Everything from the overall mix conducted by Alex Markides, the lighting design of Jeff Holcomb, and Periphery’s high level attributes in the wonders of djent, the night turned out to be one of the most memorable shows a first-timer would be lucky to catch. And on top of everything they went through to get to Singapore that night, Periphery surely deserved a solid SSS ranking and good night’s rest.
“Luck as a Constant”
“The Way the News Goes…”
“The Bad Thing”
“Make Total Destroy”
“The Price Is Wrong”
This article originally appeared on Billboard Philippines.