August Burns Red is one of the most beloved metalcore bands of the last decade, and their “20 Year Anniversary Tour” is an ensemble of energy, intensity, and musicianship. From the moment they hit the stage, the band members had the audience in the palm of their hand, and they never let go.
The opening acts, Bleed From Within and The Devil Wears Prada, were top-notch. I’ve been a fan of Bleed From Within for quite some time but have never seen them live before. They hail from Scotland and this is their first tour in the United States. When they played “The End of All We Know” the entire venue went nuts. Likewise, The Devil Wears Prada are legends in the metalcore world and really delivered a powerful set. They played the classics as well as songs from their latest album, “The Color Decay.” I’ve seen this band many times before, but this show was one of my favorites.
August Burns Red began with a flurry of lights and smoke, as the band launched into their opening song, “Composure.” The crowd erupted in a frenzy of headbanging and moshing, as the thunderous riffs of guitarists JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler and the pounding drums of Matt Greiner filled the room. Vocalist Jake Luhrs stalked the stage, screaming his lyrics with raw emotion and intensity. From there, the band launched into a blistering set of songs spanning their entire career, from early classics like “Truth of a Liar” and “Your Little Suburbia Is In Ruins” to newer tracks like “Ancestry” and “Backfire.” The energy level never dipped for a moment, as the band members threw themselves into each song with total abandon.
One of the standout moments of the concert came during the performance of “Ghosts,” a haunting ballad that showcases Luhrs’ ability to sing as well as scream. The entire crowd sang along to the chorus, creating a spine-tingling moment of unity and connection between the band and the audience. Another highlight was the band’s rendition of “Marianas Trench,” a complex and technically challenging instrumental track that showcased the band’s virtuosity and musicality. Brubaker and Rambler’s guitar work was particularly impressive, as they seamlessly traded off intricate solos and complex rhythms.
Throughout the concert, the band members were constantly in motion, leaping and spinning across the stage and engaging with the audience. Luhrs frequently addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support and encouraging them to keep moshing and having fun. The visual aspect of the concert was also top-notch, with a constantly shifting array of lights, lasers, and smoke adding to the intense atmosphere. The band’s backdrop featured their ever-impressive flame logo, which lit up and flashed different colors throughout the set.
As the concert drew to a close, the band closed with an epic rendition of “White Washed,” one of their most beloved and anthemic songs. The entire crowd joined in for the chorus, singing and shouting along with Luhrs as the band members gave it their all. An August Burns Red concert is an unforgettable experience. The band’s energy, musicianship, and connection with the audience are top-notch, and the visuals added an extra layer of intensity and excitement. Fans of metalcore aren’t true metalcore fans if they never catch August Burns Red live. They are truly masters of the genre.