Gig Review | I Prevail | 02 Academy | 22.3.23

With a paper ticket dated 19th March 2020 for a smaller venue, it was amazing to finally welcome American metal rockers ‘I Prevail’ for their sold-out show at the 02 Academy, after a long wait since their scheduled date was postponed several times during lockdown. 

 From an upgrade to a bigger venue fans across Glasgow and beyond gathered for a night where their patience was rewarded from a night to remember with support from ‘Blind Channel’ and ‘Trash Boat’. 

First up, Finnish nu metal band ‘Blind Channel’ was first introduced to many of us as they represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2021 and kicked the night off with a bang! They had amazing flashing and syncing light production in time with their melodic and rhythm beats, but what really surprised me was how no one dominated the space or limelight in this band. You could see how they merged and connected in such an authentic way that added to their passion for their music. The six-piece Finnish rockers got the crowds ready with dynamic sound with strong melodies, harmonies and riffs. With little screams this was still ticking the rock vibes with their use of samples and percussions, introducing us to what could be a future sound of rock. I personally loved their in-sync choreography to their song ‘Flatline’ which gives you a taste of their unique rock sound. Perfect for those fans who like dance, and fans of bands like Electric Callboy. Check out Blind Channel if you are heading to Download Festival this year! 

Next was British punk rockers Trash Boat who you can catch at Slam Dunk next month! 

 These guys who were a different sound from Blind Channel and I Prevail were still getting the crowd ready, as lead singer, Tobi Duncan, performed his raw and emotional vocals to match the punk rock sound, you can see they got influence by previous punk artists. In particular, it was amazing to hear halfway through the set they took their own spin and cover of Linkin Parks’ ‘Given Up’, introduced with respect and honour to Chester Bennington. This cover got every single voice in the 02 Academy pelting with passion as they sang along. A beautiful moment to unite fans across how much life is precious and the passion and love we have for music. 

Duncan added to this feeling of bringing hope and acceptance across fans as he introduced their final song ‘He’s So Good’ by reminding us ‘we should be present and love whoever we like. Do yourself a favour and care much less. Be bold, be respectful and love one another.’ 

Finally, we were introduced to the titans that are I Prevail. After 3 years they kicked off this night with one of their newer songs ‘There’s Fear In Letting Go’ from their newest album ‘True Power’ where they also included into their setlists from the same album: ‘Body Bag’, ‘Self-Destruction’ and a personal favourite was ‘FWYTYK’ as they creatively introduced it by playing the iconic ‘Chop Suey’ by System of a Down. 

Roaring vocals from Eric Vanlerberghe surprised me with his harmonies that complimented the stunning melodic vocals from lead vocalist Brian Burkheiser. They made my night as they performed their latest single ‘Deep End’ – a beautiful song about mental health with stunning vocals, rhythmic beats and heart-inspiring words to share the raw emotions and journey of challenging mental health. It was an amazing moment seeing crowds jump and sing along to this song that touches so many lives. 

Vanlerberghe noticed a sign a front-row fan held that stated ‘I’ve waited 8 years for this’ and his heart-warming response was how as a band they have ‘Waited for 3 years and finally, are here. Thank you for waiting for us this will be the best night of your life.’

And the best night it was especially with I Prevails’ final encore with their two hits from their album ‘Trauma’ which were ‘Gasoline’ and ‘Bow Down’ ending with what was the biggest mosh pit I’ve ever seen. Hearing the crowd sing ‘to everybody who doubted’ left fans feeling that sense of empowerment and determination. A perfect ending to a gig that was well and truly worth the 3-year delay.