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Review and photos by Andrea Dawn GoforthOn Sunday night, Jan 24, a young crowd lined up outside of Rockford's Metro Center, baring the frigid temperature in order to see rock outfits Flyleaf, Breaking Benjamin, and 3 Days Grace. That night, I was in town specifically to see heavy-metal's newest little darling, Lacey Mosley, and her band Flyleaf. Their new album Memento Mori, that dropped November 2009, was one of my favorites of the year, and I was excited to see how their songs held up outside of the studio.
When the doors opened, a mob of frozen teenagers bolted towards the auditorium looking to get as close to the stage as possible. The space filled quickly and soon the lights were dimming and the air filled with the screams of excited fans. Enter Flyleaf's lead guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya, garbed in a skeleton hoodie, followed by the rest of the group, including the angelically outfitted Mosley in a white, frilly dress.
With her back towards the crowd, Mosely raised one arm, and the band smashed into their 2005 hit "Fully Alive." Her giant voice rang through the arena as the whole band broke into wild rock dances and head banging. Standing no taller than 5'5 and with a small figure, I was amazed by the huge sound coming out of this tiny person. Quite appropriately dressed for the next song, the band slammed into crowd favorite "Beautiful Bride" and the auditorium looked like a sea of nodding heads.
Unfortunately, the poor sound mix detracted from an otherwise rocking show. Mosley's vocals were relatively buried in reverb, making her lyrics nearly impossible to make out. But amidst the muddiness, the band didn't drop a note. Bass guitarist Pat Seals was the most active of the group, whipping his long hair, crouching over his bass, and jumping off of speakers and anything else he could climb on.
Eight songs in, the band finally pulled out their upcoming single "Missing," for which Mosley announced a music video is currently in the works. As the lights turned pink and purple, she spun around, her white dress whirling through the air, and sang "Something's missing in me. I felt it deep within me as lovers left me to bleed alone."
Flyleaf went on to do four more songs, giving them a 12 song opening set. Before their second to last song, "Arise," Mosley took a moment to speak to the crowd. "As this next song says" she noted "I want you all to arise and be all that you dreamed. Being on this stage doesn't make us any better than anyone is this room. We were able to follow our dream, and now we want to pass it on to you. So arise, and be all that you dreamed."
Surprisingly, the band closed with a John Mark McMillan cover "How He Loves Us." All swaying in time, they looked at home on stage as though they were playing for a living room of family, as opposed to an auditorium of thousands. The song closed, the crowd cheered, and the lights came up. It was a great showing from lady rocker Lacey and her troupe of metal men.
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