Underoath with Spiritbox, Bad Omens and Stray From The Path
March 17th, 2022
On St Patrick’s Day, the streets of New York were flooding with people anticipating the annual parade. However, I was headed to Brooklyn Steel for Underoath’s Voyeurist tour with Stray From the Path, Bad Omens and Spiritbox — a very different vibe. As I walked the industrial street of East Williamsburg, my fellow older emo’s were migrating towards 319 Frost Street in hoards. This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen Underoath, in fact probably the 5th or 6th time, but something about this time was special and I could not wait to get inside.
Kicking off the show was hometown heroes, Stray From the Path. The Long Island hardcore band was welcomed with open arms into Brooklyn and they truly set the tone for the evening. Highly energetic lead singer, Drew York, bounced across the stage while being bathed in deep red light. Despite it only being 7pm, the ground was shaking with energy and crowd surfers were already pouring across the barricade. Stray From The Path successfully set the energy bar high for the evening and proved they would truly be a tough act to follow.
Up next was Virginia-based metal core band, Bad Omens. The last time I had seen this band was Self Help Fest in 2017 and to say they have grown since then would be the understatement of the year. For being an opener, the production quality and level that this band performed at blew me away. Their set began in the pitch black with mysterious music playing as lights began flashing and smoke billowed across the stage. They opened with the title track from their most recent album THE DEATH OF PEACE OF MIND. After the second song, lead vocalist, Noah Sebastian, left the stage and returned wearing a black ski mask. They immediately ripped into “ARTIFICIAL SUICIDE” from the same album and the crowd went wild. The energy never dissipated for a moment during their set and the anticipation for what the remainder of the night had in store, continued to grow.
Fans seemed the most excited for the band, Canadian metalcore band Spiritbox. I had heard so many amazing things about this band and I really fell in love with their most recent album Eternal Blue, so I, too, was beyond stoked for this performance. They opened their set with “Rule of Nines”, before diving into back to back hits “Circle With Me” and “Blessed Be”. Bathed in blue light, I was in awe of lead vocalist Courtney LaPlante, as she seamlessly switched between belting vocals and deep, gritty screaming. Everything felt right in that moment, as I watched Spiritbox absolute crush their performance, as tens of crowdsurfers continued pouring over the barricade.
This night wasn’t the night for the faint hearted, because after nearly 3 hours of performance, the show was still continuing. The moment we had all been waiting for had finally arrived and it was time for Underoath to take the stage. The lights went dark and a mysterious person in a lit up mask (think Squid Game) appeared on stage. He spoke to us all and had us do some sort of pre-show meditation that required putting your arms up, closing your eyes and breathing. It produced a very calm energy over the crowd, a stark contradiction to the energy we had all night and that was about to ensue when Underoath began.
The band quietly came onto stage before jumping right into the first track from Voyeurist, “Damn Excuses”. Underoath did not come to play on St. Patrick’s Day, they meant business. Their performance was mind glowingly strong and high energy. Lead vocalist, Spencer Chamberlain, ran across the stage, kneeling into the cameras of us photographers in the photo pit as he let out scream after scream. Being in the photo pit, this was probably one of the more intense shows I’d ever been to. The band was getting right up to the edge of the stage, I felt like I was look up at gods among us men!
Underoath, a band who have been around for over 2 decades, are still keeping it fresh and that is truly a feat. The band provided fans, both new and old, with an extremely diverse setlist that included some fan favorites like “A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White” and “Reinventing Your Exit” and “Pneumonia”, before leaving the stage. Without an encore performance, the crowd knew what was up and immediately began chanting for the band to return to the stage. The band returned for a two song setlist consisting of “Thorn” and “Writing on the Walls”, before officially ending the set.
What a night the Voyeurist tour truly is. Chock full of metal core pride, joy and extreme talent, it was truly a night to remember. Underoath stays proving that metalcore is such an amazing and fun genre and one that you are truly never too old for — my back might break if crowd surfed, but there was still plenty of room for me to lose my mind in the back of the venue! I really enjoy seeing Underoath perform, so I cannot wait until the next time our paths cross. And for the newer metalcore bands that opened for Underoath, they remain proving to the community that the metal genre is only going to get bigger and better. Top notch quality, top notch music, top notch talent. I couldn’t have asked for a better St Patricks Day!