In The Pit: Outline In Color

Outline in Color played at the W.C. Social Club on April 29. Accompanied by The Skies are Shifting, Careless Sanctions, Discrepancies and VRSTY, the evening was heart-racingly fun.

Antonio Llanos, Staff Writer

On the verge of the Midwestern concert season, the preemptive time when summer tours still have yet to begin, and smaller venues and clubs are emphasized a time before the stadiums open up before summer. Five post-hardcore/metalcore bands kicked off yet another tour at West Chicago’s very own W.C. Social Club. The beautiful spring sky streaked across, softly cascading and casting a lovely converse to the energy building up in the filling venue.  

Chicago post-hardcore band, The Skies Are Shifting, kicked the show off with an immersive musical experience that flowed through the audience like an oceanic wave. Mellower in tone than their tour mates, the set flowed between rhythmic aggression and the sensual release of guitar-based poly-melodies. Most of the band’s set list was from their newest release “Mind Awake/Body Asleep; Act One” released in November 2022.  The setlist was a well-balanced short list of tracks, perfectly melding in material from their debut EP,  “Don’t Be Afraid to Drownpublished in July 2021. The audience was captivated by Johnni Sinchi’s poly-melodic picaresque guitars on tracks like “Mind Awake” and “Blood Orange” which took the crowd, using the dynamic established, causing them to sway from side to side.  

Grimes sings to the audience (Rachel Wagner)

Careless Sanctions then took the stage.  Another quintet from Chicago, they burst onto the stage with cutting-edge precision and songs that sent chills down listeners’ backs. With a band whose entire identity and musical sound are derived from oceanic inspiration, the nuance comes in the rhythmic guitars that are akin to an ocean. When an audience begins swaying to the aggressive sound you are pulling from for inspiration, that’s really the highlight of being an artist. Vocalist Alessandro Limone leaned heavily into the high-pitched screams and ravenous growls that often accompany fast-paced guitars and power-driving rhythms provided by drummer, Adam Siel.   

Discrepancies, a band from St. Louis, then ascended the stage. Returning from supporting Until I Wake earlier in the early half of April, Discrepancies brought their revitalized fusion of heavy metal-infused to support Outline in Color on their newest tour. Vocalists, Aaron Bracher and Antonio Metcalf once again brought a powerful energy to the stage that enticed the audience with their unique aggressive flow and powerhouse rhyme. Every song set in tandem with the china cymbal made for a head-banging performance which got the crowd riled up. A dynamic fully loaded with enough musical nuance and talent to enthrall audiences from the first hard note to the last. 

VRSTY, an R&B-infused Metalcore quintet from New York City, picked up where Discrepancies left off, emphasizing sensual melodies overlayed with very rhythmic heavy tones. Though contradictory in nature, the two sounds combine easily as vocalist Joey Varella’s talent unifies them with a large presence based-grit in his voice that commands the attention of his audience. Thin and soft, Varella is heard over the groove of the guitar and the power push of the guitar’s motor-esque harmony. 

Skaggs and Grimes creates an electric atmosphere. (Rachel Wagner)

Outline in Color closed out the show, leaning heavily into their fifth and latest release, “Coast is Clear.”  The set was a blend of aggression and active energy with the band rhythmically bashing their way through the night’s setlist. The setlist itself was a good blend of their early electronically based metalcore and some of their newer material which was heavy in nature and centered around a sensual chorus. The dynamic established between Michael Skaggs, unclean vocalist and bassist for the band and clean vocalist, Jonathan Grimes played into the crowd’s energy. The crowd moved in unison to the timed beat of the bass drum, no matter how fast, how slow, or if the breakdown slivered the reality of the moment, the audience was in tune. As an homage to fans who have been there since the beginning of their career hits from previous releases including “Jury of Wolves, the titular track from their debut release and Vultures from their self titled, full-length (Not to Be confused with their EP) were also played.  

The night ended on a high and Outline in Color continued their tour. Their current tour ends in Memphis, TN, on May 13 and will be supporting metalcore act Secrets for their upcoming tour, along with tour-mates VRSTY beginning June 6.