Nero Satisfies Echostage in D.C.
My first time seeing Nero live was supposed to be my second, but a cold kept me from seeing them in Baltimore in 2011. I was finally able to catch them as they headlined Hardfest Red Rocks 2014 in Colorado and it was a life changing experience. Daniel Stephens, Joe Ray, and Alana Watson seemed larger than life in between the monoliths of Red Rocks and the warm Colorado air. The music carried far more power with it live, with the songs taking on a nearly magical quality after the show.
As someone who had reservations about Between II Worlds, I was worried about whether or not the magic would still be there with the incorporation of the newer songs. The performance at Echostage changed my opinion on the new album and cemented my faith in the group as one of the best in the business.
Eventually, Stephens and Ray left their perch in the DJ booth to join Watson on the front of the stage.Taking their place at synthesizer stations on either side of the stage, the boys were armed with Moog Voyagers, keyboards, and trigger pads. They performed a good majority of the set live with room to deviate from the studio recording in the form of screaming synth solos and other modified riffs. The energy when all three of them were performing live became much more raw and electric, and this transferred to the crowd who responded by going even harder.
The songs off the new album blended together nicely with the older tunes. While Between II Worlds did not feel as cohesive to me as compared to Welcome Reality, when the two were combined into this live set it was unreal how well everything fit together. The transitions between genres were seamless, with the dubstep making way for the electro-house making way for the electro rock. ‘Two Minds’ and ‘Crush On You’ received house styled reworks before breaking down again into the gritty dubstep the trio became known for.