Tag Archives: BTBAM

Concert Report: BTBAM CD release show

Given the chance, I will always take live music over recorded. I love the aura of the unexpected from a live show.

Anything could happen – including technical flusterclucks, musical epiphanies, or the simple magic of a few hundred people united in admiration for music well-played.  When a band like Between the Buried and Me offers that kind of musical experience, I am SO there! Such as last night when I attended BTBAM’s CD release show at the Orange Peel in Asheville.

BTBAM’s CD release show for Colors (Tremont, September 2007) was probably one of the top 3 shows I’ve ever attended, so I knew the release show for The Great Misdirect would be on my calendar if physically possible. I watched the internet like a hawk for weeks, ready to pounce on the ticket announcement. BTBAM landed a spot at the Orange Peel in Asheville for this show — marvelous venue in a great town.

My awesome show buddies: Jesse, Robbie, Trevor
My awesome show buddies: Jesse, Robbie, Trevor

Jesse, Robbie, and Trevor joined my crusade as faithful companions (and Robbie as faithful driver, which I dearly appreciated).

We got to Asheville early enough to enjoy a leisurely afternoon supper and then join the already-growing-line outside the OP at 5:15 (doors at 7; free poster to first 200 fans). Poster is pretty sweet, by the way.

Waiting sucks, but we had a deck of cards and plenty of hilarious human beings to entertain us.  The guys behind us turned out to be 1) very cool; 2) in a band; and 3) from Pennsylvania! They heard about the CD release show on Tuesday and one of them said to the others, “Hey guys! We should drive down to that show!!” So they did. LOL  Took 81 all the way to NC from Bethlehem PA and slept in their car at a rest stop yesterday morning. Now THAT is hxc. haha   We also enjoyed an entire parade of costumed bike riders — I guess that’s how Ashevillans celebrate Halloween? lol

It was cold, windy, raining, and dark by the time we edged into the doors of the OP to snatch a couple sweet shirts from the merch table (and the free poster, of course) and get our places in front of the stage, Row 2 for Jesse & me. Robbie was right behind us. Trevor was nowhere to be found for most of the show —  dunno what’s up with that but he said he had fun so whatever. lol

The Halloween costumes around us were entertaining. Top-dressed fans won prizes and I saw a few creative ones. Some guy wearing an all-green nylon suit won the admiration of the crowd and thus top prize. I’m not sure why a green man is impressive, but there’s no accounting for the whims of the mob. They also cheered wildly at the girl wearing a cleavage-revealing, skintight Catwoman suit, but those motives are pretty obvious.

Unfortunately, I was situated behind Mr Hot Dog and Santa Claus (who were on the center of the front row) and spent most of the night peering over the hotdog’s foam-encased shoulders. That was not cool… but on a positive note, when the crowd rushed forward and crushed me to the front I was essentially in the front row too, but cushioned against the hot dog’s bun. Not buns. Just bun. lol

The opening band is irrelevant to me – I didn’t like their music at all. I will give them mega-props though, for dressing as Mario characters & decorating their amps with coins, clouds, and critters from the Mario world. There’s something endearing about a guy wearing huge ears screaming vocals at you.  Perhaps rock bands should dress in costumes more often.   (“Why is that lead singer dressed like Bugs Bunny?” “…. I dunno, dude. Why not?”)

The second band, BraveYoung, captured my heart as soon as the lead guitarist stepped on stage with a GORGEOUS Gibson and a violin bow. The drummer rolled out a tympani and marimba. I knew this was gonna be cool. No vocals, just gorgeous, layered musical tones coming from this band called BraveYoung.  They played only 2 songs during their set (long songs!) and I highly recommend you give them a listen.  The first piece slowly constructed a tidal wave of sound, crashing over us with an intensity that can come only from a long, patient build-up before the musical climax.  Seriously.  That was an awesome band….

