HomeConcert PhotosThreshold Experience: The Emerald Cities Tour (Greensboro, NC)

Threshold Experience: The Emerald Cities Tour (Greensboro, NC)

Review by Danny Mazzeo

The Emerald Cities Tour stormed Hangar 1819 in Greensboro, and while there weren’t any twisters to take us to Oz, the night delivered an electrifying blast of chaos and earthquakes. Headlined by Nonpoint, the tour also featured direct support from Blacktop Mojo and Sumo Cyco, along with local openers The Coursing. To best set the tone for this review, I need to back up. I’ve been headbanging to Nonpoint since the first time I heard “What a Day” – damn near 25 years ago. The energy of that song fit a style I was already obsessing over, yet it stood out. The vocals, the timing, the intensity. I was hooked. Then I first saw them perform live in 2003 opening up for Papa Roach. The adrenaline rush of their set was unbelievable. Fast forward to present day. I’ve managed to catch them at least a dozen more times, each time better than the last. Needless to say, I had REALLY high expectations for this show and WOW did they deliver!!

The Coursing

Before getting too far ahead, credit where due. The opening support set the tone for the rest of the night, each band supplying a jolt of headbanging bliss to a crowd who devoured every second. Out of Charlotte, NC, The Coursing brought their familiar pace of heavy insanity rounding out with a blistering cover of Slipknot’s “People = Sh*t.” Canadian metal group Sumo Cyco followed suit, picking up exactly where The Coursing left off, and driving home the point that it was about to get rowdy. Skye’s vocal style complements an alt-metal mashup that seemingly has no boundaries. The current lineup has been together for only a couple of years, but the synergy on stage would leave anyone assuming a greater longevity. They very clearly fed off each other’s energies, engaging the crowd and having the time of their lives.

Sumo Cyco

Blacktop Mojo kept the momentum alive with an amazing set. They carry a hard rock vibe with underlying Southern vibes, a respectful nod to their Texas roots. The band’s raw talent kept them tight, illuminating Matt’s soulfully powerful stage presence. An absolutely noteworthy add to an already impeccable night of music, Sumo Cyco covered System of a Down’s “BYOB,” and Blacktop Mojo performed Alice in Chain’s “Man in the Box.” At this point, my mind was just straight up blown.

Blacktop Mojo

Then came the big moment when Nonpoint took the stage, ripping through hit after hit, and far exceeding any expectation I thought I had at that point. They opened with a throwback to early days, performing “Mindtrip” and setting the tone that the night was going to get that much wilder. Until the music stopped, and Elias established himself as the epitome of a rock star. He brought a young fan on stage who was celebrating her birthday. Her name was Layce. The whole band embraced her, and the crowd sang an obligatory yet cheery “Happy birthday.” This wasn’t just some fan who happened to have cool parents taking her to a show though. When she was 3, Layce was caught on camera talking about how she wanted to be in a band with Elias. Well, that wish may not have come true, but she spent her 11th birthday on stage with them, undoubtedly with that memory etched into her heart for the rest of her life. After she went back into the crowd, Elias quickly shuffled across the stage collecting picks and drumsticks hilariously muttering “birthday presents, we need birthday presents!” Needless to say, it was a truly heartfelt moment that reminded us all what being a rock star really is about.

Happy birthday, Layce!

With a seamless transition back into the heavy riffs and a seemingly anti-gravitational stage presence, they rounded out the set with as much energy as they started with. And just when we thought things couldn’t get any more amazing, Skye from Sumo Cyco came back on stage for a stunning collaboration of “That Day.” I could hardly contain my own excitement and awe at that point, only to yet again be schooled as Matt from Blacktop Mojo came out for a chillingly beautiful performance of “In the Air Tonight.”

The night was truly euphoric. It was a great turnout for a great night of rock and roll. My expectations were surpassed time and again all night long, and I won’t even begin to imagine what comes next. I do know, however, that I have all intentions of being there, ready to rock out. What. A. Day.

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