Last night Abigail and I got a chance to see August Burns Red, Bring Me The Horizon, Emarosa, and Polar Bear Club at The Beaumont Club in Kansas City, Missouri. Holy hand grenade it was a spine shattering good time. After the show, I got an opportunity to catch up with August Burns Red’s front man, Jake Luhrs to get some words of encouragement in an audio clip.
To read more and listen to the clip, click here.
As a special treat for all my little cretins out there, here is a message for you all I brought directly from Jake Luhrs. Enjoy!
The first act we caught was Polar Bear Club, an up-and-coming sextet from New York. This was my first encounter with them and I have to say they are very appealing to many genres. From harbingers of hardcore to pop-punk pretty boys, they all can find some ground to share in these energetic musicians. I found the sound well mixed, giving excellent notice to all the musicians’ instrument and their songs were clear and easy to understand. A humble thank you to the crowd was issued as well as a salute to the acts to come, really upped the respectability factor.
Rise Records’ Emarosa took the stage next and the six-piece band began their set. The only problem was their sound guy must have suffered serious acoustic trauma because the mix sounded like it was done without the use of his ears. The bass was heavy and murky while the vocals were cranked to eleven. I noticed a keyboardist and two guitarists playing their hearts out, but I never heard a note. Our outshining singer dressed similar to 20th century icon, Fred Durst. After the set singer Jimmy Craig (insert relation to Jenny Craig jokes here) made his way to the merch table, proceeded to talk on his phone the whole time and then disappear into the night. I think I saw him sign one autograph, but I can’t confirm that.
Like their debut album, This is What the Edge of Your Seat is For, suggests, that’s exactly where I felt I was when Bring Me The Horizon took stage with “It Never Ends”. Hot off the heels of their newest release from Epitaph, There is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen it…There is A Heaven, Let’s Keep it a Secret, Kerrang!’s Best British Newcomers immediately brought the fire this show had been lacking and the crowd was reacting instantly. Scores of bodies jammed to center stage, climbing and crawling over each other hoping to high five the lead singer, whose hand is tattooed with the words “High Five.” Just then, the Wall of Death formed and I felt compelled, nay, guided from below to partake. As droves of people lined opposite edges of the pit, the guitar chord rings out and as vocal virtuoso Oli Sykes rips a scream from beyond, the two seas collide and the pit rages on through the night. I found the courtesy level inside very high and the voracity of the crowd mediocre. The sound tech must have screwed his head on straight after the last flop. Synth leads, drum fills and furious fretwork were all accurately audible. “Crucify Me”, a song featuring the hook/title of their new album brought their set to a new level, followed by “Football Season Is Over” which demands “party till you pass out/drink till you’re dead/dance all night till you can’t feel your legs.” Also from Suicide Season, and closing song, “Chelsea Smile” was dedicated to Lionel Richie.
I’ll precurse this section saying I was somewhat dreading seeing August Burns Red live after hearing Home, their aptly titled newly released live album recorded in Manheim, PA. The music was on par with the recordings, but vocally was lacking energy and phrase length. The lyrical stylings just seemed short and lax. That being said, from the opening song to closing blast out, I enjoyed my words as a five-course meal at the show that night. Singer Jake Luhrs was over the top as an experienced stage performer and metal vocalist. Percussion prodigy Matt Greiner thundered through the set in flawless time. JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler made an exceptional duo, perfectly accented and assisted by bassist Dustin Davidson. Expertly mixed (finally) and delightfully mosh-tastic, they played songs from 2007’s Messengers and 2009’s Constellations, both released from Solid State Records. The music may have been brutally heavy, but the pit was pretty weak overall. However, a friend of mine did take a nasty knock on the dome. He said he lost consciousness for a couple seconds. Nonetheless, I merrily moshed on, threw the wee kiddos up to crowd surf and did my best to keep up with my sing along. Though they played for just over an hour, I felt like I had been there for thirty seconds. I wanted more and so did the masses, who chanted for it as well. Here is the set list:
The Truth of a Liar
The Escape Artist
Thirty and Seven