Underoath brought their Erase Me Tour to Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, with support from a trio of well-established, post-hardcore, American rock bands that included The Plot In You, Crown The Empire, and Dance Gavin Dance - and blew the roof off of the place!
The Plot in You was first to take to the stage, an American rock band formed in Ohio in 2010. The group is composed of vocalist Landon Tewers, guitarist Josh Childress, bassist Ethan Yoder, drummer Mathis Arnell, and have released one EP and four studio albums, most recent being Dispose from February of this year. In their early days they were considered more of a hardcore band, but as with a lot of hardcore bands that stick around for a while, they have evolved greatly. These days they definitely fit in with the post-hardcore genre, which makes sense considering that the other three bands on this night's bill are all post-hardcore. On Dispose, Tewers vocals frequently begin in a soft crooning, building up into powerfully melodic wails, which culminate in agonized screaming. With four bands on the billing, TPIY had only a six-song set, with all but one of those tracks coming from Dispose. TPIY was an excellent choice to open up the show, and while being limited to such a short set, they were quick to get the crowd involved, with avid fans singing along from the opening tune. They put on an outstanding performance, and sounded phenomenal, and I would love to see a show with them as the headliner and and hear more live tracks from Dispose - It really is an excellent album, flowing beautifully from start to finish, and TPIY's live performance really did it justice.
The Plot In You Setlist:
Not Just Breathing
My Old Ways
One Last Time
The Plot in You Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
After a brief stage reset, Crown The Empire took over the support duties, an American rock band formed in 2010 in Dallas. The band members are vocalist Andrew Velasquez, guitarist Brandon Hoover, drummer Brent Taddie, and bassist/vocalist Hayden Tree. They have released one EP and three full-length albums, with their latest being Retrograde from 2016. They have released two new singles recently (both of which they performed in this show) and have a new album slated for release in 2019. Much like The Plot In You and many other hardcore/metalcore artists, CTE seems to be shunning the heavy screaming, harsh vocals, and focusing on more melodic vocals. As it always does, this has raised the ire of many of their longtime fans who miss the rough-around-the-edges sound of CTE's debut EP, Limitless. I for one applaud such evolution and growth, it shows the maturity of an established group of musicians. Not to say that I don't enjoy the old stuff as well, in fact, Limitless was a phenomenal debut for CTE, and I was a little disappointed that they didn't include any tracks from it in their set, but like TPIY, they were limited in their time on stage, but the band did a great job with their time on stage, and kept the ball rolling for Dance Gavin Dance.
Crown The Empire Setlist:
Memories Of A Broken Heart
What I Am
Crown the Empire Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
Another stage reset, but the stage is still small working room for Dance Gavin Dance, with only a few feet of space between the monitors and the drum kit at center stage. With dual vocalists and a trio of guitarists there seemed hardly room to breathe, let alone dance, but they made it work. Dance Gavin Dance is an American rock band from Sacramento, formed in 2005, and currently consists of Tilian Pearson (clean vocals), Jon Mess (unclean vocals), Will Swan (lead guitar), Tim Feerick (bass guitar), Matthew Mingus (drums, percussion), and touring member Andrew Wells (Rhythm guitar, backing vocals). During their 13-plus year span of existence DGD endured numerous lineup changes, most significantly being on vocals, with only Swan and Mingus remaining throughout their eight studio albums and one EP. DGD kicks off their set with the gentle picking of Swan as he strums the opening chords of "Son Of Robot"., but the gentle picking soon gives way to hard shredding and harsh vocals as Jon Mess begins screaming the opening lines of the song, and instantly the whole room begins to churn and surges forward, everyone trying to make their way as close as possible to the front. Mess finishes up his part, and Tilian Pearson picks up with his high-pitched clean vocals, with the crowd singing along loudly yet unable to drown out Pearson's piercing perfect pitch (say that five times fast)! This guy can wail! It was my first time hearing him live and I must say, it is unreal. DGD follows up "Son Of Robot" with "Midnight Crusade", a song that has the opposite format, starting off with Pearson's clean vocals and then jumping into the hard shredding guitars and the unclean vocals of Mess. Obviously a fan-favorite the crowd gets even louder, challenging both Pearson and Mess in volume. DGD put on a fantastic performance and really set the stage for a phenomenal finish by Underoath.
Dance Gavin Dance Setlist:
Son Of Robot
Suspended In This Disaster
Chucky Vs. The Giant Tortoise
On The Run
We Own The Night
Inspire The Liars
Dance Gavin Dance Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
The stage was reset one final time, and now we could get a grasp of the enormity of Underoath's stage set-up. They have a large LED screen drum and keyboard riser that's about three feet high, and spanning nearly the entire width of the stage, with screens along the back extending it up another six feet or so high. It's broken up into two sections with an area stage left for keyboardist Christopher Dudley, and stage right set up for drummer Aaron Gillespie. Underoath's set begins with just the two of them on stage, playing an extended version of the intro to the song "On My Teeth". They are soon joined by the other four members, with Spencer Chamberlain taking center stage and handling vocals. The remaining three members are Timothy McTague on lead guitar (also handling supplemental drum duties on the opening song), Grant Brandell on bass guitar, and James Smith on rhythm guitar. To say that Underoath plays with a lot of energy would be an understatement, and that goes for their fans as well. While there was a significant amount of moshing and crowd surfing throughout the early [part of the night, the pace most definitely increased and intensified during Underoath's set. Not surprisingly, they only performed songs from their last 5 albums (the ones recorded with Chamberlain as lead vocalist), with the majority of those songs coming from their latest album, Erase Me released April of this year. Overall it was a well thought out and executed set, and it flowed beautifully from start to finish. They slowed it way down on their second-to-last track, an acoustic cover of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box", performed by Chamberlain and Gillespie, and on the final chorus of "Heart Shaped Box" Gillespie went back up to his drum kit and the rest of the band joined in to finish it off. They followed this up and closed out the set with their hit single "Writing On The Walls", from their gold certified album Define The Great Line.
I have had the privelege of seeing Underoath live a few times, but mostly in an outdoor festival environment. This was my first time seeing them as a headliner in a relatively intimate indoor environment and it was, by far, the best experience. This was an exceptional show, from start-to-finish - and not only that, but they chose three other exceptional bands to join them on this tour. This was one of my top 5 shows of 2018!
On My Teeth
Young And Aspiring
In Regards To Myself
Breathing In A New Mentality
It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures
I Hate It
Reinventing Your Exit
It Has To Start Somewhere
A Fault Line, A Fault Of Mine
Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear
A Boy Brushed Red Living In Black And White
I Gave Up
Heart Shaped Box (Nirvana)
Writing On The Walls
UNDEROATH Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos