Last night I got the opportunity to attend the Baltimore date of the No Fix tour, and in all honesty, it made me think about Underoath in a whole new light.
To preface, the big reason I went to the show was to see Dance Gavin Dance, who were amazing as always. Underoath was headlining, and I knew a few of their older songs, but I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of theirs by any means. Once DGD finished, I found myself at the front of the crowd and figured it’d be a waste to give up this spot. It became one of the best decisions I’ve ever made at a show.
I really wasn’t a huge fan of the new record. I had given it a listen or two when it first came out, but really just wrote it off as a clone of new Bring Me The Horizon and nothing else. This is a critique I’ve seen in other reviews of the album as well, and it’s undeniable that it does have a much more modern feel. This is no longer the “Chasing Safety” Underoath, and it didn’t do a whole lot to catch my interest. That is, until I saw them live.
They opened with “On My Teeth”, one of the songs I knew pretty well, so that got my attention from the start. They came out with an energy I haven’t seen with many bands recently, and it was refreshing to say the least. As the set went on, I found myself really getting into it, regardless if I knew the song or not. However, it wasn’t until the intro to “Bloodlust” that my overall opinion of Underoath truly changed. I’ve seen plenty of energetic bands, but it’s been a very long time since a band has really made me feel something.
Before “Bloodlust” began, Underoath’s vocalist Spencer Chamberlain gave a little monologue about the new album, and that song in particular. He talked about how when he was recording the album it was the first time he was clean in a long time, and how much the lyrical content of the album truly meant to them. His overall message was really that there’s no shame in ever asking for help when you need it, and that he had received that help from his bandmates. Not only did that strike a chord with me in my own life, but really made me reconsider the new album.
On top of that, a few days ago Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie tweeted this:
This in combination with Spencer’s monologue really made me think, and after giving the album another couple listens, I’ve changed my tone. Yes, it’s similar to other bands out now. Yes, it’s a bit more radio-ready. Yes, it’s much different than older Underoath. All of this is true, but none of it matters. It’s clear to me that this band didn’t change their sound to make a profit. They love what they do, and they had some things they needed to get across to people, and they did it how they wanted to. It’s always easy to assume bands “sell out”, but I truly don’t believe that’s the case here.
Music, at the heart of it all, is the greatest outlet and form of expression there is, and the members of Underoath clearly needed this. It’s got to be heartbreaking to put your soul into your music and have people pass it off as nothing.
So for what it’s worth, I urge everyone to listen to “Erase Me”, and if you’re lucky enough to have the chance to see Underoath live, do it. They’ve gained a very big fan in me, and I’m sure there are many others who would agree.
P.S., you can see me at about 0:47 of their video recap of the show last night, so that’s pretty cool.