Underoath + mewithoutYou @ o2 Institute, 6th May, 2017

Underoath + mewithoutYou @ o2 Institute, 6th May, 2017Underoath + mewithoutYou @ o2 Institute, 6th May, 2017Underoath + mewithoutYou @ o2 Institute, 6th May, 2017Underoath + mewithoutYou @ o2 Institute, 6th May, 2017Underoath + mewithoutYou @ o2 Institute, 6th May, 2017Underoath + mewithoutYou @ o2 Institute, 6th May, 2017Underoath + mewithoutYou @ o2 Institute, 6th May, 2017

Underoath

American Rock band mewithoutYou took to the stage as the only support for Underoath tonight. They were very enigmatic initially with Aaron Weiss’ echoey voice and the building intensity of their opener ‘Torches Together’. Their style consists of mainly spoken vocals with drums, bass and guitar playing in the background freely; the result is generally quite indie.

‘Red Cow’ was an interesting one for me, from their latest 2015 album ‘Pale Horses’; a slow burning tune plodding along with a nice guitar riff placed inbetween the increasingly agressive and shouty lyrics. Had the song been conceived with power chords, possibly some djenting and blast beats then I would be describing to you a metal masterpiece but alas the instruments were reserved yet again; if anything giving Aaron’s vocals a more of a direct nature.

The band slowly transcended from indie to their post-hardcore roots with older songs such as ‘Bullet to Binary’; which more closely resembles the headline bands style. Aggressive and energetic with edgy guitar refrains; the bass and drums hitting their rhythm and it all coming together as one.

They were something different and mostly enjoyed by fans who were inside the venue. It’s quite refreshing to hear something unique in todays era.

Underoath

Underoath took to the stage in energetic fashion. Their setlist was a staggering 19 songs long and it consisted of 9 from ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’ (2004) and 10 from ‘Define the Great Line’ (2006); the first two albums in which the current singer for the band Spencer Chamberlain performed on and gained certified gold for both.

Underoath

‘Young and Aspiring’ opened up their set and we saw instant circle pit action. The band’s energetic nature couldn’t be faulted, Spencer, the drummer Aaron Gillespie and even the Keyboardist Christopher Dudley all never really stopped moving. They followed with ‘A Boy Brushed Red Living In Black and White’, ‘The Impact of Reason’ and ‘Reinventing Your Exit’; all went down a treat with the fans.

Underoath

Their style can be described as post-hardcore in it’s truest form; a nice mix of screaming and clean vocals with guitar work that is more punky than metal and keyboards adding a spacey dimension.  Comparisons can be made with blessthefall with their sad lyrics and aggressive lyrics shifts. ‘Reinventing Your Exit’ was notable for me, a song I really enjoyed seeing live and the song could have easily been a rock/punk rock song had it not been for the beautiful bursts of screamed lyrics throughout giving the song more emotion and depth.

Spencer took time after performing a few songs to thank the fans for greeting them in a positive manner, praising the energy in the room and admitting it calmed his nerves.

Underoath

‘It’s A Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door’ saw the crowd find their voices in full force, one of the highlights of the night being the entire crowd chant ‘I’m drowning in my sleep’ over and over again towards the end. ‘I Don’t Feel Very Receptive Today’ featured some impressive screaming from Spencer. ‘I’m Content With Loosing’ continued the subject matter of change and relationships as did ‘Some Will Seek Forgiveness’, with love and acceptance being key themes.

Songs from the newer album ‘Define the Great Line’ went down equally well amongst the fans, ‘You’re Ever So Inviting’ was a nice one for the fans to sing-a-along too and ‘Writing on the Walls’ gave us the nice ground-crunching ‘We Walk Alone’ breakdown. At this point their style reminded me more of old Enter Shikari, nice snappy drums and the different vocals intertwining nicely.

‘To Whom It May Concern’ saw them see their set out and it was a triumph of a set from Underoath tonight. Very rarely you see a post-hardcore band from the states come to the UK, perform songs released 10 years ago and get the reception they have tonight. It’s been a night of nostalgia for the fans, reliving their emo high school days and having a great time doing it.

They will always have a place in the post-hardcore history books.

