Photos + Review: Periphery @ Variety Playhouse (Atlanta, GA)

Periphery (Bethesda, MD)
Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA
May 10th, 2024

Mark down Periphery as the second band on my list of band I will travel 1K+ miles cross country to see.

First band I went that far to see was Avenged Sevenfold in Atlanta last September, and I wasn’t expecting to go back so soon, but when the opportunity comes up to go down there for less than the price of an uber, to see another one of my absolute favorite bands, I had to take it.

It’s been 5 long years (at the same time not feeling that long, since the last time I had seen Periphery up here in Minneapolis. That period of time is one I look back at as one of the most happiest, and part of it was due to the band releasing P4: Hail Stan, one of my favorite albums of all time now. It was also the time that I had first met my favorite person in the whole world.

So I figured five years is a long enough time.

In what I consider one of the weird venues I’ve been to now, Periphery put on a hell of a performance. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t ever been the biggest fan of the band’s early stuff, and this newest album P5: Djent is not a Genre just never hit as hard as the previous couple. If there were any band out there good enough to change me into a fan after seeing them live, it’s definitely Periphery, as they’ve only gotten better as time goes on.

Variety Playhouse was weird, but in a good way. A gorgeous looking venue space, but I was not expecting it to be a no barricade show. That left me feeling a bit bummed out, as that meant I’d have to fight the crowd if I wanted to get good shots. The venue is a converted old movie theater, which we have those up here (Skyway and Uptown Theaters), but it still had about half the seats still with a smaller GA floor type space in front of the stage. Staggered and raised platforms flanked either side of the center seats. But as much as I was there to photograph, I was there to enjoy the performance, and the band didn’t let anybody down from the get go, starting the night off with Ragnarok.

It wasn’t until the second half of the set got going that I started fully buying in. “Dracul Gras” slaps live and “Wax Wings” and it’s infamous high note that that Spencer hits were highlights, and then the set closes out perfectly with it’s trio of “Marigold,” “Satelittes,” and the ever so heavy “Blood Eagle.” So heavy that it broke my camera body. That’s what I’m gonna tell myself.

With like five minutes left of the set, my camera’s shutter started to feel weird and not as solid, and I then started noticing black bands on the images the sensor was capturing. Cue bad feeling in my stomach. Later confirmed dead after seeing inside the shutter blades very much not flat like they’re supposed to be.

One of my favorite parts of the night came near the end when Spencer announced that it would normally be the time the band goes off stage for the crowd to chant for an encore that they all know would be coming. He said they weren’t going to, that he hates that, is taking a stand and that he felt triggered. Please! I was triggered right with him and will back him in that fight. No more fake encores!

I thank my camera for being a trooper and sticking it out until the end of the show. While a bummer (on top of earlier bummer), I definitely don’t feel spoiled of an otherwise fantastic show. I’m ever so glad I got this break from work and everything, glad to travel again, and glad I got yet another opportunity to cover one of my favorite bands.

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