hmv reviews… August Burns Red @ London's Underworld
Pennsylvania punishers August Burns Red rolled into town over the weekend in support of their sixth studio album Rescue & Restore, we review them in action...
August Burns Red.
Camden Underworld, London.
Any good supports?
Most definitely. Melodic hardcore up and comers Hundredth kicked off proceedings with some earnest, metallic hardcore which might not be reinventing the wheel, but, nevertheless, was a great, energetic way to kick the night off. Being As An Ocean followed, with their blend of metalcore meets post-rock with emo elements. It certainly requiring more effort to absorb than Hundredth’s instant mosh anthems, but it's just as fulfilling.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
It was advertised as sold out, but the Underworld has definitely seen fuller days. A very interested and respectful crowd for the supports, but truly came alive for August Burns Red who whipped the crowd into a frenzy of circle pits and stage dives.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
The perfect mix of material from their latest album Rescue & Restore, as well as fan favourites from Leveller and Constellations. It has been almost a year and a half since their last appearance in the capital city, so for many this was their first chance to hear the new songs live. However, there’s always demand for the classics and August Burns Red delivered in abundance, with classics 'Back Burner' and 'Cutting The Ties' inspiring the biggest action in the pit, and 'Empire'’s Iron Maiden-esque ‘whooa-ooah’ was echoed from the whole crowd in absolute euphoria, despite its surprise appearance mid-set (it’s usually an opener or closer).
Recent track 'Spirit Breaker' was followed by an astonishing drum solo from Matt Greiner, which led into the intro for all-time classic 'White Washed' which had the crowd on their feet for arguably their heaviest track (at least in terms of moshable breakdowns). The encore was 'Composure', and whilst it was scripted, was performed with the earnestness you would expect from one of metal’s most down to earth acts.
Any good between song banter?
Bits here and there – their live show is famed for being one that’s all about fun but without ever getting too whacky. However, they were more concerned about firing hit after hit than spending much time cracking jokes, and most of the talking was focused around sincerely thanking the devoted crowd for their support.
Did they much on much of a show?
Most definitely. Given the relative intimacy of the show, there wasn’t space for a huge backdrop or crazy effects, but you’ll struggle to find a band in contemporary metal who put more movement and energy into their live set whilst remaining as technical and tight as August Burns Red.
What was the highlight of the set?
The main highlight was the end of the set, when a drenched vocalist Jake Luhrs insisted on sitting on the stage and meeting each and every individual fan to sign autographs and take photos. Many vocalists would see a few and tire after ten minutes, but he did not leave to go backstage until he had spoken to and thanked each and every fan. A class act.
Where can I catch them next?
Rumours of European festivals continue – they are playing Punk Rock Holiday in Slovenia in August, so don’t be surprised if the end up on one of the summer festivals in these shores.
August Burn's Red new album Rescue & Restore is out now, you can preview it by clicking it on the right hand side of the page.