Tuesday I felt like I’d been hit by a couple of Mack trucks. I was running off of a couple of hours of sleep, and I’d only eaten twice that day. I struggled in the weight room, and I died at track practice (Though, if we’re being completely fair here, that was the desired effect of Coach’s workout). I should be in a terrible mood. It should be the worst day of my life, but it wasn’t. All because on Monday I GOT TO SEE UNDEROATH AND BRING ME THE HORIZON LIVE AND IN PERSON AND I’M STILL NOT OVER IT.
In an effort to get some of this excitement out, I figured I’d share my concert experience with you guys.
PHASE ONE: THE WAITING GAME
I’m not a serial concert goer, but this was still far from my first rodeo. I knew that if I wanted to get a good spot in the pit, I would have to arrive at the venue early to beat out the fanatics (or at least the ones who don’t camp out in line). My original plan was to show up around six or seven a.m., but I was in St.Louis and the sun wasn’t out yet and I didn’t feel like being stabbed so I waited till about eight. When I got there I was second in line and I felt mega accomplished…and then I got cold. See it had been raining since six or so and it was about 58 degrees Fahrenheit with a brisk wind. It took about 10 minutes for it to hit me and I basically shivered for 10 hours straight. I didn’t really mind though because a couple hours into the wait I started talking to some of the people waiting with me (I’m ridiculously shy/socially anxious so I usually just awkwardly stare at strangers instead of talking to them) and we kind of hit it off. We exchanged concert stories, musical opinions, and jokes and due to our newly formed sense of companionship, time sort of flew by. Shout out to you guys if your reading (Zach and Theo I’m looking at you).
PHASE TWO: BEARTOOTH TAKES THE STAGE
Beartooth was not a band I was super excited to see. I don’t dislike the band, but their music doesn’t speak to me in the way that it does their core fan base. I was mostly just excited because I was closer to seeing Underoath and Bring Me The Horizon. I thought I would do some light head bobbing during their set. I was wrong. They came out roaring with an intense ferocity that was infectious whether you knew the songs or not. I jumped some, I swayed some, it was rad, but I think I would have been much more active. Plus the pit was super tiny and at the very back and I was at the very front and it just wasn’t worth it. So overall I give Beartooth a 7/10.
PHASE THREE: THE VETERANS STEAL ALL OF MY VIGOR
After being a fan for eleven years, I finally got to see the band that got me into an entire new world of music. The band who introduced me to screaming, antiphony , and helped strengthen my faith when everything else failed me. To say that I was excited was an understatement. Minutes before they graced the stage with their presence I warned those around me that things were about to get intense and that they should prepare themselves.
Underoath hit the stage and launched into one of my favorite songs (though not one on my top ten) and then played another one of my favorites and followed that up with ANOTHER one of my faves (that one was in my top ten). I was losing it. The entire set consisted of me spazzing out jumping around, moshing, (as politely as I could, since I wasn’t in the pit), and headbanging so with so much force that I’m pretty sure I almost gave my self a concussion. I was so overcome with emotion that I cried twice during their set: once during A Moment Suspended In Time and again during There Could Be Nothing After This. AND THEN Spencer (The lead vocalist) came into the crowd for a bit AND I TOUCHED HIS HAND. AND HIS HAIR. I COULD FEEL HIS BREATH ON MY ARM. I know I’m hardcore fangirling right now, but I honestly don’t care. That was great because in that moment I had tangible proof that everything that I was experiencing was real. It wasn’t a fever dream, or an illusion, or an elaborate virtual reality experience, it was 100% real. I didn’t really get to assess how the pit was since it was still behind me, but I did try glance back there during the breakdowns of some of the gnarlier songs and it seemed bigger and more active than it was during Beartooth’s set. At the end of their set the band started throwing items into the crowd (guitar picks, drumsticks, the like) and one of the guys took a set list and threw at us and it started to go behind me, but I channeled my inner Randy Moss and snagged it down. Anyway I give Underoath’s performance a 10/10.
PHASE FOUR: THE HEADLINER DESTROYS WHAT’S LEFT OF ME
So at this point I’m pretty wiped out. I’d only eaten like twice that day and it wasn’t very much. My knees felt weak, and I was breathing pretty hard; I didn’t think I had the energy for BMTH’s set. Then the screen behind the stage lit up, music started to play, Jordan Fish (Keys and effects/Vocals) and Matt Nichols (Drums) walked out on stage. The crowd roared. Lee Malia (Guitar) and …an unknown road guitarist followed. The crowd roars louder. Oliver Sykes (Lead Vocals) took center stage and crowd went into an absolute frenzy. He stared intensively out into the crowd, seemingly unfazed by the massive amount of adoration being thrown his way. This lasted for a while and then S-P-I-R-I-T! SPIRIT! LETS HEAR IT! Confetti canons had gone off shooting streamers high into the air, Oli was twirling round on the stage, and somehow without realizing it we had all jumped into the air at the same time. We would end up doing that multiple times throughout the night, but that first time was the only time I can recall us doing so without Oli expressly commanding it. I had gotten my second wind, and for the next three songs I was jumping, singing/screaming along, and headbanging. By the fourth song I was feeling it again. I don’t know if it was due to my exhaustion or because that song hits home for me, but three notes into Avalanche and tears were falling down my face again. After that I was spent. I was still participating, but instead of moshing and jumping like before I was mostly just pointing and singing along.
Luckily for me, they played four of their slower songs back to back so I was able to recover a bit. I know some of you are thinking “you know you don’t have to jump and mosh during the harder, up tempo songs.” To which I say, YES THE HELL YOU DO. Oliver commanded energy. He was giving his all on stage, and we could only hope to repay his efforts by doing the same in the crowd. Plus he was screaming and giving us some wicked low growls that I haven’t heard from him in a very long time. It was like he was telling us ” I know I don’t scream on records anymore, but don’t get it twisted I still got it.” During these songs damn near the whole crowd was the pit. It was ‘lit’ as the kids say. BMTH ended their set with Throne.
Except they didn’t. We all knew they were waiting for us to beg for an encore, and beg we did. And even though we all knew they were gonna come back and do at least one more song, we all collectively lost our minds when they came back and played three. During the second song of the encore set I could feel the tears trying to well up in my eyes again, but I’m honestly not sure if they fell or not. At this point I had sweat so much that there wasn’t much moisture left in my body. Anyway, the band closed out with Drown and in this moment dozens of people decided that they wanted to crowd surf at the exact same time. I spent most of the song looking over my shoulder so I wouldn’t get unexpectedly kicked in the head. After the song ended members of the band started throwing things into the crowd and Jordan threw a towel to me. Not into the crowd, but to me. We made eye contact. It was rad. BMTH also gets 10/10.
So that’s my concert review I hope you dudes enjoyed it. I tried to condense as much of the experience as I could into the post, but there’s a good deal of stuff I left out. (Bring Me The Horizon’s stunning visuals for example). If you guys want me to keep doing concert reviews after I go to shows then comment and let me know. If you thought that this was a terrible waste of your time and you never want to read about someone else’s experiences ever again, then let me know about that too. Thanks for reading!
There’s Some Flava For Your Ear
P.S. Here are pictures of Underoath’s set list (That I caught) and Bring Me The Horizon’s set list (That Zach caught)
My next post will be an album review that one of you guys requested! So be on the lookout.