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WCAR returns home to mourn, pay tribute to late singer

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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DETROIT -- The show -- a hometown show, at that -- went on for We Came As Romans on Sunday night, Oct. 7, at the Fillmore Detroit, albeit with a heavy hearts both on stage and in the crowd.

The opening slot for Wale's Bullet For My Valentine was the Troy-formed heavy rock band's first show in the metro area since the Aug. 25 death of singer Kyle Pavone at the age of 28, from a drug overdose. And even as WCAR announced an Oct. 28 benefit concert for the Kyle Pavone Foundation -- with members of his family reportedly in attendance -- emotions within the remaining quintet were visibly raw during the 40-minute performance.

"It feels good to be here tonight," frontman Dave Stephens said early in the set. "When everything happened, I didn't think we'd ever get to do this again...It feels somewhat therapeutic." Stephens, who sported a black Promise Me T-shirt promoting the upcoming benefit, later noted that "honesty...is the way we've been navigating our grief" and talked about coping by sharing "stories and favorite memories" about Pavone -- including "his ability to live in the present" before introducing the song "Lost in the Moment."

Later, before a particularly appropriate trilogy of "Foreign Fire," "Tracing Back Roots" and Hope," Stephens choked up and had to pause as he encouraged the crowd to "talk to somebody about...your feelings. Be honest about what you're feeling, and don't ever feel like it's a vulnerability."

A banner reading "Kyle Pavone, 1990-2018" was draped over a table at the back of the stage, while fans periodically changed Pavone's name during and at the end of the set.

"The only reason we're still doing this is we want to honor Kyle's legacy, want to honor his memory, we want to keep playing these songs," Stephen added before the show-closing "Cold Like War." "This was his dream. Being on this stage was his favorite place to be -- but not just any stage, THIS stage in Detroit, Mich...We knew this was gonna be an emotional one. Thank you guys for riding it out with us."

Tickets are now on sale for the Promise Me Tribute, which will feature WCAR and, Stephens promises, "a whole bunch of guest vocalists, guest musicians, tons of DJS. It's just gonna be a big party celebrating all the awesome things Kyle did in his life." Visit thefillmoredetroit.com or kylepavonefoundation.org updates.

Web Site: www.kylepavonefoundation.org

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