Bonus Episode 4: Spiritbox Brings Beautiful Metal to Irving Plaza

In this bonus episode, I am chatting about my first time seeing the metalcore band Spiritbox at Irving Plaza in New York City.

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Show Notes and Transcript

Hey everyone welcome to the Eat Sleep Breathe Music podcast. I am your host Jeanette Kimszal. For those of you just joining us, this is the podcast where I talk about different musicians and how their music affects me and then play I track of theirs for you to listen to. 

So you can check it out and form your own opinions as well. 

However, today I am doing something a little different. I’m doing a bonus episode and this is a review or just my thoughts on seeing the Canadian metalcore band Spiritbox. 

This past week they played 2 nights at Irving Plaza in NYC and we got to see them Sunday night.

I don’t know if you have been to Irving Plaza lately but they did some reconfiguring of their venue that may or may not appeal to some people.

The venue itself is a great place to see bands because it’s one of those bigger yet still intimate places. There is a large general admission standing room with a balcony overhead. 

I was curious how many people it held and it said online it was 1,100 which I am kind of surprised by since I would have pegged it for at least 3,000. 

The upstairs was good if you could get there early and snag a space by the railing. The whole one-half is for industry people to stand so it only leaves like two-thirds left for people to be. 

Then a few years ago they started doing upgrades and turned the closer balcony areas into VIPs.

I remember I had gotten tickets in that area for a show and felt like I was encroaching on the sound booth person’s space.

Now I notice a big thing with venues is getting seats and tables and having table service. This is the best thing ever. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m getting old but If I can have a good seat with a view I’ll take it.

We first saw this set up at the Fillmore in Philly. I also noticed Terminal Five was doing this for their shows. It’s a great way for the venue to upcharge people who would like to have the option to sit.

Irving Plaza also has three new sections on its balcony. The tables, the high rise, and the loft. The tables were placed in the middle of the balcony so you are directly across from the stage. 

Then behind them are a long table with chairs elevated on a platform. This is the high-rise section. 

The loft is a standing area in the balcony across from where the industry part is. I was curious how many tickets they sell for this section as you don’t want to cram a bunch of people in there because they won’t be able to see much. 

This particular show was sold out and I say that with quotation marks because there were a bunch of tickets online being resold for exorbitant amounts of money. Now I wouldn’t mind paying them if I knew a large chunk was going to the band. 

But I kind of doubt that is the case. I bet Ticketmaster is getting all that money because let’s be honest we know that they own almost all the ticketing companies.

We wanted a spot in the high-rise section and they weren’t too expensive. I think they were $100 with fees. The loft section was like $300 which I thought was odd considering there were no seats. 

We were hoping that ticket prices would go down and they did!

Wondering how low the prices would go we waited a bit to buy them until the day of the show.

Our first choice was the high-rise section but it got sold out and so we decided to go with the loft section since at this point they were now under $100 with fees! Which was very exciting!

It was a real rainy day but by the time we made it into the city, the rain was starting to taper off. 

Unfortunately, we didn’t get there in time to see the first band called Intervals but we did get a chance to see the second opening act After the Burial.

I had not heard their music but I don’t know much metal and if it wasn’t for my husband I probably wouldn’t know any of this stuff. My husband was interested in seeing them so we got there in time for that. So that was good.

This Minneapolis, Minnesota band has been described as progressive metal, metalcore, deathcore, and djent.

I was looking them up on Wikipedia after the show and the band has been around since 2004. There have been lineup changes over the and the remaining founding member is guitarist Trent Hafdahl.

The singer has said he had been in the band for 13 years. His name I think is Anthony Notarmaso (please forgive me if i’m pronouncing any of these names incorrectly). 

They had a great stage presence. He seemed so genuinely happy to be up there and had an excellent performance.

They were talking about how Covid happened and they didn’t know what was going to happen. Just so thankful for being back on stage.

I felt bad he had a very small space to work with. This was because the band had put up a drum set in front of the drum set that was already on stage for the headlining band. 

So he was left with just 2 feet of room to move around. It just looked very tight. He even mentioned it at one point.

Despite this, they still rocked out. The show was really fun. They really turned the crowd up. The crowd was loving it.

There was just so much positivity in the night. Even though there was a mosh pit and people were like getting their aggression out and dancing. They were still very respectful and very nice to everyone. Nobody was a jerk. 

Somebody lost their shoes and they didn’t stop the music but they were like “Oh somebody’s losing their shoes.” 

And they had lights of somebody lost something. And it was just a very positive atmosphere.

I liked how the singer explained the meaning of his songs before singing. That was neat. It is good for people who this may be the first time they are seeing them.

They can get a sense of who they are and what they are about.

They had one song where he went into the influence of the song. It was called “Death Keeps Us From Living.” 

The message behind the music was very powerful. It was kind of showing how to keep living after you’re dealing with like so much loss in your life.

I thought that was a nice touch because you see bands and if they don’t like to say anything and they have no interaction with the crowd it can make the performance kind of flat.

The fact that they were interacting with the crowd and kind of explaining their music…I don’t know…I always appreciate that from bands. 

So it was not just music that is appealing but their stage presence as well. Here is a snippet from their performance (play snippet)

If After the Burial is a band that appeals to you learn more about them at their official website AfterTheBurial dot com.

That is A-F-T-E-R-T-H-E-B-U-R-I-A-L

You can also like and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at the handle AfterTheBurial

If you want to see the whole After the Burial set there is a post by Youtuber xZ3ROGRAVITYx with the show.

I’ll have links to these in the show notes.

Before I go into the show I wanted to give a brief overview of the headlining band. 

