Jam Packed Productions Creates Fit for a King Tour
Jason Lume and Jam Packed Productions:
I have been MCing events ever since 2013. I’ve covered a whole host of different events, and I was convinced I had seen it all. That was until Jam Packed Productions’ Fit for A King tour.
For those who aren’t in the know, Jam Packed partnered up with Rocking 4 Rhinos, a non-profit whose aim is to raise funds and awareness towards the massive Rhino poaching problem we struggle with both locally and abroad. Their first show saw the inclusion of Our Last Night.
An insanely popular rock and metal act that dominates the world of Youtube, with their refreshing rock takes of popular pop numbers and a self-written catalog that truly holds its own. The tour was an extreme success, with all of the shows reaching sold-out status, and raising over R400 000 in the process.
The second phase of this year-long rollout brought along with it post-hardcore greats, SECRETS, in April. The band put on a killer performance throughout the tour and further established Jam Packed as a premier event organizer on the local scene. Fast forward to June, and Jam Packed are at it again. This time, they’ve brought along Metalcore giants Fit for A King. And it seems as if nothing had quite prepared us for how intense the tour was to be.
I was, unfortunately, unable to make it down to Mercury in Cape Town for the first leg of the tour. But from all accounts, they absolutely ripped the Cape a new one. Pictures from the event gave a glimpse of the insanity that was about to head up to Gauteng. Mosh pits, walls of death and crowd surfing were evidence of the craziness that was about to head our way.
I had eagerly spent my week stretching my neck and back for the upcoming whirlwind at Arcade Empire in Pretoria and Sundowners in Alberton.
The supporting acts for the tour could not have been better selected. Riddlebreak is a five-piece band who are as powerful as they are dynamic. Their drummer, Gordon Bosma, quickly became my favorite drummer to watch, as the ecstasy he feels performing with Riddlebreak is evident in his performance and his facial expressions.
Furthermore, it was great to see the talented woman in their line up, both on bass and on violin. The scene desperately needs more female representation, and I am certain that there must be a handful of woman who feel inspired to follow their own metal dreams after every one of their shows. Truth and Its Burden were a perfect fit for the event, as they echo the key messages put forward by Jam Packed and Rocking for Rhinos. They preach community, social consciousness and responsibility. All the while wrapped up in a powerful performance that’s been refined for over a decade. One Day Sky bring a kind of professionalism to their performance that’s rivaled by none. They mix both angelic, clean vocals and grimy breakdowns to create a set that unfolds like a well-written novel.
Facing the Gallows:
Facing the Gallows were an obvious choice to include in the line up. Having made their mark on local circuits for a decade, FtG have permanently etched their name as one of SA premier metals acts. If we had a local metal hall-of-fame, Facing the Gallows would be the ones to cut the ribbon. It was a particularly emotional tour for FtG, as this marked the end of the journey for their lead vocalist, Brian Binneman.
The emotion was evident in their performances, which made for a greatly bitter-sweet experience. I found myself jumping between emotions of sadness that this was an performance I’d never live through again, and emotions of complete joy at the insane show that was being presented to me.
Every one of those dudes put it all on the table for those shows, and it felt like a fitting end to a dynasty that had captivated so many for so long. (NOTE: FtG are not disappearing, but will rather be back later this year with a brand new vocalist and renewed hungry to melt some faces.)
A Fate Like Yours:
I’ve left mentioning A Fate Like Yours to last, purposefully. They guys are all relatively young. They’ve also recently come off of a four-year hiatus. But, GOOD LORDY, they are still capable of some of the most powerful shit I’ve ever seen. Special mention needs to be given to the bands lead vocalist, Brad Morrison.
…they are still capable of some of the most powerful shit I’ve ever seen
During the SECRETS tour, Brad performed with a massive neck brace on as he had badly damaged his neck just weeks before the event. This time, though, Brad was uncaged, unleashed and unburdened. And it showed.
The heat of the sun and the lava beneath the Earths crust powered Brads performance. His band, being equally as talented and driven, was pushed to keep up with him, which they were able to do easily. I’m willing to put my reputation on the line and say these guys are the damn future!
But even with all of the great local acts present on the line-up, nothing could have prepared me (or Arcade and Sundowners, for that matter) for the onslaught that is Fit For a King. The four-piece were not only powerful in performance, but were nuanced and professional throughout. I want to speak specifically to their performance in Alberton at Sundowners, as it may have been the craziest show I’ve ever been a part of.
The crowed lined the venue from front to back. In fact, they spilled out of the doors and watched through windows to try get optimum views. They were hungry for an all-out-war of a show, and that’s exactly what they got. The energy and power produced by FFaK was echoed by the crowd, and within minutes the windows fogged up with sweat and the temperature rose by a good 20 degrees.
It must be said that Ryan ‘Tuck” O’Leary needs to be nominated for some sort of performance award. The bassist and clean vocalist for the band had me completely entranced by his spins jumps and high kicks throughout the show. He later confided in me that he had hurt himself many times due to his on-stage antics. This didn’t surprise me at all considering the lack for self-preservation he shows once he was in the eye of the storm. FFaK did not disappoint at all, and the South African crowds did just the same. I found myself looking around on a few occasions, taking in the wonderment of a truly well-executed tour, thanking the powers that be that we have such an incredible community of fans and organizers that can make these world-class shows happen. And to think… we all helped save an animals life in the process.
Keep your eyes and ears locked on Jam Packed Productions as we await the announcement of yet another incredible tour.