Underoath/Thursday/Animals As Leaders/A Skylit Drive

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Thursday, February 24, 2011

Underoath is currently touring around the United States with Thursday, Animals As Leaders and A Skylit Drive. Chip Tamplin had the chance to check out the tour when it came to the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. Check below for his photos and impressions from the show.

A Skylit Drive:

While I have a few friends who are in love with A Skylit Drive, I’ve never understood the appeal. They’re not a bad band, but in the three times I’ve seen them they’ve never proven that they’re any different than the thousands of other bands in the genre.

While their music wasn’t anything amazing, all the members (excluding singer Michael Jagmin) exhibited a tremendous amount of energy. Jagmin should’ve tried harder to make up for his awful vocals by at least showing some energy on stage but aside from swirling his girlish locks around, he didn’t really do much on stage. Bassist and screamer Brian White had a substantially better voice to listen to and his energy made him much more accessible on stage to the fans.

While A Skylit Drive fit the tour musically, their singer ruined their set for me and even the energy from the rest of the band couldn’t make up for it.

Vocals: 4
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 8.5
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 7.5

Set list:

1. Wires And The Concept Of Breathing
2. XO Skeleton
3. Prelude To A Dream
4. Too Little Too Late
5. Knights Of The Round
6. Eris And Dysnomia
7. Ex Marks The Spot
8. All It Takes For Your Dreams To Come True

Animals as Leaders:

I’d actually never heard of Animals as Leaders before the show. A few people had told me how great they were, but I was skeptical about how they’d go over with not only me, but also the crowd, once I found out they were solely instrumental.

I was blown away by the intricacies of their performance. Tosin Abasi, the main contributor to the project, is one of the best and most technical guitarists I’ve ever seen or heard. While a vocalist wouldn’t fit the style of music they play, they had two projectors set up to play images during the set that helped set the mood for the style of music they were playing. While their set was shorter (most likely due to the fact they’re instrumental) it was one of the best performances I’ve seen in recent memory and I would strongly recommend everyone to check them out if they like instrumental music.

Crowd Response: 7
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 5
Overall Rating: 9

Set list:

1. Tempting Time
2. Song of Solomon
3. On Impulse
4. Wave of Babies
5. CAFO

Thursday:

While I’m a fan of Underoath too, Thursday was my main reason for wanting to cover this show. It had been a good four or more years since I’d last seen Thursday and they were even better now than back in the day.

Marking the 10th anniversary of the release of their album Full Collapse, the band was playing the album in its entirety from start to finish. Though I’d seen Thursday a few times, I’d failed to see much of Full Collapse so it was definitely a cool experience. The only played one song that wasn’t on Full Collapse, and that was “Turnpike Divides”, off their new album No Devolucion (due out in April).

Singer Geoff Rickly clearly hasn’t lost any of his showmanship over the years. In fact, he was the best that I’ve seen him. The majority of the band showed a lot of energy, but Rickly was definitely the one picking up the slack for those who weren’t exerting a lot of energy.

Thursday were fantastic live and while I wish they’d been able to perform more than just one song extra, I was very impressed with their set.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9

Set list:

1. A0001
2. Understanding In A Car Crash
3. Concealer
4. Autobiography of a Nation
5. A Hole in the World
6. Cross Out the Eyes
7. Paris in Flames
8. I Am the Killer
9. Standing on the Edge of Summer
10. Wind-Up
11. How Long Is the Night?
12. 1100
13. Turnpike Divides

Underoath:

Last time I saw Underoath was at Mayhem ’08. They weren’t received very well (at least at my date). While about a 1/3 of the crowd left after Thursday’s set, the rest of the crowd was full of die hard Underoath fans ready to see the headliners perform.

With a huge video screen set up behind them displaying video that coincided with the song they were playing, it was safe to say that this was a substantially more immersive production that Underoath had compared to the previous times I’d seen them.

While I’ve grown out of Underoath over the last few years, it was great seeing them again if for no other reason than just nostalgia. While the absence of drummer and clean vocalist Aaron Gillespie was noticeable, the remainder of the band and main vocalist Spencer Chamberlain did their best to fill in the void.

While this wasn’t the best I’d seen them, they definitely put on a great show and showed why they were the tours headliners. The addition of a stage production also helped.

Vocals: 8
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 8.5
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 9

Set list:

1. In Regards To Myself
2. Breathing In A New Mentality
3. In Division
4. Its Dangerous Business
5. The Created Void
6. Catch Myself Catching Myself
7. Paper Lung
8. Moving For The Sake Of Motion
9. A Divine Eradication
10. A Boy Brushed Red
11. To Whom It May Concern
12. Who Will Guard The Guardians
13. Desolate Earth: The End Is Here
14. Illuminator
15. Writing on the Walls

Photos (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

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