From Warehouse Live’s Ballroom ceiling, there hung spiralled, candled chandeliers above a packed-house of eager metal-heads, decked out in all varieties of Between the Buried and Me T-shirts from decades past. These progressive-metal giants attracted nostalgic fans from all over Texas to celebrate their beloved album, Colors, at one of their two in-state shows on Friday the 13th.
For this nostalgic fan, this show was one that I simply could not miss. For the last ten years, not only have I loved and revelled in Colors and their three subsequent LPs, but I have also heard legendary stories from close friends about the sublimity of seeing BTBAM play Colors live in its entirety. And, any concert experience with that kind of story-staying power—my friends still reminisce about it—was one that was well-worth venturing across Texas to indulge in first-hand.
As the lights dimmed and the band slowly took the stage, the crowd erupted in cries of adoration for members of the band. With the first melancholy notes struck, Tommy Rogers entranced the crowd and they harmoniously sang along to the first simmering lines of the band’s prominent intro, Foam Born (A) the Backtrack. With a few of Black Richardson’s uprising, yet violent strikes on the drums, the metal marathon began. Without pause, the band effortlessly played through each of their perfectly blended eight tracks, transitioning seamlessly from favourite songs as Prequel to the Sequel to Viridian to an epic finish with White Walls. All the while, fans screamed their lungs out and thrashed violently in the pit and past the barricade through the entire set. At times, fans even found moments to sing along a cappella to the band’s most memorable bass lines and instrumental solos. To be sure, it was not your typical metal show.
After an unfailingly brilliant and brutal performance of one of their most technical albums to date, the band was beckoned by their ravenous audience for an encore. As they screamed “B-T-BAM” repeatedly in rhythm, the band’s technical assistant jumped on keys to play a humorous, funky little melody to complement the crowd’s chanting. This impressively inexhaustible group retook the stage, thanking the crowd and the bands that had accompanied them on this adventurous and memorable tour, which included The Contortionist, Polyphia, and Toothgrinder. For their finale, Tommy Rogers joked that the band would like to play one of their “newer” songs. And, the progressive metalcore band violently plunged into the magnificently chaotic, fan-favourite, Mordecai, from their 2003 album, The Silent Circus.
On this one epic night, Between the Buried and Me succeeded in bringing the entire crowd back in time and made syntheses of us all: with each note of every measure, we were seeing all of the vibrant colors and vitality of this remarkable album. This experience—a true marvel to be sure—is one that is bound to remain story-worthy for another ten years.