Sunday February 26, 2023, heavy metal band Norma Jean performed in midtown Atlanta’s Loft as one of the final stops of their headlining tour. The Georgia-based band was supported by two acts known for their similar hardcore sounds, Greyhaven and Fire from the Gods. I arrived at the venue halfway through Greyhaven’s set, and was surprised by the high energy already present in the packed room. The band’s post-hardcore sounds and loud vocals were amplified by the small size of the venue, creating an intensity that would last for the night.
With little time in between their sets, Fire from the Gods took the stage. Frontman AJ Channer began with an uplifting speech about unity in the hardcore community and prompted the crowd to look out for each other throughout the night. As heavily distorted guitar slowly built up to fill the room, the band began their performance with their song “Soul Revolution” from their 2022 album of the same title. Channer maintained a performance as rambunctious as their songs as he leaned over the barricade and occasionally passed the microphone to fans, encouraging the same excitement from the crowd.
Channer ended his set by thanking crowd members individually in the front row and heading backstage. A few moments later, the room buzzed as the lights dimmed before the four members of Norma Jean appeared on stage. Without an introduction, they began the set with their hit song “1994.” A rambunctious moshpit opened almost immediately and stayed constantly moving throughout their whole performance.
The core of their set was filled with songs off their newest album that incited their current tour, Deathrattle Sing for Me, released in August 2022. Lead vocalist Josh Scogin sincerely thanked the city of Atlanta throughout his performance for the crowd’s continuous support since their beginning and paid tribute to the final songs they performed, all from the 2013 album “Wrongdoers” that they credit for their success. The band wrapped up their set with a heartfelt performance of their song “Heartache,” that proved to be a crowd favorite as the audience wholeheartedly screamed the lyrics back to Scrogin.
Tickets and information for the final six stops of the Deathrattle Tour can be found here.
Photos and story by Tessa Wessel