When the Sonic Unrest tour hit Grand Rapids, I could have sworn the city shook that night. That’s how powerful it felt to be at The Intersection alongside Periphery, SikTh, CHON, and Toothgrinder. Here’s our account of their sonically massive and inspiring performances along with the photos we captured from each set.

Toothgrinder came out on stage first with a ton of pent up energy. Even on the last leg of the tour, they hit the stage like it was the first night. The striking thing about Toothgrinder is their power. That power is fueled by their heavy music, but also their stage presence. Lead, Justin Matthews, is an absolute monster who stomps around the stage and makes it his destination to command the audience. Toothgrinder were the first band to open, but it definitely didn’t feel like it. Over the course of the night, I learned that there was no such thing as an opener on this tour, especially after seeing Toothgrinder’s lively performance.

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Then, CHON came out who I recognized instantly as this extremely eclectic group of technical musicians. Their stage setup was very colorful and eccentric, which complemented the tone of their music phenomenally. Though their set was relaxing and mellow, it was still powerful. Side note: Watching a group of people mosh pit to CHON’s music is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. CHON’s music just grooves and it feels so right. They are one of the few instrumental bands out there that prove you don’t have to say anything to make someone feel or understand you. That night they took the stage and said nothing, but they conveyed everything.

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SikTh were something else, especially their lead vocalist, Mikee Goodman, but that is part of their charm. Here we just got done grooving to CHON and out comes SikTh, who are this extremely wild and unapologetic band. They had a sense of humor much like Periphery. After seeing them live, there’s no question as to why they had such a strong influence on them. Between the energy of the crowd and SikTh’s tireless presence, The Intersection was full of life that night.

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Watching Periphery perform is mesmerizing to put it simply. Every member is a master at their craft. With three shredding guitarists, a down right crazy bassist (Had to mention Nolly even though he was understandably not in attendance for the tour), one killer drummer, and an out of this world singer, you question if they are even from this Earth. But, of course they are. Though some of that talent comes naturally, it mostly comes from hard work and a constant need for Periphery to challenge themselves both as a band and individuals. The most awe-inspiring and amazing thing though is the fact that interact with one another on stage. Time and time again, I’ve seen guitarist to stage right, bassist or other guitarist on stage left, lead singer smack dab in center, and drummer raised up in back, which is completely fine. Periphery set themselves up on stage similarly, but they didn’t act like their feet were glued to the ground. They moved around, goofed off with one another, and even played together, and that sets them apart more than any other band I’ve seen live. When you can see how much fun someone is having on stage, you can’t help but have fun also. Periphery’s passion for what they do radiated over the crowd that night and it created an unforgettable experience.

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Please share your experiences from the Sonic Unrest tour with us in the comments and make sure you check out each band live or otherwise if you haven’t already done so!

Photos by @kristinkestersonphoto