For Today – The Farewell Tour

For Today – The Farewell Tour

Norma Jean, Silent Planet, My Epic, Emerge A Tyrant

Sun · December 4, 2016

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

$18 ADV $20 DOS

This event is all ages

Box Office is open Wednesday-Saturday 12-6pm and All Show Nights, 410-244-0057. Unless otherwise noted Maryland State's 10% Admissions and Amusement Tax is included in the ticket price.

For Today
For Today
Even in the face of seemingly "impossible" odds, there's always a way to muster enough strength to soldier on and cross the finish line victoriously.

That goes for all facets of life. If you're willing to disregard the naysayers, forget the doubters, and defy the odds, you can accomplish anything. The story of Sioux City, IA hardcore and metal outfit For Today remains one of triumph. Breaking out of Iowa is hard enough. When you're playing heavy music with a Christian message, it's even harder. Still, the quintet—Mattie Montgomery [lead vocals], Ryan Leitru [lead guitar, vocals], Brandon Leitru [bass], Sam Penner [rhythm guitar], and David Puckett [drums, percussion]—consistently persevered, and it's all documented on their brand new DVD film and five-song EP, the appropriately titled, Prevailer [Razor & Tie].

In 2012, the group made a collective decision to encapsulate their journey in one cohesive piece. Prevailer pairs intense live footage in front of roaring crowds alongside intimate behind-the-scenes vignettes and honest, heartfelt interviews. In the process, the film paints a powerful portrait of the band's road thus far.

"We felt like we really had a story to tell," explains Montgomery. "In the beginning, everyone told us it'd be impossible to get this band off the ground. We were endlessly turned down by everybody you could think of—from labels to booking agents to promoters. We did things D.IY., and we didn't ever expect anything. We were never rich and famous in the first place, and playing music was never about that. We pursued our dream in spite of everything. We decided to make this DVD to show people who we are and give them a little bit of our history."

That history has proven to be quite remarkable. For Today reached a major milestone last year when their fourth full-length album, Immortal, debuted on the Billboard Top 200 at #15 with 14,700 units sold in merely one week. In addition to appearing on the Van's Warped Tour, they've shared the stage with everyone from The Devil Wears Prada and August Burns Red to We Came As Romans and As I Lay Dying. Prevailer not only reflects on their journey to date, but it opens up the door to the next chapter.

Touting a conceptual arc through the first four songs that mirrors the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the EP teems with cathartic hardcore energy and precise metallic firepower. The group hit The Machine Shop with producer Will Putney [Lamb of God, Suicide Silence, Miss May I] and tracked the effort in merely 10 days, capturing a distinct vibe.

"For the first time in a while, we incorporated elements of our early sound," the vocalist reveals. Our first two albums, Ekklesia and Portraits, had more progressive metal elements that we moved away from over time. I feel like a lot of that came back on Prevailer. It's still catchy, but it's also super heavy. We find a way to play opposing genres of music so they work in conjunction. We don't have a common denominator musically, and that creates a level of diversity."

That dynamic defines these songs. After foreboding church bells, unmitigated brutality courses through the first single "Crown of Thorns" as a death metal-style verse storms into a soaring refrain, "The last will be first to inherit the earth".

"Musically, the song is really dark," the vocalist goes on. "We wrote it in the 6/8 time signature and used a different tuning to convey this darker and more sinister feeling. Fans will immediately get into it."

The bludgeoning subsides on an acoustic rendition of "Fearless" from Immortal. This stripped-down take shows a vitality and vulnerability that resounds as loudly as any distorted breakdown. "We wanted to do something different," affirms Montgomery. "It was Ryan's brainchild. When I first heard it, I got chills. The song became entirely a new entity. It's really special."

Everything about For Today's rise has been special though. The band has built an overwhelmingly supportive following since forming in 2005. They've logged over 1,000 shows on five continents and have cumulatively sold over 115,000 albums in North America to date. Critical endorsements have come from Revolver Magazine, Alternative Press, and more. However, the next chapter commences loudly with Prevailer.

"This is definitely the start of a new season for us," concludes Montgomery. "Prevailer shows how far we've come. At the same time, it's a good introduction to the band. You don't have to be a Christian to enjoy a For Today show or buy an album. This is open to everyone. We're all part of something very big together."
Norma Jean
Norma Jean
Not to be confused with either the late-'70s disco diva (who sang with Chic in 1977 before going solo and having a hit with 1978's "Saturday") or the country singer (who had some hits in the '60s), this Norma Jean is a Christian alternative metal/metalcore band that used to go by the name Luti-Kriss. At first, Norma Jean went with a rap-metal approach -- in reviews, the former Luti-Kriss was often described as the Christian equivalent of Limp Bizkit, Korn, (hed) p.e., Methods of Mayhem, or Rage Against the Machine. But as the band evolved, Norma Jean got away from rap-metal and became even heavier. The bandmembers heard on 2002's Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child don't believe in subtlety any more than they believe in taking prisoners; they do, however, believe in having a very harsh, punishing sound and beating listeners into obedience (musically, not literally -- they're a Christian band, after all). And while those who don't care for metalcore's harshness are unlikely to become Norma Jean converts, the Southern band has enjoyed a small but enthusiastic cult following in the alterna-metal underground (where they have appealed to both Christian and non-Christian headbangers).

Norma Jean was formed in Douglasville, GA (a suburb of Atlanta) in 1997. In the early '00s, the band recorded two CDs as Luti-Kriss. The first was the EP 5 (which came out on the Pluto label), and that disc was followed by the full-length album Throwing Myself, which came out on the Seattle-based Solid State label (a subsidiary of Tooth and Nail Records) in 2001. After that album, Luti-Kriss changed its name to Norma Jean because some people were confusing the band with the controversial rapper Ludacris -- who, coincidentally, is also from the Atlanta area. Ludacris is one of the top rappers in the Dirty South school of hip-hop, and he is known for his explicit lyrics (which have been lambasted by conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor). Released by Solid State in 2002, Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child was the former Luti-Kriss' first album as Norma Jean. It was also the band's heaviest, most brutal effort to date. While Norma Jean's first recordings inspired comparisons to Limp Bizkit, Korn, (hed) p.e., and Methods of Mayhem, Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child was often compared to Hatebreed. Norma Jean's members have included lead singer/guitarist Josh, bassist Doolittle, guitarist Derr, guitarist/singer Scottie, and drummer Daniel Davidson.
Silent Planet
My Epic
The soundtrack of a hopeful youth shimmers inside the unassuming three piece that is My Epic. Deliberately penning lyrics to subvert all basic human nature, My Epic have become the unforeseen antidote to apathy with song after song evoking raw emotion wrapped in a palpable tenderness. Soaring refrains and dynamic vocals breeze in and out of carefully sculpted songs with alternated softness and exuberance. The often heart rending melodies roll and rush around vocals that threaten to sweep you off your feet. Lyrically stunning, vital and rebellious in the most captivating way, My Epic has staked their claim on Beauty as certainly as they have taken their stand against the unremarkable. When inspiration comes from beauty the result is anything but ordinary, and for My Epic the results are unforgettable.
Emerge A Tyrant
Ryan Voelkel - Vocals
Joe Mullin - Guitar
Ben Towles - Guitar/Backup Vocals
John "Kirk" Almeida - Drums
Tim "Toothhead" Lodge - Bass
Venue Information:
Baltimore Soundstage
124 Market Place
Baltimore, Maryland, 21202
http://www.baltimoresoundstage.com/