Alesana at The Roxy Theatre 2/11


LIVE REVIEW: In celebration of the 10 year anniversary of ”On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax”, sweetcore band Alesana heads out on a west coast tour where they will play the album in its entirely. We checked out the gig at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood.

When I saw Alesana eight years ago in Stockholm, they were perhaps not the tightest live band, nor did they have the professional sound during set. However, they did have so much positive energy that I, up to today, remember them as one of the best live bands I have ever seen. There has been many emo/scream-bands out there the past ten years, but Alesana manage to stand out in a unique way. There are many energetic bands out there around the world, but no one seem to have as much fun as this six-piece band from North Carolina.

I love the fact that they have six band members, and no one is ever standing still. At first glance, it looks like there’s chaos on stage, but I’m sure they know what they’re doing (overall). When I saw them eight years ago, I was worried that they would grow up to be a mature and more serious kind of band. But when I watch them today, I can tell that Alesana has found their niche as a cute metalcore band with clear focus on positive energy and enthusiasm. Or as they call their own music themselves: sweetcore. That pretty much sums up what Alesana is.

Unclean-singer Dennis Lee looks, a bit surprisingly, incredible kind and sweet in his big beard. Clean-singer Shawn Milke looks as happy as a young Paul McCartney would do if he was in a screamo band instead of The Beatles. All band members switch places frequently. Dennis Lee stagedives into the audience and luckily, the young crowd is able to catch and carry him – he’s not exactly a tiny man.

There are a few kids of the classical emo style in the audience, which isn’t a common sight nowadays. Most of them are young, since there’s no age limit at The Roxy this evening. We get to hear the debut album ”On Frail Wings Of Vanity And Wax” in its entirely, which is a fun concept. However, I would have loved to hear ” Seduction”, ”This Is Usually The Part Where People Scream”, plus several other songs from the more recent albums. But, I guess I will have to wait for their next tour, which I am already looking forward to. After one hour long set they round off their show with an encore. Overall, one thing is for sure: watching Alesana play will always put a smile on your face.

By: Rosanna Rundlöf
Photographer: Gosia Machaczka