Miss May I have found a home on Rise Records, a label best known for its metal/hardcore acts; however, amongst their peers this Ohio five-piece metal outfit stand all on their own. Where live performances often pale in comparison to recordings, Miss May I deliver a memorable set that captures the true spirit of Warped tour–fun.
From beginning to end, Miss May I set out to include their audience as much as possible. Vocalist/Frontman Levi Benton constantly encourages the crowd to mosh, crowd surf, and sing along. Needless to say, no crowd member takes issue with this. As Benton entered the crowd on more than occasion, he manages to bridge the gap between performers and their fans.
Though Miss May I’s set seemed to be all about fun and presence, they never seem to sacrifice quality. The band’s instrumentals find balance as concussive drums sync steady bass with dual guitars that alternate opposite one another. Guitarists Justin Aufdemkampe and B.J. Stead shift between aggressive rhythms, gritty riffs, and piercing solos. Their shared stylings compliments the band as a whole, and makes for a much more engaging performance. Bassist Ryan Neff manages to keep up, and provide clean vocals that better layer the band’s tonality. Again, vocalist/frontman Levi Benton delivers throaty vocals that scoop from high to low and manage to hit the ranges in between.
As a whole, the band works off of one another instead of merely playing on top of each other. Though Miss May I may seem somewhat repetitive as they implore some genre clichés, they manage to better embody each aspect. The sing scream formula has been tried almost to the point of exhaustion; however, here, it is much more naturalistic and well worked. The quintet also bring a touch of classic metal to their sound, which results in an interesting spin on the modern genre.
Though Miss May I’s music may not reinvent the wheel, it certainly keeps it turning. Their performance lived up to industry-produced records, and ultimately proved more engaging. All in all, if you don’t like metalcore, this set will not convince you. But, if you haven’t given the genre or the band a fair chance, check out their set next time their in town. It may just change your mind.