Bring Me The Horizon, Underoath, Beartooth
April 1, 2017
WaMu Theater – Seattle, WA
Three years have passed since the last time Bring Me the Horizon has rolled through Seattle prior to their 2015 release of ‘That’s the Spirit’. As of April 1st, this is not a joke, that three year wait has finally come to an end with the American Nightmare Tour. Supported by heavy hitters, Beartooth and Underoath, this concert most definitely had a little bit of everything for those with varying tastes in the metalcore scene. Upon my arrival to the venue, Occidental Avenue was packed with eager fans, line coiling well past the north end of Century Link Field. According to a post made by Bring Me the Horizon hours before the show, only a handful of tickets were left for this event, and it was made obvious by how packed the floor was. WaMu Theater has reported that there were a total of 6,911 tickets purchased, which is astonishing given that the capacity is 7,200. This date was only 289 tickets shy of being sold out.
Opening up the show with a fairly short set, about thirty minutes, consisting of seven songs total, Beartooth came out on their ‘A’ game. Alternating seamlessly between their 2016 release Aggressive and 2015’s Disgusting. This being the first time I’ve seen Beartooth live, I have to say that they put on a decent show. Starting out with the first track Aggressive off of the album with the same name, instantly the crowd was moving. The hype was kept up through the majority of their set as they continued on with Body Bag, encouraging participation from old fans and new fans alike with the chant “One life, One Decision”. Entering their third song, the speed was brought down with Sick of Me, yet the energy was still present in the sea of people. That has always been one thing that has impressed me. Occasionally for opening acts, it’s difficult to get the crowd moving, but Beartooth didn’t struggle in the slightest. Again they increased the speed and energy of their set with The Lines off of Disgusting, following up with Fair Weather Friend constantly encouraging the crowd to continue on. When the guys launched into In Between the energy had mellowed out a bit, but the reception was fantastic. Finally coming to a close with their single Hated which peaked at number six on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts.
Impressions? I fully enjoyed their set. The hype and energy were there, but sound quality wasn’t what I would expect from such a large scale event. Lacking heavily in both guitars and bass, vocals and drums were overpowering which made it a little difficult to get into. Pushing all of that aside, I look forward to seeing Beartooth on the 2017 Vans Warped Tour this summer.
It has been roughly one year since Underoath last came to Seattle on their headlining Rebirth Tour, following Self Help Fest in 2016 in which they reunited for the first time since the summer of 2013. Underoath brought eleven songs with them on the American Nightmare tour for a visually impressive and loud set. Their sound heavier than that of Beartooth and the current focus of Bring Me the Horizon, yet it fit perfectly into the mould. Instantly the guys of Underoath fled straight into Everyone Looks So Great From Here and without pause began In Regards to Myself from their 2006 release Define The Great Line, igniting a flame within the older generation, as well as, introducing the iconic heavy handed sound to new fans. Their entire set felt like a throwback, especially once they started playing It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door, I can remember when They’re Only Chasing Safety came out in June of 2004. The set continued with A Moment Suspended in Time and A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White before introducing two songs from their 2008 release Lost In the Sound of Separation. Both Breathing in a New Mentality and Emergency Broadcast: The End is Near sounded amazing, and happened to be my favorite part of their set. Following up with Illuminator the only song played from Ø (disambiguation), the sound started to slip up, but despite these issues that are very common with WaMu Theater, the pit was still alive and singing along. Underoath closed their set with There Could Be Nothing After This, Reinventing Your Exit, and Writing on the Walls, all three songs induced high energy from the crowd, especially within the fans that have been with Underoath since the beginning.
Would I see them again? Definitely. While I appreciated their set and showmanship, like Beartooth, the sound was lacking, due to the nature and history of this venue. Turning toward their stage presence and performance I was rather impressed. The guys of Underoath are definite veterans to this scene, their ability to increase adrenaline in the pit is remarkable. Spencer Chamberlain was constantly keeping crowd energy at a high, and like others have mentioned before me Christopher Dudley just does not stop moving. What I love the most about Underoath is their ability to keep everyone on their toes. Commanding such a presence is difficult when one or two members of the band are getting people hyped, but that was not the case. Underoath has also made mention that they were planning on coming back next year, so definitely keep your eyes and ears open for updates.
Finally it was time for the headliners, Bring Me the Horizon. I have been dying to see these guys again since 2008. Unfortunately I had missed them on the American Dream Tour in 2014, but what was another three year wait? First off, the visuals that they used were tremendous. The majority of the stage was back lit, making it difficult to decipher the band’s faces, and only through the occasional change of lighting was it made possible. Their setup consisted of the main stage and two added tiers, placing Jordan Fish and Matthew Nicholls at the top. The entire stage was lit using this platform with an array of graphics specific to each song in their fifteen song set.
Instantly the band came out playing Happy Song from That’s the Spirit and there was a major improvement in sound quality. The screens lit with the cheer that plays through the song, and Oliver Sykes rallied the crowd to participate in the Spirit chant flawlessly. Not only did they come out with a burst of energy, a wall of death during the first song? It wouldn’t be a Bring Me the Horizon show without at least one. Powering through Go to Hell, for Heaven’s Sake and The House of Wolves, both from Sempiternal, it was apparent that BMTH were not going to slow down anytime soon; even with Avalanche next on their agenda. The graphics to this song were exquisitely timed and placed, and the energy of the venue continued to stay elevated. Shadow Moses was by far one of my top three songs performed by BMTH. The crowd was definitely a part of this song in chanting the well known “This is Sempiternal” lyrics. Things took a shift when Chelsea Smile from Suicide Season was played. While I love the album itself this song didn’t translate well live, but that did not stop me from enjoying it. BMTH slowed things down with Follow You and then Sleepwalking, both of which were beautifully done. While Doomed is the opening track for That’s the Spirit, the placement of the song couldn’t have been better. Reaching a lull in the setlist about halfway through allowing the crowd to catch their breaths before picking things back up with Can You Feel My Heart. The best part of the night? The performance of Antivist. Given the state of our world as it is, there was no better song to describe how most of us feel about our current situation. While it was obvious that there were a few stressed moments in the vocals, the fans made up for it and everything had filled in nicely. Bring Me the Horizon closed out the night with four songs from That’s the Spirit, and they didn’t disappoint. Throne was sort of a special moment for me as this track holds a deeper meaning as well as True Friends. Both of these songs were performed exceptionally. As the night was starting to wind down, the gents of BMTH performed Oh No and finished out their set with Drown in an explosion of confetti.
What do I have to say about Bring me the Horizon? Their set was expertly choreographed and it was definitely worth the ticket price. Overall sound quality was satisfactory, which the crowd had made up for by singing along and keeping the pit alive. The performance itself was worth every cent. It was emotionally heart wrenching and high energy, everything I expect from any band, but BMTH had done exceptionally well.
As a whole? Given the nature of this venue, I felt that it didn’t do these bands the justice they deserved. The capacity was there, the aesthetics were also there, but I felt that they could have done so much more. Which is why I look forward to seeing what may come from Beartooth, Underoath and Bring Me the Horizon.
Review by: Sara Scott
Bring Me The Horizon