Concert Review: August Burns Red at Newport Music Hall (Columbus, OH)by Ryan G on Sep 6, 2012 • 11:21 am No Comments
What transpired the evening of Wednesday, September 5th defined one of the most memorable nights of my career as a live music spectator. Actually, I was much more than a spectator that night.
Almost immediately upon my entrance to the Newport Arkansas’ The Overseer kicked things off with “Secrets.” A friend of mine noted they seemed to be dead ringers for Underoath. Not a bad thing, in my opinion! They continued their half dozen song set with cuts from We Search, We Dig like “Traitor,” “Amend,” “Vulture,” and finally “Absolve” which they just released a new live video for. Vocalist Tony Rivera owned the stage and drummer Abishai Collingsworth kept the pace in earnest, driving a great warm up act that seemed to win many over. Rockford, IL’s The Color Morale followed up with one of the most passionate hardcore performances I’ve ever seen. “KNOW! HOPE!” vocalist Garret Rapp cried throughout the set. This short but powerful anthem plainly means the world to him, and as such it will define the third record, to be recorded after this tour. The one new song they performed is to be named by the fans. What followed after the set I can only describe as an act of God. Humor me for one moment while I remove my journalist cap and be honest – what I originally intended as only a “hey, great performance and message!” conversation with Garret instantly evolved to something far more intense and vulnerable with this guy. We exchanged slices of our life stories and struggles, and following a hug and encouragement we parted ways. Out of respect for him I will not publicize everything online (I don’t know how public he’s been with his struggles). After re-entering the auditorium I could not shake this feeling that I was supposed to go back and pray for him. I’m not one to do this lightly or experience this often, so I fought the feeling. Eventually I relented and went back to pass on the message that I would be praying for him. Not only did God use me (I had NO control in this) that night but it gave me a “nudge” I needed as well! Intermittently I caught parts of Of Mice and Men‘s set, but wasn’t super into them. All the songs seemed to blend together and the type of energy coming from them was noticeably different from the other three performers.
August Burns Red emerged after much suspense to a EDM track that flowed into their oldie “Composure.” The band didn’t let up at all and neither did the pit, as they flowed into “Up Against the Ropes.” Vocalist Jake Luhrs exhorted the audience to “dance…dance…dance!” just prior to the absurdly fun and inspiring “Internal Cannon.” “Cutting the Ties” kept all involved riled up and when I heard the first few notes to “Marianas Trench” I about lost it. The epic ending breakdown in the song was just about everything one would imagine it to be live. ABR continued full-speed ahead with “Barbarian,” “Meddler”, and “Ocean of Apathy.” The set slowed down once more for “Carpe Diem,” a true highlight with triple guitar layering and the band’s guitar tech taking over on bass. The reverent “Salt and Light” had everyone shouting “WE SING FOR YOU!” and the set concluded with the trio of “Divisions,” “Back Burner,” and “Leveler.” A dual drum solo effectively cemented Matt Greiner’s position as my drumming idol, and the band came back out for a double encore of “White Washed” and “Empire.” Wow. Just wow. This band is an absolute imperative for any hard music fan to see live. They have the rare ability to compose technical music that’s fun to listen to.