Whitehall, PA – Tonight’s SOLD OUT event takes place at the famous Planet Trog. Upon squeezing into the venue, all I could see was audience from wall to wall. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this place has been this packed. As I try to fight my way in through the crowd I noticed the band up on stage was my friends in Cedar Green finishing their set. I wish I had known they were opening as I would’ve arrived a little bit earlier. The thing you should know about this venue is that this place isn’t huge. It’s a small club with a 400+ person capacity. It is connected to an indoor laser tag arena.
As the local openers finished up, I hustled up front and into the “photo pit” area. There’s rarely a photo pit here but I guess for tonight’s event, they pulled no stops as far as accommodations and security. As Chasing Safety was setting up, I was greeted by tonight’s show promoter Tom, venue owner Kevin and occasional local promoter Pat. Pat was given lighting duties for tonight while Ice Nine Kills’ own audio engineer handled the sound.
Chasing Safety is a band I am familiar with. I’ve seen them perform here numerous times over the years plus a stint on Warped Tour as their previous iteration as “Us, From Outside” prior to getting signed and name change. So seeing them again was familiar territory. I was excited for these guys having watched their careers grow. Tomorrow the band releases NOMAD which would make the band’s 2nd release on Outerloop Records.
Ice Nine Kills was another band I have seen a number of times. I was first introduced to them a few years ago when they were on the 2012 iteration of the All-Stars Tour. I have since seen them a number of times on the Vans Warped Tour and whenever they would come through town. Ice Nine Kills also has an album coming out tomorrow as well (a re-recording of 2010’s Safe Is Just A Shadow.)
Overall the night was a huge success. It’s funny how all the times I see shows here, I get to witness both ends of a show. From seeing how everything gets set up with load-in and soundcheck to breakdown and loadout and lockup. The audience was there throughout the night singing along and crowd surfing for all the acts (not sure about the first opening act since I wasn’t there to witness it.) From the audience’s perspective, all the acts hung around long after the show to sell merch and pose for pictures. I watched as a member of I9K give one of the members of security a copy of their album as a thank you for catching all the kids and making sure everyone was safe. The look on his face was of pure gratitude. From a show promoter’s point of view, I was told that the guys in Ice Nine Kills and Chasing Safety are some of the ‘most professional acts they have ever worked with and they will always be invited to come back to perform anytime’ and I will look forward for the next time these guys come back in town.
Words by Henry Chung
Photos by Henry Chung