Ice Nine Kills Brings Fear the Premiere Tour to Marathon Music Works in Nashville, Tennessee on August 16, 2023



On August 16th, Fear the Premiere Tour landed in Nashville, TN at Marathon Music Works, one of my favorite concert venues. With compelling performances from Mike’s Dead, The Plot in You, Set it Off, and the headliner, Ice Nine Kills, this show was non-stop full of energy. The crowd’s excitement, which was already palpable at the start of the concert, was off the walls by the time Ice Nine Kills closed with an iconic encore of “Welcome to Horrorwood.” 

The show opened with Mike’s Dead, an industrial hip-hop/metal artist. While the lighting was darker for this set, it matched the band’s dark get up, from the lead vocalist’s moody makeup and tattoos to the guitarist’s black pants, black button-up, and tie. Going on first can be a difficult gig–since most in the crowd won’t know who you are, or will just be counting down the minutes till the headliner comes on. Mike’s Dead did a great job of keeping the energy up. The vocalist moved from one end of the stage to the other in seconds, while the guitarist leapt onto the barricade and played directly at the crowd for a good minute, much to everyone’s excitement. My one wish is that the sound mixing had been adjusted more. The vocalist, while engaged the entire set, was difficult to hear, and the guitar sounded a little muddy as well. Despite this, the drums were excellent and crystal clear. A definite highlight from their set. Even with the sound issues, though, Mike’s Dead put on a fun show. 



Next up was the Plot in You, an alternative rock band who originated from Ohio. The mixing for this set was solid. The instruments could all be heard loud and clear without sacrificing the quality of the vocals. While the energy for the Plot in You was more subdued compared to Mike’s Dead, each band member had a captivating stage presence that was undeniable. It’s hard to describe, but there was something about them that just made it feel like you had to watch them. This also made it very easy to get into the performance. The crowd certainly thought so, too, since there was lots of jumping and headbanging. It was also evident that many in the crowd were already familiar with the band and their music, since several people were singing along to the songs. The crowd was especially excited for the closing number, “Feel Nothing,” which is one of the band’s most popular songs. All around, this was a fun set with great sound, and an excited crowd. 


The Plot in You:

Landon Tewers – Vocals
Ethan Yoder – Bass
Josh Childress – Guitar
Michael Cooper – Drums



Before Ice Nine Kills could take the stage, there was still one more band left to play, Set It Off, an alternative rock band from Florida. I may not have heard of them before this show, but that was certainly not the case for much of the crowd, who collectively lost their minds when Set It Off began their set. The crowd’s cheers were no doubt heard from down the street as the band members played the opening chords to “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.”

There are some shows I’ve seen where the band members all start out with a lot of energy, but that wanes a bit as the show continues. However, Set It Off was on fire from beginning to end. Their constant energy was so infectious that it was hard to stay still. In just the second song, vocalist Cody Carson, leapt off the stage and into the crowd. He had the people around him hold him up for a few moments while he continued singing, only to then crowd surf back to the stage. The drummer, Maxx Danziger, was similarly animated. Every time I looked over at him, he had a new facial expression as he made eye contact with the crowd, while still playing masterfully. Out of all the bands I’ve seen this year, Set It Off was one of the most interactive with their crowd. During their third song, Carson had the entire audience move to the right as one, then to the left, while simultaneously having everyone get to know the person next to them. Everyone was all smiles as they followed his instructions. Overall, Set It Off was engaging, energetic, and a band I definitely want to see again. 


Set it Off:

Cody Carson – Vocals
Maxx Danziger – Drums
Zach DeWall – Bass & Guitar




1.) Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

2.) Killer in the Mirror

3.) Ancient History

4.) Projector

5.) Loose Cannon

6.) Hypnotized  (Maxx Danziger on vocals; Cody Carson on drums)

7.) Win Win

8.) N.M.E./Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)

9.) Why Worry

10.) Punching Bag


Finally, it was time for Ice Nine Kills. The anticipation in the room was obvious. Everyone had begun to creep forward while waiting for Ice Nine Kill’s set, so there wasn’t much room to move around anymore, though that didn’t seem to faze the crowd as they waited for their headliner. To pass the time, they sang along to the pre-show set list which included hits such as “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Walking on Sunshine.” When Ice Nine Kills finally made their way onstage, the atmosphere in the room shifted. While there’s no doubt Ice Nine Kills has some incredible songs, one of the biggest awe factors of seeing them live is their stage show. As a band whose music is themed around horror movies, it was such a delight to see each song acted out with props, costumes, and actors.

The lighting changed significantly for each song to match the ambiance of the scene, which really enhanced the experience. For example, during their performance of “IT Is the End,” which is based on Stephen King‘s hit “It.” The song began with a spotlight on one of the actors dressed in a yellow raincoat, holding a red balloon in one hand and a paper boat in the other. This is a direct reference to “It.” Then Spencer Charnas jumped onstage wearing a clown mask, impersonating Pennywise, as he and the actor moved around each other as if they really were the characters from the film. The band made full use of the stage for every single song, and the crowd ate it up. Even though their set consisted of a performance, there were still instances of crowd interaction here and there, which I don’t usually expect with these kinds of shows. During one especially endearing moment, Charnas pointed at a young girl who sat on her father’s shoulders and announced to us all that she “is awesome.”

Just like the three bands before them, Ice Nine Kills brought tons of energy from start to finish. The venue hadn’t seen any crowd surfers yet, but that all changed when Ice Nine Kills began. There’s no doubt that everyone had enjoyed the show up until this point, but there’s also no denying how nearly every single person in the room was rocking out to each of Ice Nine Kill’s songs. Their show was dynamic, engaging, and atmospheric. It’s one I won’t be forgetting any time soon.


Ice Nine Kills:

Spencer Charnas – Vocals
Ricky Armellino – Guitar
Patrick Galante – Drums
Joe Occhiuti – Bass
Dan Sugarman – Guitar



Set List:

1.) Hip to Be Scared
2.) Rainy Day
3.) Ex-Mørtis
4.) Rocking the Boat
5.) Stabbing in the Dark
6.) A Rash Decision
7.) Me, Myself & Hyde
8.) IT Is the End
9.) Wurst Vacation
10.) Funeral Derangements
11.) Your Number’s Up
12.) The American Nightmare
13.) Jason’s Mom
14.) A Grave Mistake
15.) The Shower Scene
16.) Opening Night…
17.) Welcome to Horrorwood





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