For those unfamliar with Spiritbox. They hail from Canada and were formed in 2017 by husband and wife Courtney LaPlante vocalist and Michael Stringer guitarist.  With Zev Rose drummer. Bassist Josh Gilbert was the newst edition to the band rounding out the line up in 2023. 

They get their name from a device some believe is capable of communicating with the dead. 

There is a quote on their website that completely aligns with the band’s performance on Sunday night. It says,

“There’s a gleeful sense of the paranormal running through all the band do, but despite their celestial stylings, this is a group of artists who are very much brimming with life and creating something remarkable with their music.”

I couldn’t agree more. They played their hearts out for an hour and 8 minutes. The set was filled with songs off their self-titled album, Rotoscope, and a majority off their last release Eternal Blue.

They had this passion, love, and respect, and were so pumped to be on stage being able to see fans in person. 

Their set kicked off at 9:20 with the venue dropping to all black and then we started to hear Beyonce’s “ALL UP IN YOUR MIND.”

It was so dark you really could not see the band come out but they started with the intricate notes of Sun Killer.

I always like to check out SetListFM to see if the setlist is the same at the actual show.

It’s all user-generated so sometimes it could be wrong but sometimes it’s right. For this one, it actually seemed to be pretty on par with what was actually being played that night.

I know some people don’t like knowing what the set is going to be or want to be surprised but I really like following along with the SetListFM website.

As I said the show started with the hauntingly beautiful Sun Killer. 

(snippet of crowd screaming)

Among the screams you could hear the initial guitar riffs kicking off the song.

(guitar riffs snippet)

Then you hear the bass start to pick up against the light vocal melodies.

(play snippet)

Next kick in searing guitars sounds to the crowd’s delight.

(searing guitar snippet)

Then finally we are hit with the vocals.

(play vocal snippet)

And the song goes on and the music gets real quiet again and the crowd starts siging the bridge on cue.

(play vocal bridge crowd singing)

Then it busts into the screamo portion of the song and the crowd is just loving it.

What an epic way to start the show! Another thing they did that was neat was they had put up this clear screen in front of the stage.

Reminded me of seran wrap. It was a clear barrier that projected images on to the screen for a cool light show that was in front of them instead of behind them.

They had that up for about two songs and then took it down. Which I was glad because it would have been kind of a barrier to enjoying the show. 

Overall I was really impressed with their performance. I thought all the songs were stellar and great. 

I was personally more into the singing/screaming songs. I like the vocal aspect and am not so into the just screaming stuff.

It was hard to find favorite tracks since I really enjoyed a large portion of the songs. I would say ones that stand out are 

“Hurt You.” (play clip)

“Yellowjacket” (play clip)

“Rule of Nines” (play clip)

“Circle With Me” (play clip)

“The Void” (play clip)

They also did a cover of No Doubt’s “Hella Good” which was a really kind a cool heaving feeling sound of that song. 

Then they parlayed that into their track “Rotoscope.” It was a cool mixture of the the two songs. Rotoscope was fun. I was getting vibes of the 90’s band Garbage from that song.

They played like 10 tracks and then they came out and said they weren’t doing a formal encore. They said it would have been too much to go back down into their janitor’s closet and come back out (laughing).

They were like we’re all adults we are just gonna play the songs we like to play.

And so I don’t know if “Holly Roller” was the last song of the set or if it was the song before that “The Mara Effect, Pt 3.” 

Because they were like we have 4 songs left and I guess “Holly Roller” was one of the 4 songs. 

But regardless of that they played 14 songs total and for anyone familiar with the band they know that “Holly Roller” is like their popular song. I would say that that is the popular song that you would know if you know of this band.

Here is a clip

You can hear why this song got so popular. It’s got this really infectious beginning. Then it jumps into the screaming part which is so mesmorizing.

Another screamo clip

After “Holly Roller” the show kind of came down with more mellow tunes. This was even said by the band. They said the rest of the show would be more slow tunes and it’s time to just relax.

There was so much appreciation and happiness from the band. The last three songs they played were “Hysteria,” “Constance,” and the title track “Eternal Blue.” 

I didn’t get a clip of “Constance” but here is a clip of “Hysteria” 

I loved the sentiment that was talked about at the end of the show where the vocalist was saying this was a place for everyone to feel come together and enjoy the moment and the music.

That is what the song “Eternal Blue” is all about. I’ll play a clip for you now.

So that was my experience at the Spiritbox show. I just live music is a such a great way to experience a band. If you’re on the fence about metal music give Spiritbox a try and you may just like it. 

I think they have a lot of things that appeal to a wider audience. You know, someone who is into lovely vocals and the screamo. 

It’s hard music but it’s also soft. So it’s kind of like…it’s gotta lot of things going for it.

But if you are interested in learning more about Spiritbox you can check out their official website. I just saw this week that they are also going to be on tour with Shinedown and Papa Roach so there will be a lot of chances to see them live. 

You can find more information on their website

That is S-P-I-R-I-T-B-O-X dot com.

You can also like and follow them on Facebook, at the handle SpiritboxOfficial

That is S-P-I-R-I-T-B-O-X-O-F-F-C-I-A-L

On Instagram, they are at SpiritboxMusic.

That is S-P-I-R-I-T-B-O-X-M-U-S-I-C

TikTok, and Twitter at the handle SpiritboxBand

That is S-P-I-R-I-T-B-O-X-B-A-N-D

If you like to watch videos. There is also a Youtuber by the name of xZ3ROGRAVITYx who has the show on youtube if you want to watch more songs. 

I’ll leave links to all of these in the show notes.

As always thank you for listening. 

If you’re looking for more new music be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you will get the latest updates on our artist features. 

You can also find more music features on our website at That is E-a-t-S-l-e-e-p-B-r-e-a-t-h-e-M-u-s-i-c dot com.

Thanks for listening and see you in the next episode!

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