Last Night: The Cool Tour At Verizon Wireless Theater

As I Lay Dying A.jpg
Photos by Matthew Keever
As I Lay Dying, UnderOath, Between the Buried and Me, Bless the Fall
Verizon Wireless Theater
July 27, 2010

Tuesday night, Aftermath witnessed a few things we didn't expect to see: A lot of fans who were extremely drunk before the sun even set, the loneliest mosh pit ever (about 300 square feet occupied by two teenagers and one shirtless drunk) and, before headlining act As I Lay Dying took the stage, a man face-down in a pool of his own blood. Number three corresponded with number two.

Welcome to the Cool Tour 2010.

From the moment we walked into Verizon, at which point our ears were greeted with the sound of harmonies that weren't quite matching up (Bless the Fall), we anticipated a very long evening.

After Bless The Fall's set ended, Between The Buried And Me walked onto the stage to what sounded like the beginning of a space-shuttle liftoff. And if that's too vague, just know that it wasn't at all fitting with what followed: Throat-shredding vocals, bone-shaking bass and rapid riffs punctuated by high-speed drumming.

Between The Buried And Me
BTBAM's performance was lacking a stage presence, at least compared to the rest of the night's ensembles, but the lead singer's ability to scream while playing keys was impressive. We've talked to a few hardcore bands whose singers can only do that when crouching over. His microphone could have used a volume boost, but BTBAM blew BTF out of the water, even if their miscellaneous melodies caught us off guard.

BTBAM's transitions from song to song, hook to chorus, and jam sessions were strange but well-delivered. The instrumental hooks sounded like A Perfect Circle covering The Postal Service, a la Emotive's "Imagine." Coupled with the band's tendency to skip beats whenever possible and riff uncomfortably fast, it was almost too much to take in.

Twenty minutes was all every band got to perform, according to a fan standing in line, so Aftermath's arrival a little after 6 p.m. meant that we only showed up in time to catch Bless The Fall, BTBAM, UnderOath and As I Lay Dying. Seriously? It felt like that time 10 minutes late to dinner with our girlfriend's parents, who, by the time we got there, had finished half their meals as if to say, "Wolf it down to spite the boy."

Outside, a couple of Jersey Shore-looking goth-rockers drunkenly punched each other in the stomach, then hugged it out. It would have been endearing had it not been merely 7:30 in the evening, a time when we wouldn't think a large majority of the crowd would be drunk.

Really guys, how bad could your days have been? But just as we thought this and began to walk back inside, we saw a woman lean over a trash can and vomit. That kind of thing will make you reconsider your drinking habits.

We don't mean to judge, but sometimes it's just hard not to.

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