In Hearts Wake thundered through the Cleveland House of Blues Thursday evening opening up for August Burns Red’s Messenger’s 10th anniversary tour. These Byron Bay, Australia natives were no strangers to Ohio. This was made apparent by the fact that I saw just as many of their shirts as ABR. I however little to no knowledge of the band, but given the anticipation of their set, I was intrigued and eager to see what they had to present. Even as I was waiting for the show to start up, there was an excited buzz around their presence on the tour. Excited fans were reassuring those newer to the scene that In Hearts Wake was worth the wait to be close enough to see. I made a mental note to pay attention to them, not so much because I knew who they were, but because I really wanted to see if they would live up to the hype.


When their set time rolled around, I was both extremely tired and anxious for ABR. Both of those feelings would be put to rest when the group started playing. From the first note they commanded their audience with a diligence and skill that was beyond their years. After their first song, I did not have any thoughts or cares about who was playing next, or who had played, because their energy and style kept you in the present. Musically, the band was extremely tight. I enjoyed the fact that as heavy as their presentation was it was still understandable. A perfect blend of hardcore and fine-tuned. I was most impressed with their lead guitar player who’s fingers, despite traveling at the speed of light, were still smooth and the guitarist himself was able to interact and be a show in and of himself. Even though each musician was extremely talented on their own, they also acted as an amazing cohesive unit. Flawlessly, they worked together to keep the attention of a crowd that they had won over from the very start. I do want to make a special note though, that while sometimes the metal scene and genre is characterized by hard music and darker themes, these guys are truly gentlemen. This was displayed during the middle of their set when a younger fan was passed to the front of the crowd because it appeared that she was sick. Immediately the band’s front man, Jake Taylor, stops singing and goes to assist the fan and make sure that she was all right before continuing. While it may seem like a small gesture, or insignificant, it broke the barrier between the band and the fans and showed that they really cared, which isn’t to terribly common.


In Hearts Wake was that band that immediately made me want to buy their album, a t-shirt. They caused me to come directly home and find the next concert that they would be at. They deserved all of the hype and more that they received that night and for certain have gained a new fan out of me. A perfect band for a perfect show.