Glass Casket, which includes 2 members of BTBAM, played the last set before the headline.  I know several people who love GC, and I can see why people admire their skill. They aren’t my favorite, but their set was well played and I appreciate the musicianship. I’ve got a couple of their songs on my iPod, and the band played both of them.  The crowd went nuts for them …. some very drunk guy reeking of beer smashed himself against my right side and screamed in my ear for those 6 songs…. that got real old, real fast.  I was happy for him to vacate my quadrant of the crowd at the end of the set (to be replaced by other, slightly less annoying fans).

But on to the real attraction:

BTBAM plays Orange Peel 2009
My cameraphone’s attempt to preserve some of the musical awesomeness from Between the Buried and Me’s CD release show in Asheville

Hearing an entire album from start to finish played live by its creators for the first time in public is an unparalleled musical experience. BTBAM was, in a word, wonderful. Their shows ruin most other shows for me.

The music is complicated and (to me) intellectually stimulating, and they play impeccably during their live shows.  Yeah, it’s awesome to hear a good band play anytime. But BTBAM delivers a lot of extra musical awesomeness at their CD release shows.  The Great Misdirect is an interesting album, echoing bits of every band that BTBAM appreciates or lists as an influence. Moment to moment you might hear a smidge of Opeth or Animals as Leaders or even snippets of bands they’ve played with in previous tours. And, of course, you’ll find the now-expected WTF moments in the music — 70s rock, Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin echoes, 1890s carnival music, banjo.

The album is still too new for me to evaluate at this point, whether it’s “better than …..” or not.  A lot to digest. But I really enjoyed what I heard.  I know the “BTBAM purists” out there shake their heads and sigh that the band has gone soft and lyrical. But I think that puts the band in a box, as if musicians must always retain their juvenile sound. I like where BTBAM is going these days, and I love their older, more brutal records. Best of both worlds (as long as we get to hear an older song live once in a while.)

BTBAM Great Misdirect
After a full hour of full-bore performance, the band took a 5 minute break while the fans decompacted themselves from the ridiculous crush of humanity at the front of the crowd. (Thank God He gave me elbows.)

Danny (bass) rocked out some weird but cool bass improv while they regrouped, and then BTBAM hit the stage again for a 30-minute encore…. I lie not. When songs are 10-15 minutes long, that shouldn’t be surprising. lol So they capped their 90 minute set with “Mordecai,” “Selkies,” and finally “White Walls” … a holy trinity from earlier albums.

Couldn’t ask for anything more.  And I wasn’t dead tired, totally trampled, or otherwise abused at this show… a nice change from the typical concert experience.

The Colors release show set me on a euphoric musical high for a few days. Shows were still very new back then. This time, more seasoned, I left musically refreshed, as if I had given the musical parts of my soul a resort cruise. Creativity is flowing again. Restored.

And the best part? It was a Saturday night show on Halloween, just before time change Sunday, on a 4 day weekend at NCS.  That might just be the best part of the whole affair — not only did I enjoy a full night’s sleep last night when I got home, but I got to actually rest for the entire Sabbath and delay thinking about school until Monday!! 

Concert review: BTBAM 4/2/09 at NBT

Getting to see one of your fav bands live is always a pleasurable experience. But I knew the New Brookland Tavern show would be a special experience because the venue is so tiny. And Between the Buried and Me always puts on a fantastic show.  Here’s the lowdown:

It’s also a pleasure to attend a show with a group of friends instead of by myself. Going along blows. So I was happy to take along Jesse, Robbie, Trevor, and even Colt. (Colt’s first show ever…. BTBAM is a good way to lose your concert virginity. haha)

This "after" photo suggests just how hot and sweaty and totally awesome it was to see BTBAM from the very front of the TINY New Brookland Tavern
If you don’t come out of your hardcore/metal show looking like this, you didn’t rock hard enough……

This time, I’ll deal with the headliner first and work my way backwards.  We had gotten to NBT at the “doors open” time (6pm), which ended up being about 45 min early. As a consequence we were literally some of the first people into the venue (not the first people in the door, but everyone else just kinda stood around), so the five of us had claimed the front & center real estate of the stage.  That proved to be both lifesaver that we paid for constantly as 200 people shoved us against the wooden edge repeatedly. However, it was worth it (we are all agreed).  Being any further back at all raised the temperature at least 10 degrees above the human sauna we experienced at the very front, and at least we could fall forward onto the platform to avoid being asphyxiated.

