Underoath says ‘farewell’ on final tour
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 18:01
It’s difficult to truthfully talk about the hardcore scene of the last decade without mentioning one of the forefathers of the Christian metal genre, Underoath.
For a band that’s been together for more than 14 years, and seen multiple lineup changes over the course of those years, they’ve always managed to stay at the top of their genre. They’ve been nominated for two Grammys, in 2007 and 2010, and have been at ranked near the top of the Billboard charts numerous times.
In October 2012, the band announced to the world through their Twitter account they would be breaking up in 2013. But before doing so they would release an anthology album of songs spanning from 1999-2013, and also one final tour, playing 12 shows in 10 cities across the U.S. and Canada.
Joining Underoath on the Farewell Tour were two veteran bands, Mandeville, La. band As Cities Burn and Philadelphia, Pa.’s mewithoutyou, and a newcomer to the scene, Los Angeles based band Letlive.
All four of the bands brought something different to the Dallas House of Blues stage where I saw them perform.
The opening band for the night was Letlive. This was my first time to ever watch them perform live but I had heard their live performance is known for being energetic and chaotic. The lead vocalist, Jason Butler, lead the group in their 30-minute gut-busting, machine gun performance.
Butler ran around the stage like an ADHD kid on speed. Stage dives, bass cab jumps and somersaults abounded throughout their set list, which included “Renegade 86” and “The Sick, Sick 6.8 Billion.” Jeff Sayhoun, one of the guitarists, ended Letlive’s set by scratching a microphone against the strings of his guitar to create a metallic sound, something I had never seen or heard of before.
Before Underoath took the stage both As Cities Burn and mewithoutyou performed, respectively. As Cities Burn played mostly songs from their debut post-hard core album “Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest” but also mixed in a few songs from their indie rock album “Come Now Sleep,” their second album. The tour was sort of a reunion for the members of As Cities Burn, who haven’t played much together since their indefinite hiatus back in 2009.
Mewithoutyou also put on a remarkably interesting performance. Mewithoutyou is an indie rock band that explores spiritual themes of many religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Sufi Islam. Aaron Weiss, lead singer of the band, doesn’t so much sing as he does weave a narrative of symbolism and imagery over the rest of the band’s instruments. It’s almost like listening to a slam poet who just happens to have a band that accompanies him.
Underoath was the last performance of the night and the anticipation that could be felt amidst the hot and sweaty 20-somethings in the packed venue was thick. As soon as the band began their first song of the night, “Breathing in A New Mentality,” mass chaos broke out.
The band played crowd favorites spanning the entire spectrum of their long career, including “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door,” “In Regards to Myself,” “In Division,” and “Reinventing Your Exit.”
Although Underoath has undergone many lineup changes, most recently being the departure of the only remaining original member, drummer and vocalist Aaron Gillespie, the band members all seemed to be really close friends and repeatedly expressed gratitude toward the fans who have supported them over the years.
Before one of the band’s last songs of the night, lead vocalist Spencer Chamberlain expressed gratitude again for fans’ support, but was interrupted by the crowd chanting “Un-der-oath! Un-der-oath!” Chamberlain was brought to tears by the crowd’s expression of admiration, and it made for a fitting end to the career of one of the most influential bands of the last decade.