Scott Helman & Marianas Trench @ The Fillmore in Detroit, MI
Review & photography by Rebekah Witt
On Friday, May 17th, Marianas Trench brought their Suspending Gravity tour to The Fillmore in Detroit. The crowded venue was full of fans excited to see the band that had not played in Michigan since early 2016.
This was the first date of the tour that fellow Canadian musician Scott Helman joined to open the show. He began his energy filled set with song ‘Lifeguard’ off his latest EP, Hang Ups. The audience seemed mostly unfamiliar with him and his music, but Helman was able to keep everyone entertained and interested with the excellent performances of his music. He played songs old and new, from his 2017 album Hôtel de Ville (‘PDA,’ ‘Gaslight’) as well as his 2014 album Augusta (‘Cry Cry Cry,’ ‘Machine,’ ‘Tikka’). Helman performed his latest single ‘Hang Ups’ as his second to last song, and closed the set with his very first single ‘Bungalow.’
Before their set started, Marianas Trench played a video of lead singer Josh Ramsay reading poetry over eerie visuals to set the mood of their latest album, Phantoms. As it ended, the band walked onto the stage and into a haunting performance of the opening track on the album, ‘Eleanora,’ with all four members lending their vocals to the a cappella song. Marianas Trench have a reputation of creating incredible and theatrical album concepts, and Phantoms is no exception. With a theme centered around haunted houses, including references to Edgar Allan Poe, horror movies, and general ‘spooky’ terminology, they made a point to bring the haunted theme into their live shows as well. Just like at the beginning, they played a second poem halfway through the set before playing ‘Glimmer,’ and then another before the last song. Although the new album was the forefront of the tour, they still made a point to play older songs from previous albums Astoria, Ever After, and Masterpiece Theatre, in addition to a few other one off singles. During performances of ‘Pop 101’ and ‘Haven’t Had Enough,’ Ramsay jumped in the crowd and walked through, creating more of an intimate connection with the fans despite the larger venue.
Highlight songs of the night were ‘Stutter,’ ‘Rhythm of Your Heart,’ and ‘Who Do You Love,’ as well as a mashup of songs ‘Cross My Heart’ and ‘Celebrity Status.’ Ramsay displayed his vocal range (and dramatic nature) with his various runs and extremely high notes throughout the songs. Matt Webb (guitar), Mike Ayley (bass), and Ian Casselman (drums) all harmonized together with Ramsay, adding many layers to the live performances. During the encore, Ramsay arrived back on stage for a slowed down, acoustic rendition of one of their popular singles ‘One Love.’ Marianas Trench closed their set with the closing track on Phantoms, ‘The Killing Kind,’ a song that ties everything together and includes bits and pieces of other songs. Fans in the crowd emotionally screamed along to the song and after it ended, everyone left with hopes that the band would return to America sooner rather than later.
Marianas Trench will be finishing the US leg of their Suspending Gravity tour in early June, and later this year they will be bringing it overseas to Europe. Stay updated with them and Scott Helman via the links below!