It’s been a while since my last blog and I had just came out of watching the legendary Underoath live on stage at Playstation Theatre in Times Square a while ago. I originally was going to do a show review for the show but I decided to do a story of how I’ve come to be one with Underoath’s music because so many bands from back in the days I have grown to love over years, you’ll find out from this post eventually that there is history behind how it came to be. Now mind you, it took a lot of musical growth to enjoy the greatness of Underoath but I’m sure many of who would read this have went through the same thing when it came to bands they have grown to like overtime.
After I graduated high school, I have already embraced the genre known as metalcore after listening to bands like Killswitch Engage, Bleeding Through and Avenged Sevenfold and was told to despise anything that was softer than those bands or “wasn’t metal enough”. After a few years of listening to the music while outside of school or in school, I see the band name Underoath amongst the many bands on the American metalcore bands list. The thing was Underoath was in the same groupings as emo and screamo bands such as Chiodos, Escape the Fate and From First to Last and was on Warped Tour a couple of times. Originally, I was turned off because of that and also I was young and stupid and wasn’t really looking into the music for what it was as I stood on one side of the fence. It wasn’t until 2006 I believe I purchased a compilation album/DVD from Hot Topic in the Galleria in White Plains, which was the spot back in the day, titled Metal = Life Vol. 2 and I see an Underoath track on the back of the case. The track happened to be off of the album Define the Great Line titled “Everyone Looks So Good From Here”, which in the future would become one of my favorite Underoath songs. It was that time I gave the band a listen for the first time and afterwards I happened to enjoy the track and was interested in hearing the rest of the album out of curiosity. But I had to wait until my next paycheck from my old supermarket job as I would use the check to pay off bills and whatnot. When FYE was located in Jerome Ave. in the Bronx, I would visit there to check out albums and buy music and the Define the Great Line CD was bought after many times of reading Revolver magazine and seeing the album being advertised. I listened to the album for the first time and being a “strictly metal” kid, I felt like I wasted money on the CD and sold it even if I already liked one song off of it already, believe it or not. Later at a show through a friend, I was told the Underoath with Dallas Taylor, vocalist of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, was the better Underoath than with Spencer Chamberlain and I should check out the album that they did with Dallas, who happened to be the former vocalist of Underoath, which I did, and I enjoyed it for the most part and stuck with the album for a while. A year or so later, I made a musical turn for the better.
After many years of being a part of the local scene here in the city and opening my taste from just metalcore to post-hardcore and screamo by listening to bands like A Skylit Drive (with Jordan Blake), A Static Lullaby and Poison the Well, I have downloaded the They’re Only Chasing Safety via Limewire, when it was the poppin’ app, as I have researched and learned that before Define the Great Line, this was the album that really brought Underoath to the mainstream forefront and had them playing on Taste of Chaos and Warped Tour. I thoroughly listened to the CD in full on many train rides to Westchester or downtown Manhattan and really came to appreciate the music more and happened to go back to FYE to see if the copy of Define the Great Line I sold was still there and yes, I re-bought the CD and it still remains in my CD collection up to this day. Years before their disbanding and farewell tour in 2013, I have continued to listen to Underoath songs and Youtubed their music videos and have supported their music and became one of the people who have looked at Underoath as an inspiration as their music have brought many people together and have gotten them through some times in their life. I missed out on the opportunity to catch their farewell tour even if Aaron Gillespie wasn’t in the band at that time. Also, looking back on it if I had caught their many live performances when they were in their prime, I would’ve blown away by how greatly received they were and what they meant to so many people.
In 2015, I had hit a milestone in my life, which was my 30th birthday, and I had my older sister text me and send birthday wishes my way and told me I can have one birthday present of my choosing. Coincidentally, the news spread that Underoath was reuniting for the South by So What tour and was doing a Rebirth tour playing both They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line in their entirety the whole tour and they were stopping by New York City and playing Playstation Theatre so I told her I wanted to go see Underoath for the first time ever and I had received my ticket for the show in the mail for my birthday and have spent many months anticipating the show with excitement as those two albums became my favorite albums after listening to them when I was growing up. Now in the month of April of 2016, the day came after many months of hype and constant talks with many good friends from shows back in the day and of course the show was sold out which meant it was going to be crazy lit and the venue was going to be packed with loud and excited fans to see their band back again after so long. After the opening band Caspian played their set that was enjoyable, the band came out on stage to cheers and roars from the crowd as they prepared to give the fans a show they will never forget and that they did. From the first opening lines of the song “Young and Aspiring” from Chasing Safety until the last few notes and words of “To Whom It May Concern” off of Define the Great Line, the band played the entire like they never missed a step at all after the time the band spent doing their other bands and projects like Sleepwave and The Almost. During the set, the band thanked their fans for letting them know that they missed them completely and inspired them to get back together and play music for them again.
After the set, me and some peeps stood outside the venue and chopped it up until Aaron Gillespie, the drummer/clean vocalist, came out and greeted us and talked with us for 5 minutes about how it was playing New York City and his time playing with Paramore and his smoking habit. The rest of the members came out and talked with us and took pictures with them and so on, which was a good ending to an awesome night. Just seeing them live tonight and talking with them made me have much more respect for them even if I had had respect for them before after becoming a fan of their music. Hopefully in the future, they can come back again after a few years and continue to do what they love and from what keyboardist Christopher Dudley told us that the set and music may be played a little slower as they would age but it would be that special for all the fans and for the band themselves.
Favorite Underoath songs (in no particular order):
Writing on the Walls
It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door
Moving for the Sake of Motion
Young and Aspiring
Reinventing Your Exit
Everyone Looks So Good From Here
There Could Be Nothing After This
You’re Ever So Inviting
Returning Empty Handed
When the Sun Sleeps
Catch Myself Catching Myself