Last Night: Underoath Farewell Tour at House of Blues
It looks like all of the members of Underoath finally decided to quit at the same time. The Florida metalcore turned post-hardcore outfit has had no less than 15 people fill its ranks in its 15-year history, leaving the current iteration with no original members -- a feat typically reserved for classic-rock bands touring well past their prime.
And while keeping track of the band members, past and present, may be difficult, finding a member of their rabid and dedicated fanbase is not. So when Underoath announced a farewell tour late last year, the tickets were a lock to sell out.
Formed in 1997 and riding the crest of '90s emo and post-hardcore with it's commercial swell into the early '00s, Underoath finally shored up a concrete lineup in 2003 prior to the release of critical and commercial coming-out party They're Only Chasing Safety.
The sextet would remain unchanged through the next three records, albums which jettisoned any lingering ideas of a static genre -- as the band embraced more post-hardcore influence -- yet never seemed to alienate Underoath's ever-growing fanbase.
That devoted crowd was out en masse at House of Blues Wednesday night to bid farewell to a band that is largely responsible for giving many Gen-Y listeners their first dose of heavy-metal music. Despite that somber note, the vibe was largely upbeat in keeping with Underoath's persona. Despite being a suitably heavy band, there has always been a constant tone of sincerity and upbeat swagger to Underoath's music, and never is this more obvious than at their live shows.
The band, sharing the stage with a battery of strobes and light rigs, erupted onto the stage with "Breathing In a New Mentality," a song that highlights the timing structures and focus on percussion that would help define the band in its twilight years.
The crowd, the absolute fullest in memory for a House of Blues show -- much less for an average Wednesday night in January -- swelled and screamed along from the first bar and did not seem to let up for the remainder of the night. There would be no pit because there was simply never room in the sea of bodies.
A few left out of the initial mass -- milling in the back outside the crush of the crowd -- rushed into the fray head long when Spencer Chamberlain announced "Reinventing Your Exit," pushing and pulling themselves past the people standing in the back of the mob. The mass churned through songs from the bands last two releases, far more crushing than previous efforts, vocals never clean, tempo never wavering from full-bore.
On "In Regards To Me," the band brought out additional percussion to carry the load on a song that seemed almost a love note to bands like Converge and Botch. And this is Underoath at its very best: deftly managing to be of the moment while interweaving very obvious nods to their predecessors -- direct and otherwise -- all the while injecting their own sincere take.