 

Review and Photography: Neale Hayes

Tags: , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply


Brooke Bentham – “This Rapture” EP released 17 November

Before you read this and listen to Brooke Bentham’s latest release “This Rapture”, if you haven’t already I need you […]

Morrissey – Low In High School LP

Some thirty years ago Morrissey famously sang about dead people who had “loves and hates, And passions just like mine”. […]

Deaf Havana + Black Foxxes + Decade @ Kasbah Coventry, 14 November 2017

Norfolk band Deaf Havana, formed in 2005, have changed their style considerably over the years, going from pop-punk to a […]

Alice Cooper + The Mission @ Arena Birmingham, 14th November, 2017

Despite his age, Alice Cooper still tours regularly with his traditional shock rock show and tonight he has the support […]

Embrace @ The Slade Rooms, 7th November, 2017

Some bands never reach the finish line, instead falling at the first hurdle. Some make it a little further and fall at the third hurdle; for that, read “difficult third album”. Some bands reach the finish line in record time and collapse in a hyperventilating heap, hype being the operative word. Some bands however never reach the finish line. They can can set their own, have it moved from in front of them or just jump across into a different track. Embrace fall firmly into the latter category. They don’t need to re-invent themselves by jumping tracks, they might have stuttered in the past when the line was moved by record labels, but equally, they set their own finish lines, run their own race and at their own pace. This year sees the band release their latest single, the beautiful orchestral string strewn, “The Finish Line”, complete the recording of their new album, “Love Is A Basic Need”, perform a short run of six dates on this tour, and finish with a headline slot at Shiiine Weekend in mid-November. Oh…. and the small matter of two dates at Principality Stadium, Cardiff supporting their old mates Coldplay. Tickets for this intimate Slade Rooms gig and all others on this tour sold out in next to no time, many going before general release and to their dedicated following. You can see this at most of their gigs where you will see the same faces night after night gathered together in a few local hostelries pre-gig. So, here we are at a sold-out Slade Rooms, intimate for a band with such history, awaiting their arrival on stage. Coming on to the dying strains of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” they are welcomed like heroes. Like a band that has been around enough to have a set of crowd-pleasers in their bag which is precisely what they proceed to treat us to. A greatest hits package with a big lump of soon-to-be-crowd-pleasers to back up their still-got-it credentials. Opening with “Protection” from the last album with almost New Order-like echoes, they are quickly into their stride as they launch directly into one of their biggies, “All You Good Good People”. Almost twenty years old and still as fresh as it was in the 90s. It glides on disc, but live it positively soars and Danny McNamara uses his arms in the gesticulations of a football manager telling his players to get up the pitch. Here it is to lift the whole crowd in the first of several singalongs. They instantly oblige. “Nature’s Law” is another song that builds and then soars followed by a newer one, “Follow You Home” with “Oh,ohh! Oh ohh!” singalongs. We’re then back into crowd fave territory with “Come Back To What You Know” which lets the crowd stretch their lungs again. Newer tracks like “Refugees”, preceeded by “Where You Sleeping”, and both sung by guitarist Richard McNamara, and the latest single “The Finish Line” sit as easy as any other song in the set. If you don’t know the words, and so many of the people there tonight do know them, every single word, then there is sure to be a belter of a hit along shortly that you can sing to. The last five of the set are total killer hits; “One Big Family”, early full on Indie hit and anthemic growler that gives it’s name to the online social media group that follow the band with extreme zest. Next the emotional “Gravity” which, whilst being penned by Chris Martin of Coldplay and given firstly to tonight’s heroes , it is undoubtedly fully Embrace. “Someday” from the same album, and one of my personal faves, drifts over the venue dripping reverb and gentle feedback on the heads of all of us, before leading into the set closer, “Ashes”. Cue another bouncer of a song; uplifting, soaring and  full of phoenix from the ashes positivity. All the way through the set Danny McNamara has urged us onwards, those waves of the arms looking like he is almost trying to physically lift the audience and make us soar the same way that the songs soar. How close he is to doing that is hard to say but it was close enough that it means that the band are not getting back to their tour bus alive if they don’t oblige us an encore. A couple of tracks from the new album include a duet with a young lady called Eevah (?) who has the sort of vocals that much of the generic dross on X-Factor would give their right Autotune to have! Final track of the four song encore, the ultimate Embrace singalong, and possibly the song that typifies the band is “The Good Will Out”. Danny tells us that this was the song when they, as a band,  realised who they were and that they sounded like themselves only. The moment when they became Embrace. Well, yeah hell yeah. This is Embrace going to the heart of it. This is them being their most honest and emotional. However, above and beyond that, for me when a song is so strong, you can hear how someone else could drop in and put their own spin on the song making it sound different but equally as good with ease. That’s not to say it’s in some way simplistic. I mean to emphasise how strong a song it is. As I stand there in the midst of the crowd, as they out pour their emotions back at the band, I’m imagining my favourite vocalists, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding, and how they and their bands would have covered such a great song. It’s a killer of an end to a great set and the band take centre stage to take a well deserved bow. Still not there yet. Many more Finish Lines still to chase down. Reviewer: Mark Veitch Photographer: Phil Veitch

Black Star Riders @ Wulfrun Hall, 8th November, 2017

Tonight Birmingham Live have the chance to see Black Star Riders a band we’ve followed for a long time, our […]