Wednesday, February 6, 2013

GREATEST METAL SHOW EVER? Saints and Sinners Tour 2011

I could be seen somewhere in there.
(photo courtesy of Devon M)
Felipe M

Get this album now!
(photo courtesy of Felipe M)
I don't make it a secret around here, I absolutely love the band Between the Buried and Me. To me, they can't do any wrong.  I have recently been listening to THE PARALLAX II: FUTURE SEQUENCE almost non-stop since its release and it is still in my car's CD player, where it has found a permanent place to inhabit.

Many metal fans do not like them because they're too "quirky," "serious," "presumptuous," and "ambitious."  Normally, those are great words to describe musicians, but with this band, it's a major turnoff in the metal community.  I also find it comical that these fans will go out of their way to support other, similar sounding/influenced bands such as The Dillinger Escape Plan and Protest the Hero (two bands that yours truly listens to on a regular basis).

But we're not here to defend BTBAM: they don't need any defending as the music speaks for itself!  So we fondly look back at a memorable 2011 show where the band was wrapping up the year that saw the release of the THE PARALLAX: HYPERSLEEP DIALOGUES EP

November 11, 2011, House of Blues Chicago, IL: Saints and Sinners Tour featuring Between the Buried and Me, Animals as Leaders, and TesseracT

First of all, this is an amazing lineup that was kicked off by British, progressive metal act, TesseracT (yes Devon and I made it on time for this show).  They started with a couple of instrumental songs before the vocalist finally came on stage to sing a song.  This is a fun band to watch live, but the vocals are somewhat annoying as the clean vocals sound sound like they were inspired by a weird combination of Sigur Ros and Geddy Lee.  Nevertheless, overall, this band makes you get on your feet and start moving.  If we would've been here to only see these guys play, we would have left the show very satisfied.

Up next was Animals as Leaders, a band that I have been waiting with much anticipation to finally see perform live.  And they did not disappoint.  We probably had the best view of the stage behind the sound board and lights' technician.  Tosin Abasi and Co. rocked it out there.  The lights' show was dead on with the mood and sound of the music and both complemented each other throughout the set.

It's very hard to imagine what it would look like when this band performs live.  We're talking about a band that incorporates complex time signatures, melodies, and rhythms into every track at a very fast tempo.  It has always fathomed me to think if they can even perform it flawlessly on stage.  And add to the fact that this band has no bassist!  Where is all this heavy sound coming from?  And then they go on stage, the lights are dimmed low and even though a setlist for this show is not readily available, it's highly likely that they kicked things off with "An Infinite Regression" from their Weightless album. The song is just captivating and surprisingly catching and was a great choice.

Below is a video of the Chicago show as the band performs "Isolated Incidents."

Animals as Leaders would finish the set with "CAFO," which is quickly becoming their closing song.  This song never really caught my attention before until I saw them perform it live and it has quickly become my favorite song from this band, dethroning "Tempting Time" and "Point to Point."  "CAFO" is truly an epic song  and don't mind putting that track on repeat from time to time.  Check out the cello version of this track which was shared on the band's Facebook page:

And then the moment we have all been waiting for, Between the Buried and Me.  I left Devon behind the sound board and made my way to the overcrowded mosh pit area.  I have never seen the pit area at the Chicago House of Blues so full before.  I wore my Dillinger Escape Plan t-shirt and got a lot of compliments from people (there is hope in mankind after all!).  That same night, TDEP and Mastodon were performing at The Riv as well and talking to a lot of fans, they were torn as to which show they would be attending that night.  I love TDEP, but I never got into Mastodon.  For a lot of people, however, it really was a tough choice to make, but overall, their love and appreciation of BTBAM ultimately won out.  

The setlist is as follows:
  • Mirrors
  • Obfuscation
  • Foam Born (B): The Decade of Statues
  • Disease, Injury, Madness
  • Specular Reflection
  • Old Material Remix
    • Alaska
    • All Bodies
    • Arsonist
    • Shevanel Cut a Flip
    • Aspirations
    • Fire for a Dry Mouth
    • Lost Perfection
  • Viridian
  • White Walls
  • Encore: Mordecai
As you can see, the first two songs from The Great Misdirect kicked off the show.  The video below will attest to that.  From the video's vantage point, I was crammed behind and to the right of the person shooting this.  The video, I don't think, really depicts just how tight we were packed at the pit.  We were literally shoulder to shoulder:

The "Old Material Remix" or "Old Stuff Medley" is a trick that this band has used before as they attempt to compress as many of their old songs into an approximate, 10 minute, effortless, complete song.  It is a real treat to finally see this live.  The video below is their performance from Boston:

There were a few other "firsts" that we experienced at this particular show.  I already explained the "Medley" portion as a "first" for us.  The others were: 
  • Mirrors performed
  • The Decade of Statues performed (a song I so desperately wanted to see live.  It definitely lived up to my own hype)
  • Viridian performed
  • Mordecai performed (another song I desperately wanted to see live).
The Show of the Year took place on 11/11/11
(photo courtesy of Felipe M)
I went crazy when I heard "Decade" and "Mordecai" has a special place in my heart as the guitar outro of that track still gives me chills and I'm still convinced that it was the best outro to a song of the previous decade: at least for this band it was (you're probably thinking, "what about Selkies?" but I did not stutter!). 

I was also happy that the show did not end with "White Walls."  I'm hoping that this band does not make "Walls" their signature, finisher song.  It's a good song, but I think it's overrated in the BTBAM community.  I much would rather see "Swim to the Moon" as that finisher song, but coming back out with "Mordecai" was a  great way to end the set.

That concludes our 2011 concert calendar.  We're a bit late with it, but better late than never.  We didn't go to a lot of shows in 2012 so we should be caught up soon.  If you haven't noticed already, this show gets awarded 2011 SHOW OF THE YEAR honors.  

For more on Between the Buried and Me, click here

For a very cool interpretation of the Parallax EP and LP, check out this awesome website.

For a video review of this show, check out this guy.

Check out Chandler Owen's website.  He's the artist who gets credit for the album art in Parallax II. 

Go out and purchase Weightless and Parallax II if you haven't done so already. 

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