• Review

Review: The Metalcore Dropouts Tour at Bogart's

Photo Cred: Jared Bowers

Once upon a time there was a point where I existed - even if I didn’t necessarily take part - in a world that revolved around bands like The Devil Wears Prada and Fit For A King. Some of it made an impact, some of it floated by, some I really got into, some I roundly ignored. Of the 4 bands touring under the moniker of Metalcore Dropouts I was familiar with and a fan of 2 of them, the other 2 I hadn’t listened to for one reason or another. Contemporaries The Devil Wears Prada and Fit For A King were hot shit at the time, and considering their evolution and progression and solid fanbase, it’s actually been really great to see them maintain the way that they have.

Joining them on The Metalcore Dropouts tour, Avoid and Counterparts more than held their own. In fact, this was one of the best all around lineups I’ve seen in a long time - each band had their own take on hardcore/metalcore/progressive metal, and all of them played like it was the first day of tour. Tons of energy, constant movement, massive breakdowns, and all kinds of crowd interaction.


Relative newcomers Avoid started the night off - it was rowdy, chaotic, oddly reminiscent of bands like Every Time I Die, and as an introduction to the band, an impressive one. The best opening bands understand their role is to get the crowd engaged and ready for what’s to come while simultaneously showing everyone why they’re there in the first place. Avoid did all that and more. One of the best starts to an excessively heavy night of music that was balanced out nicely by how much fun they were having.


If there was something like an outlier on the tour, it’s probably Counterparts - and really, that’s only because they tend to hew a bit more closely to hardcore in a more traditional sense. Big Defeater vibes, but the breakdowns are more punishing, the lyrics a bit more cutting. Heavy, but emotional in a way the other bands on the tour don’t quite bring to the forefront, and not having seen them before, I was excited to see how they would bring their particular brand of hardcore to life on the stage at Bogart’s. They were as good as I hoped they would be. Better, honestly.


Fit For A King was a band that I knew of from my days hawking band tees and other pop culture paraphernalia with my friends and coworkers in New Jersey. I just had never taken the plunge and actually listened to them, though, so I was hearing and seeing the band with fairly fresh ears. I enjoyed them so much I’m listening to my second album by the band as I type this. A ripper of a set, gnarly as hell and truly “metalcore” in sound and approach, it’s been a while since I thought to myself, “Oh, well, it was silly to have not been listening to this band, huh?” It was a genuinely great set and I honestly wasn’t sure if The Devil Wears Prada was actually going to be able to top it.


Somehow, they at the very least matched the energy of the night with their own take on what metalcore is, or has become. The Devil Wears Prada, coming up on 20 years as a band, doesn’t feel like they’ve missed a beat. Their forays into more melodic balladry notwithstanding, the band has continued to evolve in some truly fascinating ways. As they’ve grown out of and moved away from the scream/clean vocals/chorus/breakdown formula established by so many bands when they were starting out, they’ve maintained both a signature sound and a viciously loyal fanbase. The last time they were in town, with August Burns Red, was a bit of a revelation for me as to how they’re still perceived and appreciated, and this time around, headlining the show and really leaning into being elder statesmen of the genre and scene, they’re still playing like they have something to prove - and I genuinely appreciate that. Also, they played a track from the first Zombie EP and let me tell you, I was STOKED to hear it.

From start to finish, The Metalcore Dropout Tour acts as a sort of treatise on the genre and proves without a doubt it has a lot left to give to the scene. Whether or not you’re into heavy music, it’s hard to understate the impact bands like The Devil Wears Prada have had on the culture, or what they mean to their fans. A sold out show at Bogart’s on a night after it snowed and the temperature was dropping into the teens - that’s a good proofpoint that these are bands that have given a lot already, and still have something to say. Even if they’re, or especially when, they’re screaming it, as long as their fans are there screaming along with them, all is well.

The Devil Wears Prada

Open Album