Just before BTBAM played, a very short, very cool girl named Jenna mentioned that this was her first BTBAM show. At only 5 feet, she had been crushed into Jesse’s ribcage for most of He Is Legend. She mustered up the courage to ask if he would switch places with her.  We’d been standing there for 4 hours and 4 bands already, so Jesse’s first response was “…I’m sorry… but no. I’ve been waiting for this all night.”  But just before BTBAM started their set, he decided to relent and pulled her in front of him to take his spot at the front next to me. She & I hugged the floor monitor in front of us like a shipwreck victim grasps a beam to avoid being pummeled by waves! haha

the BTBAM set was great.  It looks short on paper, but they played for at least 50 minutes:
Ants in the Sky
Backwards Marathon
Ad a Diglmut
All Bodies

Trevor (center, in brown shirt) proves that a good metal show should leave you feeling like you have been run over by a truck. lol

Getting to see “Mordecai” live made my year.  Every note in every song was in place, as always. People were gripping Tommy’s legs everytime he stood on the front of the stage. I think he stomped on our hands personally.   He actually shook mine right in the middle of All Bodies — that was pretty cool. We were close enough to score handshakes from the band at the end, and to chuckle at little details like Paul shaking his head at Dusty’s decision to grab a girl’s camera and use it as a guitar slide at one pont.

Definitely a fantastic show.

As for the other bands (working backwards), He Is Legend played a couple “oldies but goodies” like “The Seduction” — amazingly fun to scream those lyrics with 300 people behind you.  They also played their newer version of “China White” and “The Potbellied Goddess.”  But otherwise, I really don’t care for HIL anymore. Skyler is obviously strung out, high, stoned, drunk … whatever.. during his shows now and that just grosses me out.

If I’d been prepared for such an experience as Telescreen, I probably would have enjoyed them more.  Mix together U2 and This Will Destroy You with a little LSD and the Discovery Channel, and you have Telescreen. They hung a big scrim curtain right between us and the stage and displayed movies and images on that while they played.  It was a 30 minute concept show, from beginning to end.  Cool enough, and I’ll probably hit their myspace. But I wasn’t really in the mood for ambient at the moment….

I was certainly immpressed by Eyris. Three guys walked out on stage and produced a ridiculous amount of sound. It was similarly ambient, but fuller, and very musically complex & interesting.  I can see Jesse’s band going in this direction once they get more experience and music-writing experience.  I enjoyed their set a lot. Those 3 guys clearly LOVED making music. The drummer sat back there and grinned as he churned out complicated time signatures and changing rhythms. The bassist and guitar player were very calm yet somehow intense, channeling a “we love playing music and are glad you guys are here to share it with us.”  The bass player had  12 string (3 strings for each “string” if that makes sense).  I dunno. Really cool.

Opening the entire show on the local scene was Diavolo, the band that sucked major ass on new year’s eve as “elvis” when the Collin Derrick Band played their Radiohead tribute show.  Lame. haha.  Tonight they pulled out solid riffs and pretty good musicianship, with a healthy dose of entertainment. But I would never drive anywhere to see them play.

All in all, a great show. We agreed it was one of the best we’d attended, mostly because of our incredible proximity to the musicians for the entire BTBAM set. Also, the sound mix was dead on, and we were getting a fantastic mix of sound coming from the stage amps themselves. Apart rom early dying of head asphhyxiation, I was very pleased.

Our Waffle House tradition kicked in twice — we caught a quick supper there when we met jesse at one on 385 to pick hm up for the show, and we refueld and rehydrated in Cola after the show. That waitress was literally shocked at the speed we were throwing back entire glasses of water and tea. haha.  We never did explain why we were so thirsty, smelled like shit and smoke, and looked like someone had doused us under a firehose before coming in.

I’m pretty sure I exchanged bodily fluids with 17 different people that night.