These lyrics, from their song “Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die”, are the perfect way to describe Four Year Strong’s performance last Thursday night at the TLA in Philly.
Only the second stop on their “Rise or Die Trying Tour Part Two”, Four Year Strong brought young up and coming bands Seaway, Like Pacific, Grayscale and Life Lessons along to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their debut album which the tour is named after. With such a milestone reached for bands like them, Four Year Strong burst on to the stage with the same energetic mayhem just like their 10 year younger selves did when the band first hit the scene.
When a band celebrates an album anniversary with a touring cycle they would play that album from front to back and ending the show with some fan favorites during the encore. That wasn’t the case with Four Year Strong as they opened their set with two crowd chanting fan favorites, “What the Hell is a Gigawatt” and “Who Cares” to get the blood flowing and the crowd in an uproar before diving into the intro of the album they were celebrating. A move like that makes sense when the album you are playing front to back only clocks in around thirty four minutes.
As the band ran through track by track of “Rise or Die Trying” with ferocious guitar driven breakdowns, catchy hooks and crowd chanting lyrics, the one aspect that didn’t seem to bother the crowd was the lack of synthesizers. Back when the album was recorded, Four Year Strong was a five piece that included a keyboard player, Josh Lyford, who left the band in 2011. Since then the band has continued as a four piece with no synthesizers on their albums and tour. It was strange to see and hear their most popular album being performed without a key component. I would be interested to hear the re-release of “Rise or Die Trying” that the band just released and are selling on tour. Maybe they completely took synthesizers completely out of the album?
Starting by playing in church basements and local fire halls to sold out venues and festivals, Four Year Strong are still going strong 10 years later…..no pun intended.