On December 1st, 2023, The Word Alive, a hard rock band from Phoenix, Arizona, opened for
From Ashes to New on the Blackout Tour in Harrison, Ohio at The Blue Note. This was not my
first time seeing The Word Alive perform, and I can guarantee it won't be my last. There's
something equally mesmerizing and electric about the band's stage presence, and it makes it
impossible to be anything but completely immersed in their performance.
The Word Alive opened their 9 song set list with "Strange Love," off their new album "Hard
Reset," which released on August 25th of this year. Their set consisted of a great mix of old and
new songs, with a slight emphasis on music from their new album, which many in the audience
seemed familiar with, singing along to the lyrics and headbanging to the beat. Most of the songs
played were faster and heavy, the perfect tempo to keep the crowd energized. Likewise, the
band was full of vigor as they jumped and ran around the stage, which was an impressive feat
considering how small it was. Their vocalist, Telle Smith, was especially animated. In fact, he
rarely stood still the entire set, and when he did, it was only when he interacted with crowd
Speaking of, The Word Alive has some of the best crowd interactions I've ever seen. Each band
member stayed engaged with the audience the entire show. Telle would give members of the
crowd fist bumps and high fives, while also making direct eye contact with people as he sang.
Likewise, guitarist Jose DelRio would lip sync lyrics with those who were singing in the crowd,
while guitarist Zack Hansen would jump up to the barricade and show off his skills on the
instrument, practically in the crowd himself. Though at the back of the stage, drummer Daniel
Nelson also made his share of eye contact with concert-goers, smiling wide at those invested in
the set. Interactions like these always make a show feel that much more personal, and the Word
Alive all did a great job of creating a welcoming atmosphere for all involved to rock out.
My favorite part of seeing The Word Alive perform though, is the emotion they all put into their
performance. They give it one hundred percent each time, treating it as the most important
show they'll ever do, no matter the venue. Watching Telle belt out to "Slow Burn" with so much
passion was magnetic. Just as he put his all into singing the lyrics, the rest of the band were
equally dynamic in their technical, yet energizing playing of their instruments.
If you haven't had the chance to see The Word Alive in concert yet, I can't recommend it
enough. It'll be one of the most engaging performances you ever see.
About Megan Rose:
Megan is a photographer and graphic designer from North Alabama. When she's not
photographing a concert, she's more than likely attending one. Megan loves being creative in all
forms, so getting to combine her love of music, photography, and writing has been like a dream