August Burns Red is on tour commemorating the ten-year anniversary of their third studio album, Constellations with support from Silverstein and Silent Planet, and they recently made a stop at the House of Blues Las Vegas and I was fortunate enough to witness the event.
Opening the performance was Silent Planet, a metalcore group out of Azusa, Ca, who have three full studio albums along with two EPs. They are fronted by the only remaining original member, Garrett Russell, and are known for thought provoking lyrics that encompass topics such as war, psychology, and religion. Russell employs a variety of vocal techniques including heavy growls, high-pitched screams, and spoken word crescendos. This was my second time seeing them perform live, and they are quite good at what they do - technically sound metalcore with well-written lyrics, but I feel that the commentary between songs (Russell likes to explain what each song is about) kills some of the intensity that is built up during each song. I’d rather just hear them play through and let the music do the talking. But a solid band an a good start to the night.
Silverstein from Ontario Canada have released nine studio albums, four EPs, a compilation album, and a live DVD/CD. Although considered post-hardcore/emo/screamo, they have obvious pop/punk flavors spread throughout their music, but Silverstein made it abundantly clear that they were still had their hardcore edge when front man Shane Told bounded onto the stage, quickly introduced the band, and launched into "Retrograde". Told shows he hasn’t lost it with piercing screaming vocals, intermixed with his flawless clean vocals, occasionally dropping into spoken word. Following up "Retrograde", Told asked the crowd if they wanted to hear some “old stuff” to which the crowd responded with enthusiasm. Responding in kind, the band enthusiastically began to play "Smashed Into Pieces", from their first full-length studio album, When Broken Is Easily Fixed, from 2003. The crowd began to emphatically sing along word-for-word and cheering loudly at the end, and this continued throughout the set, showing that there were just as many people there to see Silverstein as there were to see August Burns Red. Silverstein really pumped up the energy in the building and showed why they are still relevant almost two decades after their inception.
Headliners August Burns Red had a tough act to follow after Silverstein, but they showed that they were more than up for the challenge. They took to the stage to chants of “A-B-R!” with drummer and founding member Matt Greiner being the first out, climbing on top of his kit and throwing both hands in the air, horns up. They wasted no time, kicking things off with "Thirty and Seven", the opening track for
Constellations. If metalcore is your thing there are few, if any, that do it better than August Burns Red. Front man Jake Luhrs is a powerful presence, with super intense facial expressions, making eye-contact with various audience members, and taking it to the next level with his power-stances and hand gestures. As with Silverstein, the crowd was very involved with every chorus, chanting or screaming along with Luhrs and competing with him for top decibels. Try as they might, they were no match for Luhrs, but they gave him a run for his money. Not only did they sing/scream their faces off but the circle pit was one of the wildest I’ve witnessed at a HOB concert, and the crowd kept security on their toes with a steady flow of crowd-surfing.
Considering the fact that this show took place on a Tuesday night I was quite impressed with the crowd and the energy they brought. The floor was packed elbow-to-elbow all night and hardly a path could be found around the bars. It was another great show at one of my favorite venues the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Metalcore fans should not miss the opportunity to catch this tour!
August Burns Red Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
SIlverstein Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Silent Planet Photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos