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"If the first three bands were the actual "Outbreak," then Issues was the band where we realize we can't contain it any longer...The band may be called "Issues," but this show has everything but that."

Concert Review: Can’t Be Contained

Most and circle pits? A raucous crowd? Sing-alongs so loud I could even hear it through my ear plugs? An small-but-intimate venue housing it all under one roof?

Even for the Deluxe room, this show almost couldn’t be contained.

Monster Energy brought their Outbreak Tour to Old National Centre. For this year’s edition, they have the likes of Issues, Crown The Empire, One OK Rock, and Night Verses to cities all across the country.

This feels like a Warped Tour-light show. It features much of the same crowd (mostly high school-aged kids and a few stray parents intertwined) and some guy who likes to think he knows something about music. Plus, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of these bands before (Met? Yes. Saw perform? No). So let’s see what this night brings. Allons-y:

Night Verses is the band who kicks things off for the evening. It’s a short set as they go through their blend of rock and post-hardcore for a near-sell out crowd. There’s a lot of energy on stage. The downside? There isn’t much going on out in the crowd (unless you count some dancing and vape clouds going up in the air). Chalk it up to being an opening band or everyone being more excited for who’s up next. They’re a victim of circumstance, which was a little sad because they weren’t a bad band. They seemed excited to be there, they all put everything into their performance, and they didn’t seem nervous at all. This could be a band to watch somewhere down the road. We’ll check in later should they ever do their own tour.

Speaking of the crowd, we’ve got another full house in this basement. It feels very much like a Warped Tour crowd – young, fairly energetic, rebellious, and ready to explode at any second.

And it could be sooner rather than later.

“We’re here for One OK Rock and then we can leave…” I overheard one father say to his young daughter. By the looks of it, many feel the same way, as a fair portion of the crowd – mostly of Asian descent, and this includes me – are moving closer towards the front of the stage.

One OK Rock is next up on the bill. Having seen them perform in this very spot almost a full calendar year ago, I was thoroughly impressed. Let’s see what has changed in a year.

Overall, not a lot, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The crowd is just as excited to see them, the band is just as exciting to watch, and let’s not forget how much frontman Taka can control an audience. From the front to the back, there are plenty of people singing along and headbanging to their heart’s content. It almost feels like it should be One OK Rock’s show, and the rest are along for the ride. They may be one of the biggest bands in Japan, and they’re well on their way to becoming one of the biggest in the States.

One OK Rock has finished their set, and a big portion of the audience moves to the merch stand set up in the corner (I’d estimate around a quarter). This gives a chance to move forward and prepare for the metal portion of the evening. It’s been a while since I’ve been part of a good mosh pit.

I met Crown The Empire a few years ago at the Warped Tour. Unfortunately, I didn’t get time to check out their set. Let’s see what I was missing that one, ridiculously hot afternoon in Noblesville, IN.

This time, it’s indoors. The temperature is controlled, the attendees are a little less sunburned, the set is a little longer, but rest assured, this is the same Crown The Empire everyone expected to see.

There are plenty of throaty vocals and sing-along moments throughout the 45-minute set. All five of them can barely fit on the small stage, but they display a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Though not a huge crowd (it’s a small room), they let the near-sell out audience know they’re here to put on a show.

Speaking of which, this may be one of the few times I’ve seen a mosh pit going for almost the entire set. Despite the four pillars in the room, people are violently crashing into each other as soon as the breakdown comes in, while the rest stand and sing like a church choir (even more noticeable during the one “slow” song). Overall, it’s a very enjoyable set made even better by a very excitable crowd. I don’t know if this is the norm for a Crown The Empire show, but this might be a show worth checking out the next time they pass through town.

I’d say by this point, everyone has been properly warmed up for the main event, although it looks like a number of people have already left for the night. What was once a full room has now dwindled to maybe half. It’s okay though, the most die-hard fans remains. They are, after all, wearing the t-shirts bearing the emblem of Issues (isn’t there a rule about this kind of thing somewhere?).

It’s a bit of a wait while the stage crew sets everything up. After our first 3 bands, let’s see if these kids have anything left in them.

The lights go out and the boys from Issues take the stage ready to perform for this eager crowd. It’s “Love Sex Riot” time, and away we go.

The final act of the evening definitely went out with a bang. If the first three bands were the actual “Outbreak,” then Issues was the band where we realize we can’t contain it any longer. It’s a barrage of dual singing and screaming vocals, mosh and circle pits, sing-alongs, and even some crowd surfing. The band may be called “Issues,” but this show has everything but that.

I’ve been to quite a few shows in my day (even this year thus far), and yes, we often hear the schtick of “this is the best crowd we’ve seen!,” but these guys genuinely seemed surprised at how they’re being received. I haven’t heard a sing-along like this since I saw Dashboard Confessional last summer. Heck, there was even one song where they just stopped singing and let the audience do it. These are the moments that remind you why you do this.

Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that half the people left. It’s a more intimate environment, and clearly the most dedicated fans remain, and it may even be a better show because of that. Those who want to mosh and create their own wall of death (and they did many times) got to do that (sometimes without being prompted to), while the rest got to move closer and sing. The rest got to dance for the next hour. Even the most indifferent people in the crowd, such as myself, found themselves having a good time. In the end, that’s all you can ever ask for.

The night eventually comes to a close, and the band bids a fond farewell to the raucous Indy crowd, but not before chanting for a few more songs (it’s almost like I’m back in the BYB again). The band obliges and gives everyone what they want on this Saturday night, by playing two more songs and sending everyone on their way.

It’s back outside to the cold and windy city we call Indianapolis, and back to my car to figure out what I want to say about this show.

Final verdict?

Between mosh pits, sing-alongs, and a diverse lineup involving rock n’ roll both domestic and foreign, this is an outbreak that can’t be contained. The bands looked like they wanted to be here, and the audience for the most part ate up everything.

Don’t worry, this Outbreak isn’t dangerous, but it is contagious.

The Good:

Rock music both domestic and foreign, and an eager audience that looked like they were on the verge of bursting at any moment (and they did). It reminded me a lot of the early morning crowds at the Warped Tour, where both the bands and the kids are fresh and ready to go.

The Bad:

I think I’m a little too old for mosh pits now. Those things are dangerous as you inch closer to 30.