We Came As Romans will host a memorial concert for its late singer Kyle Pavone on Oct. 28 at the Fillmore Detroit in the group’s home town.
The group announced the Promise Me Tribute, a fundraiser for the newly established Kyle Pavone Foundation, during its performance Sunday night at the same venue, opening for Bullet For My Valentine. It was the band’s first home town show since Pavone’s death on Aug. 25 at the age of 28, from a drug overdose. In addition to WCAR, frontman Dave Stephens, who sported a Promise Me T-shirt, announced “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.”
The mission of the foundation, established by Pavone’s family, 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.”
WCAR’s set on Sunday was, not surprisingly, emotionally charged with the remaining quintet still raw from Pavone’s death. A banner reading “Kyle Pavone 1990-2018” was draped across a table at the back of the stage, while fans chanted Pavone’s name both during and at the end of the show. Pavone’s family was reportedly in attendance.
“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. Honesty… is the way we’ve been navigating our grief” and he 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.”
“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.”
WCAR will continue with BFMV through Oct. 16 in Las Vegas. Tickets are now on sale for the Promise Me Tribute. Updates will be posted at www.kylepavonefoundation.org.