Home » LIVE REVIEW: Motionless in White at The Criterion in Oklahoma City, OK on August 2, 2023

LIVE REVIEW: Motionless in White at The Criterion in Oklahoma City, OK on August 2, 2023


Photos and Review by: Ally Arens

Lineup: From Ashes to New, Fit For a King, Motionless in White

Venue: The Criterion, Oklahoma City, OK

Date: August 2, 2023

Gothic hard-rockers Motionless in White are in the midst of what is, in my opinion, one of the most stacked tours of the year thus far, co-headlining the Dark Horizon tour alongside In This Moment with support from Fit For a King and From Ashes to New. They recently stopped in Oklahoma City, OK, and Manor 208 had the absolute pleasure of documenting the (almost) sold-out evening. Though In This Moment would announce the morning of the show that they would be unable to perform due to “unforeseen circumstances”, leading to some refund requests, those who opted for a refund rather than coming out to support the remaining three acts missed out on one hell of a head-banging night. All three bands brought their A-game to the stage and made the show unforgettable for everyone in attendance.

First to take the stage were From Ashes to New, a hard rock act from Lancaster, PA that seamlessly blends heavy riffs with nu-metal-inspired rap verses and soaring choruses. Fresh off the release of their most recent record Blackout on July 28, this album was given the spotlight in their setlist as they opened up with the absolute powerhouse of their most recent single “Nightmare,” as well as other tracks such as “Hate Me Too” and, one of my personal favorites, “Dead to Me.” I had seen the band once before back in 2018, not long after their album The Future had released, and it’s clear they are only continuing to grow as a band, with vocalists Danny Case and Matt Brandyberry playing off of each other exceptionally.

Next was an act that I was familiar with by name but not by sound, as they lean a bit heavier than what I typically listen to, Texas-based metalcore act Fit For a King. Though I was unfamiliar with their material prior to their set, they absolutely blew me away with their stage presence as vocalist Ryan Kirby commanded the stage with his aggressive growls, while bassist Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary was catching some air unlike any bassist I’ve seen thus far. Tracks such as “Vendetta,” “Breaking the Mirror,” and “When Everything Means Nothing,” went over especially well. I noticed a flurry of concert-goers make their way over to their merch line after the set ended, making it clear that they gained several Oklahoma fans that night. Kirby would later take the stage again during Motionless’ set to provide guest vocals on “Slaughterhouse”, one of many highlights of the evening.

Finally, around 9 p.m., after a long day of blistering heat both inside and outside the venue, it was time for Motionless in White to take the stage. After a large white curtain dropped announcing their presence, the band came out swinging with a pair of tracks from last year’s Scoring the End of the World, the title track and “Sign of Life”. During the latter, the crowd started going wild as a flurry of crowd-surfers made their way up, which continued into their third track “Necessary Evil,” at which point I became temporarily sandwiched between two large speakers while security did an excellent job of catching the surfers in a tight pit. The crowd’s energy would not cease to wane until long after the last note of set closer “Eternally Yours” rang through the sound system, proof of the dedication of Motionless’ fan base. The band is actually planning to temporarily retire “Eternally Yours” as a closer on their upcoming “Touring the End of the World” run this fall, and I am simultaneously curious what they will replace it with and wondering how any show will feel quite the same without the now-iconic “We are Motionless in White, and we are Eternally Yours” line being uttered. 

Though I was one of many who was disappointed by the last-minute lineup change of In This Moment dropping off, especially since this was the third time in the past three years that ITM has had to cancel a show at this venue for one reason or another, the Motionless guys made sure the crowd still had a night to remember. One silver lining in the lineup change is that it allowed MIW to play a slightly extended setlist compared to the rest of the tour, with the band adding in fan favorites like “Brand New Numb” and “Soft,” and even pulling their cover of The Killers’ “Somebody Told Me” out of retirement, much to my delight. 

One thing that is consistent at a Motionless in White show is a feeling of care and inclusivity, between the rainbow stage lights during “Voices” as an homage to the LGBTQ+ community, and the bands willingness to pause to ensure everyone in the crowd is taken care of, which happened a couple of times due to extreme heat (temperatures outside were over 100 degrees, and inside was not much cooler with everyone’s collective body heat combining). This was my second MIW show, and I will always make an effort to see them whenever I can from here on out, as I know I can count on them to not only have an absolutely electric stage presence, but to also craft an environment where I can safely be myself as a queer person in a not-so-queer-friendly state. 

The Dark Horizon tour continues through August 19 in Albany, NY, before Motionless in White embarks on a second, extensive US headlining tour throughout the fall with support from Knocked Loose, After the Burial, and Alphawolf, kicking off with “The Scranton Apocalypse Fest” in the band’s hometown of Scranton, PA on September 16. Tickets for all upcoming shows can be found on the band’s website. The band will also be releasing a deluxe edition of last year’s Scoring the End of the World with four new tracks on September 8, copies of which can be pre-ordered here.

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