Original Show Date: June 1, 2013
A one-stop shop to get cool accessories, t-shirts and most importantly, rockin’ shoes, where would one go for that? Journey’s, of course! Upon entry into stores, shoe enthusiast’s ears are graced with great tunes, a selection seemingly custom fit for Substream readers, while browsing the latest fashions. Journey’s steps up their involvement in music by sponsoring events, they are synonymous with the Backyard BBQ in select cities every summer. Recently, Journey’s sponsored ‘The Noise Tour’, headlined by Canadian favorites, Marianas Trench.
The pop-rock quartet, collectively Josh Ramsay, Ian Casselman, Mike Ayley and Matt Webb; has made a substantial name for themselves north of the border and are working to bring their musical styling to us here in the US. Courtesy of The Gunz Show on idobi radio, this writer has been familiar with Marianas Trench for some time. The theatrical sounds behind the music of Masterpiece Theatre (2009) set Marianas Trench apart from the rest. Ever After is the self-produced and much anticipated follow up, which takes story telling through music to a whole new level. The songs encompass a fairy tale, the story of Toyland and Princess Porcelain, bringing a visual aspect to the music.
This display is beautifully portrayed in arenas and various venues throughout Canada, where Marianas Trench is a household name. Now, ‘The Noise Tour’, the first headlining tour south of their homeland border, brings Toyland to the good ole US of A, where these Canadians are no strangers. Instagram shots, courtesy of @Journeysshoes, documented the stellar crowds at each date of the tour. This writer got not one, but two chances to see Marianas Trench up close and personal. First, some ‘Trenchers’, as fans are commonly referred to, gathered outside the Journey’s at Town Center Mall in Kennesaw, for an exclusive meet & greet with Josh, Ian, Mike and Matt. Then, off to the Masquerade to wait for the evening of rock and roll!
Trenchers were eager for the concert, so a pre-show M&G elevated the excitement. Anticipation was at an all time high and when the guys stepped off the escalators, a crowd of screaming fans welcomed them. Initially a standard M&G of band sitting at a table, signing stuff and fans being moved quickly through the line was nixed. The table would result in an obstruction for the children’s locomotive that runs through the mall.
Band, management and Journey’s employees regrouped instantaneously. Marianas Trench stood in front of the store, sans obstruction, giving fans a more personal meeting with Marianas Trench. The passing of said train, paused the M&G, but was worth while after a fan and band members encouraged Josh, who had the best access to the train, to hitch a ride. The M&G resumed and Journey’s employees were exceedingly kind and accommodating, especially with taking pictures. The first 50 fans received a copy of the Face the Music EP, a collection of 5 songs that served as Marianas Trench US label debut.
No introduction to these songs was needed for Trenchers, such as this writer and anyone familiar with Every After. Post meet & greet brought great conversation with band management and Journey’s crew, resulting in snagging a photo pass for the evenings festivities. With smiles and great vibes, onto the next destination being the Masquerade, to continue this great day with a perfect night, until the unwanted bump in the road, literally. The measures of a dedicated fan are forever prominent in this writer’s friends, who had waited years and travelled from Franklin, NC to see Marianas Trench. Not even a car accident, in which their vehicle was rendered totaled and minor injuries were sustained, deterred Shannon and Bethenny from continuing on to the Masquerade.
Upon arrival, this writer and friends joined other fans outside the Masquerade. Now that is all that was left to do was wait. Time passed by at a seemingly decent pace amongst good company of fellow fans, with the occasional band member cameo. The magic hour for some, who possessed VIP status, granting them access to sound check, early entry and a meet and greet. For the remainder, it was little while later that lines began to form and entry to Heaven was granted.
Music kicked off the evening expediently after the crowd gathered in front of the stage. Premiering with a Journey’s own, DJ Protector. Following him was support acts for the tour, Ghost Town and Air Dubai, both of which combine a wide style of sounds to produce some smooth tunes that rocked the Masquerade. The crowd was enjoying every second of the evening, all the while, anticipation for Marianas Trench at an all time high throughout.
At long last, the stage set for a crossing to Toyland with Marianas Trench. Dim the lights and the screen that once donned the Journey’s logo, would tell the story of ‘Ever After’ and the adventures of Princess Porcelain in Toyland. The synonymous intro to the title track began and lead singer, Josh Ramsay walked out on stage to sing his solo, soon after joined by Ian, Mike and Matt. Thus began a night full of stellar live tunes, sing alongs, laughs, a fairy tale and much more to encompass an all out great evening. Josh shared some MT news, about signing with a US label and touring stateside would become more prominent.
Since the Marianas Trench gents intend on being around more often, they decided to take in some cultural aspects, like accents, traditions and the local grub, which Josh chose to converse with the crowd about between songs. This amazing set was a great balance of tunes from Ever After, Masterpiece Theatre and Fix Me. Breaks (or intermissions) in the set were strategically planned and filled with the telling of ‘Ever After’. Fans were able to see their favorite songs came to life in a unique aspect, a fairy tale, and live on stage.
No matter what, predictability and live never co-exist. What resonates the most was an instrumental break and sing along during “Cross My Heart”. Ramsay insisted the crowd whisper along as opposed to shout/sing. He was quick to state that it was “the stupidest thing we’ve ever done,” but no matter, MT went with it and so did the crowd, attempting to go from almost perfect silence to uncontrollably loud. There was of course, the one fan, who wanted to rock the boat and be loud throughout, to which Ramsay told “sh, sh, sh…. I’m still whispering.” The crowd went from singing along to singing solo when Ramsay turned the mic to them and was impressed with their lyrical accuracy.
Trenchers are everywhere; from the great white north of Canada down to the southern US. The crowd at the Masquerade was ecstatic that the wait to see this fine group of Canadians had finally drawn to a close. Favorites such as “Shaketramp”, “Celebrity Status”, “All to Myself”, “Desperate Measures”, “Stutter”, “Haven’t Had Enough” and so many more were performed. Josh, Mike and Matt took full advantage of the this writer’s familiar territory, the photo pit, stepping off stage and walking back and forth and getting up close and personal with the crowd. Overall Marianas Trench put on a headlining show that can be appreciated in words to an extent, but to grasp the full measures of awesome, get to a show as soon as possible! Many kudos goes to Journey’s corporate for putting together another rocking event that is The Noise Tour. Not to mention Journey’s at Town Center for a very memorable meet and greet.
Can’t get enough Marianas Trench in the meantime? Never fear, social media to the rescue! Start the journey with Facebook and continue on from there. Make sure it includes a trip to a local Journeys to pick up a copy of the Face the Music EP. The favorite Vancouver Pop/Rock toy soldiers have made their headlining entrance to the US and the march treks on through the trenches.