Collective Concerts Presents:
The first band to take the stage was Beartooth, consisting of Caleb Shomos (formerly of Attack Attack!) latest endeavor after his former bands disbandment in 2012. Beartooth took the stage with a vengeance and they definitely made sure the Sound Academy knew they meant business.
Over ear piercing drowning feedback, vocalist Caleb Shomo screamed repeatedly “We came here for one thing only, to see complete chaos!”, as he demanding the crowd to pile up front and get the rooms energy on point. Beartooth’s sound revolves around driving heavy open riffing with just the right amount of precision for it to lay down incredible heavy overtones without turning into mud. The diversity of sound in comparison the Attack Attack! was a pleasant surprise, deviating from previous disbanded and then reformed outfits who fail to change in audio texture.
Stage present was huge with these guys,with Caleb jumping into the crowd numerous times and screaming from the peak of the barricades “CHAOS, I WANT CHAOS!”, as well as one of their guitarists climbing into the audience and playing while literally standing on fans shoulders.. Their music although brutal was played with gracious emotion, and you could really tell these guys put themselves into ever brutal riff and note.
Next up was Defeater, a hardcore ensemble hailing from Massachusetts. Defeaters sound is something of their own unique creation, not unlike most bands, however they definitely do not conform to the typical hardcore mold that is set before them from essential hardcore acts they have previously toured with such as Comeback Kid. They maintain a hardcore edge while adding a large dose of ambient soaring guitar tones, and vast open choruses.
Vocalist Derek Archambault is a rock of a screamer who’s throaty vocals were incredible throughout the entire set. Driving rhythms fueled their musics combative sonic nature and linked the contrasting elements of the bands sounds. Stage presence was excellent from Defeater inspiring fans to engage and mosh out.
The much anticipated third band of the evening was Bless The Fall; a metal-core band hailing from Pheonix, Arizona. Bless The Fall entered the stage to an incredibly eerie dramatic entrance fitting for their well put together stage act which definitely adds a flare to their performance with sinister lighting and extravagantly huge bass drops that seemed to move the entire venue. They immediately tore into their signature high energy sound and had the crowd up and off their feet, jumping and moshing along to their high energy thrashing sound.
Bless The Fall’s layered guitar riffs paired open chugging breakdowns surely satisfied fans of their audial desires, and kept their bodies moving. A sea of crowd surfers eventually broke out after vocalist Beau Bokan (that handsome devil) asked everyone to surf on up to the barricade and give him a high five! Beau got married to Lights’ singer Valerie Poxleitner earlier in 2012, as well as earlier this month announcing they are expecting their first child, and spoke about how he was officially a Toronto resident as of 9:00 am the day of the show, which certainly gave Toronto fans a sense of familiarity.
Bouncing breakdowns and a large amount of encouragement from the bands members maintained a vast amount of movement across the Sound Academy’s floor; and their cascading vocals were always returned with a triumphant surge of singing fans. Vocalist for August Burns Red, Jake Luhrs, joined Bless The Fall for a phenomenal performance of the song “Carry On” off of their latest record Hollow Bodies (August 2013 via Fearless Records), which Jake recorded with them doing guest vocals. Bless The Fall finished their set with a huge song ending in a massive guitar solo and thanking Toronto for what they said to be one of the best shows of the tour.
Last and without a doubt not least to rattle the Sound Academy were headliners August Burns Red of Pennsylvania. Although not appearing to be anything but your average dudes, these guys can rip and shred with the best of them. Their sound is so incredibly precise and well put together, in combination with a plethora of vocal talent from vocalist Jake Luhrs, they were one of the best live sounding bands to hit the Sound Academy in my opinion to date.
With the crowd surging from the first note to the last August Burns Red tore the venue a new one, hitting on big songs from albums past and present, most definitely giving audience members exactly what they came for. With great stage presence and a contagious sense of how much fun they are having up on that riser, they left fans with an overwhelming flow of emotions; dedicating songs to people who have lost family or close friends and sonic-ally overloading your senses, this was a night to remember in Toronto.
Fans may have left the venue to an unwelcoming and freezing chill in the air but the nights performances more than made up for it in excitement. Every band whom took the stage gave it their all and you could certainly tell from crowd feedback that this show had been worth every penny. Fans should be proud as they certainly fulfilled their duty, just as Beartooth vocalist Caleb Shomos had bellowed early on in the evening, “CHAOS, I WANT CHAOS!” and the audience surely delivered.