Fit For A King - Springfield, Missouri - July 15th, 2021

It's been 495 days since the Texas metalcore band last came to The Riff here in Springfield, Missouri. I was lucky enough to have attended the event, with the stacked lineup bringing nonstop energy in support of their latest album at the time, Dark Skies. We all know what happened after that. Since the pandemic, Fit For A King is back with brand new material and are ready after 488 days of not performing on a stage.

Ever Eden

First up to the stage was Springfield's local metalcore group, Ever Eden. I'll be honest though, I was stuck in line for so long that I missed the first half of their set. As soon as I got in though, the crowd was already up to the front starting the night off with mosh pits, and the band sounded spot on. Contrasting vocals going back and forth to the hard hitting instrumentals made for an incredible live experience. Lead vocalist Joshua Tennson took time to bring out a heartfelt moment, thanking the fans for coming out, since there was a good chance this was the first show back for most in attendance.


Next to perform was another Springfield local, Cavil, and they came out with immediate rage, automatically asking for the crowd to split and start circle pits. Front to back of the whole set was everything a metalcore fan loves: nicely executed vocals, chugging guitar tones and riffs, tempo changes to keep everyone's attention, and drum rhythms leading the crowd in their headbanging. The energy kept getting elevated as crowd surfing finally began (unless I missed it in the first half of Ever Eden's set). Both Springfield acts reminded me how much I love coming here for shows, and the headliner didn't even perform yet.

Fit For A King

Then it was time for the main event, and I was excited to hear some new songs off of "The Path". Lead singer Ryan Kirby's first words reminded everyone that it's been 488 days since they've stepped on a stage, and they're ready to let that pent up energy out now. To my surprise, they started off the show with the whole crowd screaming "This is my vendetta." which is from the last song off of "The Path". Immediately, you could physically feel the energy coming to an all-time high for the night, with more frequent crowd surfing, heart-thumping double bass, and bassist Ryan "Tuck" O'Leary's signature spins and jumps. For a moment, I was standing there and realized it's all back now.

For the rest of the night, it was a back and forth setlist between the latest two albums, with "Deathgrip" thrown in towards the end. Riff after riff and breakdown after breakdown, the crowd was bouncing and circling around nonstop. At one point, a fan was standing up while being held in the air during a breakdown; it reminded me of the last tour here, when Crystal Lake came along and the vocalist did the same thing during their last song. Almost felt like a full circle moment. The intro to "God of Fire" began, and you can hear the crowd's excitement, since this was the place that debuted the song live before the tour got cut off. "Backbreaker" came with a warning from the vocalist, claiming he might not be in physical shape to do the scream at the end. Spoiler alert: he still nailed it. After the crowd chanted "one more song" the second the band stepped off stage, the night was concluded with the hard hitting ending of "Shattered Glass", and all is good in the world. This night gave me hope that not only is the Springfield scene back in action, but the touring industry as a whole is slowly making it's comeback, and we can finally give these soul-pouring musicians, and their important crew, all of their jobs back. When they come back here, because we know they will be, you bet I'll be there again.

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