LIVE PHOTOS: Underoath, Spiritbox, Stray from the Path
Review by Greg Maki
It was the day after St. Patrick’s Day, but there were no hangovers in sight this Friday night at the sold-out Fillmore Silver Spring. The touring package underwent some last-minute shuffling following the break-up of Every Time I Die, with two acts stepping in to replace that now dearly departed band, but it was obvious who most of the crowd was there to see.
Headliner Underoath, with a history now stretching back nearly a quarter century, was supporting its recently released ninth album, “Voyeurist,” its first since 2018. The energy from the stage—especially from frontman Spencer Chamberlain and guitarist Timothy McTague—was off the charts from the first note to the last. Those two, along with guitarist James Smith and bassist Grant Brandell, stood at the very edge of the stage through almost all of the 80-minute set, giving the impression that they would’ve been just as happy banging away in the pit as they were performing.
A top-of-the-line light show accentuated the band’s showmanship, bringing an almost arena rock feel to the 2,000 capacity venue.
UNDEROATH SET LIST: “Damn Excuses,” “Breathing in a New Mentality,” “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door,” “In Regards to Myself,” “Hallelujah,” “No Frame,” “Reinventing Your Exit,” “A Fault Line, a Fault of Mine,” “There Could Be Nothing After This,” “Too Bright to See, Too Loud to Hear,” “A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White,” “Pneumonia,” (encore) “Thorn,” “Writing on the Walls”
Moving up to direct support in the absence of Every Time I Die, Spiritbox easily could have held down co-headliner status based on crowd response. The most buzzed about metal band in years, the Canadian quartet brought the house down with a 35-minute set that alternated between hauntingly beautiful and crushingly heavy. The band tore through an impressive selection of hits, and even left out one of its higher profile numbers (“Secret Garden”), inspiring both mosh pits and singalongs. Saxophone player Saxl Rose, a native of nearby Baltimore, joined the group for “Constance,” making the song even more mesmerizing than the recorded version.
Spiritbox is still a young band, having just released its debut full-length, “Eternal Blue,” last September, and has yet to have a tour that hasn’t faced cancellations due to COVID, but it has arrived fully on a global scale. We aren’t likely to see the band in supporting slots for much longer.
SPIRITBOX SET LIST: “Rule of Nines,” “Circle with Me,” “Blessed Be,” “Hurt You,” “Constance” (with Saxl Rose on saxophone), “Holy Roller,” “Eternal Blue”
Supporting its third album, “The Death of Peace of Mind,” Richmond, Virginia’s Bad Omens brought a different flavor to the stage than most heavy acts. Opening with the synth-heavy title track of the new record, frontman Noah Sebastian took the stage alone, with his bandmates joining as the song built, and then donning a ski mask as song number two, “Artificial Suicide,” kicked the set into high gear. Though just 30 minutes, the band’s show was full of similar peaks and valleys, accompanied by dark, moody lighting and taking the audience on a real journey in a short amount of time.
BAD OMENS SET LIST: “The Death of Peace of Mind,” Artificial Suicide,” “ Like a Villain,” “What Do You Want from Me?,” “Limits,” “Dethrone”
Stray from the Path, a hardcore punk band from Long Island, New York, was a new one to me, so I was surprised to learn the group has a history of more than two decades. Though not from a genre I’ve spent much time with over the years, I appreciate the positive message of acceptance, and the high-energy, up-tempo set was perfect to kick off a dynamic night of music.
STRAY FROM THE PATH SET LIST: “The House Always Wins,” “Outbreak,” Goodnight Alt-Right,” “Fortune Teller,” “Second Death,” “Guillotine,” “Badge & a Bullet,” “First World Problem Child”