By Hamza Hasan
Assistant Online Editor
Underoath, the metalcore/post-hardcore band from Florida, toured with contemporary bands The Devil Wears Prada and Saosin as well as rapper P.O.S. Their stop at the Masquerade last Thursday and Friday provided their hardcore listeners an extremely memorable show, as they played both new and old songs, and created an environment only available from artists of the hardcore genre.
With plenty of moshing and jockeying in an intense and zealous crowd, the Heaven room of the Masquerade was alive with a vehement audience. Though the tour just started, the expectations were high – the audience was confident in the ability and aptitude of the forthcoming bands.
First to perform was P.O.S., a relatively up-and-coming rapper from Minneapolis. His refreshing and inspired lyrics were transfused with solid beats and accompaniment to keep all sorts of listeners rapt with attention. Though almost all of the audience members were hardcore listeners, most approved of his message and recognized his immense talent, especially from his song “Stand Up.” Afterwards, the hardcore bands made their appearances.
The Devil Wears Prada (TDWP), a relatively young band (active since 2005), is a well-known Christian metalcore band. With powerful breakdowns and exceptional musical ability, TDWP is known to give the audience a show as good as the meaning and quality of their songs.
After seeing them live, it’s obvious that TDWP is a band more concerned with their performance – their CD doesn’t sound as good compared to hearing and experiencing them live. With major hits like “HTML Rulez d00d,” a new song that they performed only for the third time and closing with their epic “Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?” it was no wonder why fans were chanting the word “Prada” repeatedly.
Following TDWP, Saosin performed for the hundreds.
Like TDWP, they were personal in their interaction with the crowd, keeping true to the roots of their performance history, like most hardcore bands do.
Their popular songs “7 Years” and “We’re Not Alone” had many fans singing along. Seeing Saosin perform their meaningful and intelligent songs is different than watching the live rehash the normal pop stars usually perform.
By speaking to the audience and appreciating the audience’s own performance (complete with moshing, crowd surfing and water spraying), Saosin’s personal and garage-band feel combined with their impressive set list left most viewers breathless.
Both TDWP and Saosin took about twenty minutes to set up, but Underoath took nearly forty-five minutes to set the stage. When they did, however, the wait was completely worth it.
Standing in the middle, about twenty feet away from the central microphone and the stage, recuperating from the performances of the previous bands, it was disconcerting how long the band took to start. That sense of impatience and restlessness reinforced the experience that was Underoath.
Their performance began with a mini-film on the stage’s projector. The film revealed a grim and daunting scene with a man wearing a gas mask who approaches a girl in a field, stating “I am the messenger.” The lights went out, and six shadowy figures snuck onstage into position with their instruments in their hands. At this moment, even novice listeners knew this was a special moment.
The lights flashed, the music erupted, flooding forth, and the audience moshed and jumped with more vigor and intensity than with any of the previous bands. Even with musical ability and technique discarded, the performance by Underoath was by far the best and the most epic, but this is easy to understand as they were the main focus of the bands present.
It was difficult not to dance and jump along with the methodical yet brutal progressions Underoath blared through the speakers. Everyone was lit with fervor, even those who were less impressed with Underoath musically, simply because this was a one of a kind performance. The band provided an array of some of their greatest hits, including “Writing on the Walls” and “In Regards to Myself.” Underoath did not disappoint their already attentive audience, and with the previous performances from TDWP and Saosin as well as P.O.S., hardcore listeners left a concert to talk about for a long time. With an exciting, personal venue and strong list of performers, last Thursday and Friday marked incredible events at the Masquerade.
It’s easily recommendable that the next time these bands are town, there should be no hesitation; just go.