WHITECROSS: Concert Review

WHITECROSS Album Release Event

3/22/24 Indiana, PA

In the golden days before streaming, your favorite band’s new album release was an event. All the waiting culminated in that first listen to new music. The album dropped on a given day. No one heard it ahead of time, no leaking, no streaming. Then all the attention was on the band for that album/touring cycle. Now our attention spans have become so short, that an entire album can be heard and forgotten even before the physical product hits the streets. So what a joy it was to be there to see the culmination of all Whitecross’ blood, sweat, and tears to release Fear No Evil to the public. Album release was hosted by Rev. Kirt Anderson at Freedom Church in Indiana, PA.

Everyone who bought a ticket to the show was given an autographed copy of Fear No Evil. Lucky VIP ticket holders entered early and were treated to sandwiches, a Q&A with Whitecross- emceed by yours truly, autograph time, group photo time, and an intimate acoustic set by Whitecross.

The band played “Top of the World,” followed by the only ever performance of “Further On” by Rex Carroll on acoustic guitar and vocals- the song being something of a love note he wrote to the fans, “In the Kingdom,” with Mike and Dave singing, and a cover of Dylan’s “Knocking On Heaven’s Door,” with Mike and Dave singing again (man, their voices sound good together).

On the main stage, opening bands Chalcedon, Sinners to Saints, and Mawcore played, gearing up the fans for the penultimate point of the evening when Whitecross hit the stage. The band opened with “Who Will You Follow?” and “Enough Is Enough” from their self titled debut.

This being an album release after all, the band played every song on Fear No Evil, although not necessarily in track order, for you purists: “Man in the Mirror,” hard hitting metal anthem “The Way We Rock,” “Vendetta,” and then what we expected to be Michael’s drum solo turned into a proposal for girlfriend- now fiance Kristin. Then the band stripped down to acoustic mode with Rex on mandolin for “Blind Man,” before returning to full electric mode for “Saints of Hollywood,” with Dave switching effortless between English and Spanish, the worshipful “Lion of Judah,” Rex’s essential guitar solo “Jackhammer” proving once again why he won Heaven’s Metal magazine’s Guitar Hero award year after year, “29,000,” title track “Fear No Evil,” and “Wishing Well,” with band manager Su Smith adding vocals to Dave’s.

Whitecross closed out with “No Second Chances” and “In the Kingdom,” fan favorites from Mike’s first album with the band. Several interesting things happened during the show. Foremost, of course, was Mike’s proposal. You don’t see that often during a metal show. Congratulations and blessings on Mike and Kristin. Also early on, Mike cut his thumb and bled profusely, but soldiered on between bandages. My friend George Wright, ever the collector, procured the bloody drumsticks from Mike after the show. Final anomaly was somewhat expected. Given Dave Roberts’ curly mane and raspy vocals, one loud fan mistook him for former singer Scott Wenzel and started yelling Scott’s name. Dave took it in stride, and I set the interloper straight, after which he started yelling out, “Sorry for calling you the wrong name, dude!” Well, what would a metal show be without a bit of bloodletting, loud music, yelling, and …uh, a proposal? Pick up Fear No Evil at WhitecrossBand.com

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