August Burns Red rolls into a sold-out room at The Masquerade with their “20 Year Anniversary Tour” to celebrate two decades of music.
Since August Burns Red formed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 2003, they have been one of the most consistent bands in writing music and touring. On February 17th, they reinforced their position as one of the tightest live metal bands when they brought their “20-Year Anniversary” to Atlanta, Georgia. It’s only been one year since the last time August Burns Red played in Atlanta, and it was clear that the Georgia fandom eagerly awaited their return as the 1,500-person capacity room sold out.
The heavy-hitting Scottish metalcore band Bleed From Within was the first band to take the stage. Touring in support of the 2022 album, "Shrine" the band made their first-ever United States debut after 17 years of being a band. They began with the lead single from their latest album, “I Am Damnation''. The tone for the rest of the show was set from that point. The band filled the air with tight drumming, groovy riffs, blistering solos, pinch harmonics, bass drops, and powerful growling vocals. Of the three groups, they also had the cleanest mix and production, with every note of every instrument being crystal clear. The band only played six songs (three from the album “Fracture” and three from the album “Shrine”), but they made sure no time was wasted in their set. As they ended with their breakout single, “The End Of All We Know”, the energy in the room was already high. Vocalist, Scott Kennedy, jumped into the crowd to sing the final verse and chorus. Bleed From Within’s set was my favorite of the night as they made sure their U.S. debut stuck with those who viewed it. After the show, I caught up with bassist Davie Provan to talk about their U.S. debut and reaching the western audience.
Q. What does it mean finally reaching the U.S. after 17 years of being a band?
Davie: “It means the absolute world to us. After 17 years finally coming here it’s been absolutely amazing. Everyone has been so welcoming and so friendly and we’re having the best time ever.”
Q. When “Fracture” was released during the pandemic, did you expect that record to blow up the way that it did considering that touring was forbidden?
Davie: “Fracture’ did well during the pandemic because there were no shows. Streaming numbers escalated so much so we were so surprised that it did very well.”
Q. What city are you most looking forward to playing in on this tour?
Davie: “I’ve always been a big fan of California. I skateboard and there’s a big skate scene there. We’re playing in San Diego, Sacramento, and Anaheim. So not really a city but the state of California, in general, is where I’m looking forward to playing.”
Q. What is your favorite song from Bleed From Within’s 17-year career?
Davie: “Pathfinder has pretty much always been my go-to so that’s pretty much my favorite track."
The second band to hit the stage was the Ohio metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada. Of the ten songs setlist they performed, six were from their latest album, “Color Decay”. This album is the most mature offering from this band, and the crowd responded positively by belting the emotional lyrics. The six-piece band made great use of the big stage with their formation and brought the energy which was reflected in the crowd’s reaction. The band’s stage presence and performance have only improved since its formation in 2005. If you’re looking for an older band on top of its game, look no further than The Devil Wears Prada.
Finally, it was time for August Burns Red to perform their eighteen-song setlist. After two decades of being a band, the band has no shortage of experience writing and performing their material. Playing songs, starting from 2005’s “Thrill Seeker” up to their upcoming album “Death Below”, there were songs for every fan. There was an equal representation of each album throughout the entire set. They began with the “Fault Line” track from the album “Rescue & Restore”. After that, they were off to the races with a fast tempo set. ABR has always emphasized speed and technicality. It’s clear how talented the individual members of the band are when watching them perform, even to a casual observer. This talent is reinforced by guitarist Brent Rambler and bassist Dustin Davidson swapping roles to perfection on several songs. Guitarist JB Brubaker on lead guitar has never sounded better. His technique and phrasing could make anyone who loves music feel goosebumps. Vocalist Jake Luhrs has become a much more experienced vocalist over the years. Comparing his range from 2009 to now is like looking at two different vocalists. Hitting many screaming techniques and pitches and even singing clean vocals, Jake used his voice to add new dynamics to old songs. The impressive light show and stage design matched the music. With photos of the band throughout the years plastered onto the risers to the massive light bars and lasers, it amplified the experience 10-fold. The show moved smoothly, with the band hitting staples such as “Meddler”, “Empire”, and “Bloodletter” while also premiering new songs “Backfire” and “Ancestry”. The standout moment of the night was during the final three songs: “White Washed”, “Mariana’s Trench”, and “Composure”. The hyped crowd became ecstatic when JB Brubaker began picking out the opening chord to “White Washed”. After that, the audience demanded an encore, and the band gave it to them. Drummer Matt Greiner started with an electric drum solo which led straight into the final two songs. That energy remained until the final notes rang out. August Burns Red indeed is one of the most wholesome bands in metal, but after 20 years of being a band, it’s clear they aren’t just close friends. They’re family.
1. Fault Line
5. Invisible Enemy
7. Carpe Diem
8. Your Little Suburbia Is in Ruins
14. Back Burner
16. White Washed
17. Mariana's Trench
Atlanta was the third show of the tour and there’s a lot more left in store. August Burns Red’s full tour dates are below.
2/15 — Silver Spring, MD — The Fillmore Silver Spring
2/16 — Raleigh, NC — The Ritz
2/17 — Atlanta, GA — Heaven at The Masquerade
2/18 — Orlando, FL — Heart Support Festival
2/20 — Fort Lauderdale, FL — Revolution Live
2/21 — Pensacola, FL — Vinyl Music Hall
2/23 — Houston, TX — House of Blues
2/24 — Dallas, TX — South Side Ballroom
2/25 — San Antonio, TX — Vibes Event Center
2/27 — Tempe, AZ — The Marquee
2/28 — San Diego, CA — Soma
3/1 — Anaheim, CA — House of Blues
3/2 — Sacramento, CA — Ace Of Spades
3/4 — Portland, OR — Roseland Theater
3/5 — Seattle, WA — Showbox Sodo
3/7 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex
3/8 — Las Vegas, NV — House of Blues
3/10 — Denver, CO — Fillmore Auditorium
3/12 — Little Rock, AR — The Hall
3/13 — Nashville, TN — Marathon Music Works
3/14 — Charlotte, NC — The Fillmore Charlotte
4/13 — Philadelphia, PA — The Fillmore Philadelphia
4/14 — New York, NY — Palladium Times Square
4/15 — Albany, NY — Empire Live
4/16 — Worcester, MA — The Palladium
4/18 — Niagara Falls, NY — Rapids Theater
4/19 — Royal Oak, MI — Royal Oak Music Theatre
4/21 — Grand Rapids, MI — The Intersection
4/22 — St. Louis, MO — Red Flag
4/23 — Kansas City, MO — The Truman
4/25 — Oklahoma City, OK — Diamond Ballroom
4/26 — Omaha, NE — Slowdown
4/28 — Minneapolis, MN — The Fillmore Minneapolis
4/29 — Chicago, IL — Concord Music Hall
4/30 — Cincinnati, OH — Bogarts
5/2 — Cleveland, OH — House of Blues
5/3 — Pittsburgh, PA — Stage AE
5/5 — North Myrtle Beach, SC — House of Blues
5/6 — Richmond, VA — The National