“Perhaps it was the occasion, perhaps it was the lyrics and the voice that they were supposed to come from, or perhaps a combination of a handful of things, but Stephens led his band into “Hope” with a heavy heart and teary eyes.”
Michigan-based post-hardcore act We Came As Romans lost a vital piece of their membership in August, announcing that clean vocalist Kyle Pavone had suffered an accidental overdose that claimed his young life at the age of 28.
The announcement shocked everyone and understandably shook the entire music scene.
— We Came As Romans (@wecameasromans) August 31, 2018
A few weeks later, now lead vocalist Dave Stephens, appeared in a video on the We Came As Romans Twitter page, announcing that they would not be abandoning the project, but will instead continue the band in the name of Pavone and his legacy. They also would not be replacing Pavone, and rather Stephens would begin to perform take both of the vocal duties.
— We Came As Romans (@wecameasromans) September 11, 2018
Having been booked on a tour in direct support of Bullet For My Valentine before Pavone’s passing, We Came As Romans made the decision to embark on the tour, less than a month since their lead vocalists death, as a form of therapy, and in an attempt to help work through the trauma that had just up-rooted their entire life at its very core.
October 7, 2018 was a monumental date in the history and the legend of We Came As Romans. On that date, the band returned home to play their “hometown” for the first time since Pavone’s death. Stephens and the rest of the group made their way to the stage with friends, family, and a venue full of fans waiting on baited breath.
In nearly pitch black, Stephens raised one hand in the air, pointed to the sky…
“I never found peace, but now I’m fighting a war.” belted out of a man who not only lost one of his best friends but took hold of the most vulnerable and perhaps publicly distinguished position of the band with a lone spotlight shinning on him.
Playing through a setlist that included most of the bands most popular songs, fan favorites, and radio singles; Stephens and the rest of the band are effectively forced to play through tracks with lyrics, a majority of the time that were sang by Pavone, of staying strong, believing in yourself, keeping on with the fight, not giving up, and staying alive.
“I won’t fade away/like the ones before/I won’t let you down…”
“I wanna live lost in the moment with my eyes wide, breathing new life…”
“To be devoted to letting all see what it is to live in the love of others…”
Finally, taking a second to look out into the crowd and make a quick monologue about the night, Stephens broke down. Perhaps it was the occasion, perhaps it was the lyrics and the voice that they were supposed to come from, or perhaps a combination of a handful of things, but Stephens led his band into “Hope” with a heavy heart and teary eyes.
“Sometimes I feel so wrong, like I’m being held down. I feel my heart like a rock, it’s sinking. These days can get so dark, like an eclipse in the sky…but I can rise above. I can find the light.”
When Pavone’s clean part came at this point in the song, bassist Andy Glass took over vocals as Stephens bowed his head to wipe his eyes, in what was the most emotional point in the night. I’m not sure if everyone in the crowd noticed this subtle movement, but to who did experience it, saw the absolute heartbreak and the strength it takes every single member to get on that stage at The Fillmore in Detroit.
We Came As Romans finished the night out strong with “Cold Like War,” but before leaving the stage for Bullet For My Valentine, reminded the crowd about the Promise Me Tribute presented by the Kyle Pavone Foundation, being played at the The Fillmore on October 28, 2018 in honor, to tribute, and in support of Pavone’s legacy.
For a donation of $15.00 you can celebrate Kyle Pavone’s life and legacy in the way that he would want to be remember. We Came As Romans will be playing a headlining set, with friends of the band, and singers from other bands participating to sing some of Kyle’s lyrics. Special guests are to be announced closer to the date of the show. Hit the link below for tickets.