“While there was a heavy feeling of grief throughout the evening, there was also a strong sense of community. Everyone seemed to have a story to share about Pavone; whether it be personal interactions with him or inspiration through his music.”
The crowd was silent, not a sound other than the occasional sniffle or small laugh as photos of Kyle Pavone glowed on the large screen. Friends and family of Pavone gathered together at The Fillmore in Detroit to celebrate his life, and raise awareness to the Kyle Pavone Foundation.
Pavone is the late vocalist of Detroit post hardcore band We Came As Romans. On August 25, he passed away at the age of 28 due to an accidental drug overdose. The band has worked their way up from the local scene here, creating a sense of hope for other local bands that they too can make it.
I say friends and family as a blanket term, but family is probably the correct term to use. The band, their crew and the music scene is very close knit. While there was a heavy feeling of grief throughout the evening, there was also a strong sense of community. Everyone seemed to have a story to share about Pavone; whether it be personal interactions with him or inspiration through his music.
Pavone’s father, Vince Pavone explained to the crowd that he truly feels like everyone has grown together as a family while mourning the loss of his son.
“A word that resonates with me tonight is family,” said Cody Carson of Set it Off. “Kyle and the guys here embody that.”
In honor of Pavone, his family created the Kyle Pavone Foundation. The foundation’s promise states;
The Kyle Pavone Foundation is a promise to serve and advocate for the musician community in their time of greatest need, providing hope and a means to carry on.
Dave Stephens, the vocalist of the band seemed to carry the emotional weight of the room on his shoulders during the band’s tribute set. His powerful screams seemed to growl just a little more during their songs.
“Kyle could light up a room with his incredible personality and his sense of humour that was even better,” said Stephens. “His light burned so bright he burned himself out. He did so much for everyone he forgot to hold on a little bit for himself.”
We Came as Romans was joined by friends in the scene filling in for Pavone’s parts as they played their set. Eric Vanlerberghe and Brian Burkheiser of Detroit’s own I Prevail joined the band on stage for “Wasted Age.” Burkheiser recalled good times with Pavone, reflecting on a summer of Warped Tour they spent together. His humorous stories filled the room with a warm laughter, lightening the tone of the night.
Pavone’s family was present the entire evening, expressing gratitude to the room.
“Do you feel him here tonight? I do too.” expressed his mother Caroline Pavone. “We just want to thank you. Thank you for being his friends. Thank you for being his family.”
Other guests on stage included Matty Mullins of Memphis Mayfire, the original drummer of the band, Eric Choi and Joe Buras of Born of Osiris among other friends.
The song “Tracing Back Roots” off of the bands 2013 album holds significance to any long time fan. Pavone’s harmonies ring out “My home is in your heart” in the bridge of the song. Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red joined Stephens on stage for a special performance of this song.
Luhrs provided the power house screams while Stephens cried out the infamous line. It was heart wrenching to watch as Luhrs kneeled over, visibly crying as the crowd sang the words back.
“Kyle says ‘my home is in your heart and he’s right,” announced Luhrs. “His home is in our hearts tonight.”
The band closed their set with “Hope”, what Stephens claimed is their happiest song, in order to celebrate Pavone’s life. Confetti and sparklers shot off the stage as everyone came out to rejoice on another.
Below is the complete set list for the evening. You can donate to the Kyle Pavone Foundation here.
“Vultures With Clipped Wings”
“Wasted Age” (feat. Eric Vanlerberghe of I Prevail)
“Lost In The Moment” (feat. Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire)
“To Plant A Seed” (feat. Eric Choi)
“Tear It Down” (performed by For Today)
“Mis//Understanding” (feat. Jess Ess)
“Regenerate” (feat. Joe Buras of Born Of Osiris)
“Fade Away” (feat. Andy Leo of Crown The Empire)
“The World I Used to Know” (feat. Cody Carson of Set It Off)
“Encoder” (feat. Gabe Helguera of I Prevail & Nick Sampson)
“Tracing Back Roots” (feat. Jake Luhrs)
“Cold Like War” (feat. Daniel “Danny” Murillo of Hollywood Undead)