Issues, Polyphia, Lil Aaron, Sleep Token, Dreamwake
The Palladium – Worcester, MA – 12.07.2019
Words and photos by Brittany Isaacson
Last week Issues wrapped up the end of the Beautiful Oblivion tour. The tour featured an unexpected pairing of artists, including the mysterious worship group Sleep Token, rapper Lil Aaron, and progressive rock group Polyphia. Not knowing what to expect from this blend of genres, I stopped by the Palladium in Worcester, MA to see the show for myself.
Fans who held VIP tickets were treated to an intimate acoustic set from Issues prior to the start of the show. Shortly after the acoustic set, doors opened and the line of early birds poured into the venue. Opening the show was Connecticut-based metalcore group Dreamwake. Their performance packed a punch and had the crowd hyped up for what was to come.
Following Dreamwake, the anonymous group Sleep Token took to the stage. An eerie and mysterious vibe fell over the venue as the group performed their worshipping music in cryptic masks and black cloaks. Whether you follow their worship or not, nobody can deny the unique music and gripping vocals. Their music demands to be heard and left the audience captivated.
So far the lineup was proving to be a great pairing of artists. However I was unsure of how the next artist, Lil Aaron, would blend with the previous groups. He took the stage and played some of his popular up-beat songs. During his performance, I was torn. It felt a bit out of place and a weird transition from such a soulful, darker performance from Sleep Token. However, I also thought he was a great opener for Issues, as his up-beat hip-hop/pop blend of music complements that of Issues. Lil Aaron’s music was a bit lighter than the previous group, perfect for the fans of Issues’ more pop-heavy songs. His performance had the crowd hyped up and prefaced the energy that was forthcoming from Issues’ set.
After Lil Aaron’s upbeat set, progressive-rock group Polyphia took the stage. The mostly instrumental group captivated the crowd with their intricate melodies. Fans began pouring over the barricade as they crowd-surfed their way to the stage. The venue filled with captivating blends of jazz, metal, and R&B. Polyphia’s music is great, but their live set is a mesmerizing and inspiring experience to hear in person.
Finally, the lights dimmed and Issues took the stage to “Here’s To You,” the opening track of their latest album, Beautiful Oblivion. The set carried on with a mix of new songs and favorites off of past albums, including Headspace, Issues, and Diamond Dreams. Vocalist Tyler Carter slowed things down for a chilling performance of “Your Sake,” off of the new album before picking the pace back up for hit-song “COMA.” The crowd was singing and crowdsurfing all the way through to the last song. Issues closed the show out with an encore, playing their most popular song “Mad At Myself” for all the longtime fans.
Overall, the Beautiful Oblivion tour was a great experience. Each artist on the lineup brought something different to the show and introduced fans to genres they might not normally listen to. The Beautiful Oblivion tour has come to a close, but Issues fans should check out their newest album, Beautiful Oblivion, if they haven’t already.