Senses Fail at the Ottobar

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Saturday, April 13, 2013

I’ve seen Senses Fail many times over the years, but oddly enough this was the first time I’d seen them on a headline tour. Over the past three years Senses Fail went from a band I listened to a few times a year to a band I couldn’t go a day without listening to. It’s a change that started with the release of 2010’s The Fire and will probably never stop.

After covering them three times on last summer’s Vans Warped Tour, I was excited to finally see them in an intimate club show. It was just Senses Fail and a few hundred of their closest friends in Baltimore for an hour and a half. Despite being packed to the brim, Ottobar has some of the best sound of any indoor venue I’ve ever been to (at least for this show) which just make the experience all the better.

Every few songs Buddy would take a break from screaming his heart out to tell a few jokes and entertain the crowd, aside from those moments – which were few and far between – it was a nonstop rocking set featuring a great balance between new songs off their new album Renacer and songs dating back to their humble beginnings. While I enjoyed their new album from the five-or-so listens I was able to give it pre-concert, I enjoy it even more after hearing those songs live. “Mi Amor” – written almost entirely in Spanish – translated especially well to a live format.

I was disappointed that “The Priest and the Matador” (my favorite SF song) didn’t make the cut for the set since it was listed on their set the night before, but one of their new songs “Between the Mountains and the Sea” was a worthy replacement. As expected, the set wasn’t entirely about christening the new album, but to also showcase their achievements throughout the years. It’s amazing to hear songs like “Rum is for Drinking, Not for Burning”, “Calling All Cars” and “You’re Cute When You Scream” still sounding so great live, even after almost a decade and new classics like “War Paint” and “Lifeboats” were my highlights of the set. It was great to see the band still loving what they do.

This was easily one of the best shows I’ve been to, not just this year but in recent memory. If you get a chance to see Senses Fail this year or in the years to come, make sure you seize it!

Setlist (approximate):

1. Renancer
2. Canine
3. You’re Cute When You Scream
4. Lady in a Blue Dress
5. Mi Amor
6. The Rapture
7. Bonecrusher
8. Shark Attack
9. Glass
10. Closure/Rebirth
11. The Path
12. Rum is for Drinking, Not for Burning
13. Lifeboats
14. Buried a Lie
15. Calling All Cars
16. Between the Mountains and the Sea
17. War Paint
18. Can’t be Saved
19. Bite to Break Skin




Leave a Reply