Between the Buried & Me did it again. They completely blew my mind last night as they did just a few months ago (see my post: Take Me Back To My Past).
Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a huge BTBAM fan. I rarely listen to them because the music is too chaotic and makes me anxious for some reason. That being said, I would never turn down a chance to see them live. Their live show is like none other. The music is still just as chaotic as it is on CD but for some reason seeing them live is calming for me.
As I said, their music is chaotic. Take a little bit of jazz, a little bit of blues, and mix it with a whole lot of metal you might have something somewhat close to what these guys are putting out. There are moments when singer Tommy Rogers plays riffs on the piano that make you feel like you are about to watch some musical but then guitarist Paul Waggoner comes in with some sweeping guitar solo and you are reminded that you are at nothing less than an amazing metal show.
There is not much banter between the band members which completely blows my mind. The music is so complicated and at times it feels like each band member is playing a completely different song. You would think that they would have to interact in order to make sure they all come together when need be but not these guys. They are each in their own little world and although the music sounds like a cluster at times, it all comes together in pure harmony.
The crowd seemed a bit subdued as they did the last time I saw BTBAM so I’m starting to think that’s just the way the crowd acts at their shows. It’s either that or the fact that the crowd had given everything they could to opener August Burns Red. Also, the music of BTBAM is just too amazing. Maybe that’s it. You can’t help but stop dead in your tracks with your jaw on the floor while watching these guys play. It’s almost as if time stops.
As mentioned, August Burns Red was direct support for BTBAM. I have seen these guys multiple times most recently with Every Time I Die back in December (My Post: I Want To Be Dead With My Friends). These guys have an uphill battle to win with me. I saw them years and years ago and they were super preachy about Jesus. As I always say, that’s all fine and good if you are playing at a church but a rock show is not a place for preaching religion. As a Jew, I felt alienated and completely turned off by the band. In December when I saw ABR there was no mention of Jesus or religion and I was able to truly enjoy them for what they are. Sadly, the prejudice against these guys was still in the back of my head even though it was quickly fading.
That prejudice is completely gone after last night. August Burns Red killed it. Absolutely freaking killed it. Their music is angry. Their singer looks angry. The crowd got angry. And I was oh so happy on the inside.
August Burns Red had an unusually long set and were able to play a little bit of everything which definitely kept the crowd interested. No matter what “era” of ABR they were playing, singer Jake Luhr kept it absolutely intense. This guy’s screams are deafening to say the least. The fact that he can scream like he does night after night and still have a voice completely blows my mind.
The crowd was intense as the pit opened up and kept on getting bigger and bigger. At one point, Jake had the crowd split for a “wall of death”. A wall of death is when the crowd splits in half and then on the singer’s word, they run at each other and hope not to die. This is always fun to watch as people slam into each other and bodies go flying. Security was on it. As soon as Jake made the motion for the crowd the split, the guards were up on the barricades with eyes open just waiting for someone to get hurt. The crowd couldn’t wait and before Jake even started the countdown, the walls had hit. This definitely wasn’t the best wall of death I had ever seen but it’s always a sight to see regardless.
I can’t believe I protested these guys for so long and I regret that. I am more than glad that I kept giving them more chances to redeem themselves. Last night, they completely redeemed themselves. Maybe next time I’ll even buy a shirt from them because they are an incredible band to watch live.
The same can not be said for opener Good Tiger. Good Tiger is apparently a super group. The members of this band are ex members of bands like The Faceless, Tesseract, and Architects UK. This band is amazing as an idea but live, I was more than let down. I understand that tracking vocals is the reality of bands these days. Everything is edited in the studios and bands just can’t do the same thing live. That being said, make me believe you are actually singing your own songs. If you lower the microphone and there are still vocals going on, I lose all respect for you and unlike August Burns Red, you will never gain that respect back.
I go to live shows because it’s real. It’s dirty. It’s raw. It’s less than perfect. It breaks my heart to see bands go up there and do something fake. If you can’t play the music that you’re putting out then you don’t deserve to be on a tour as big as a tour like this. It you need to track a couple lines or phrases, that’s fine. But you better keep that microphone up to your mouth and make me believe you are trying. Good Tiger, I apologize, your music seemed great and right up my alley but because of the tracking, you will never get the respect from me that you deserve.
Even with the disappointment that was the opening act, last night was nothing short of an amazing display of the true talent that metal bands have. If anyone doesn’t think metal takes talent and dedication, I urge you to check out bands like August Burns Red and Between The Buried & Me.
Venue: Skyway Theatre
Sausage Fest Meter- 9 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 23
Crowd Surfers- 31
Stage Divers- None
Moshing Level- Moderate
Broken Bones- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None
Trench Coats- 2
Spotted Flying Through the Crowd- Bodies, Cups, Ice, Beer
Found in the Pit- Shoes, Hats, Bottles, Shattered Phones, Glasses
Celebrity Sightings- Lee of Mithya
Overall Score- 7 out of 10
Show on Deck- The Rocket Summer