Show Review: August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, and Bleed From Within at Concord Music Hall in Chicago, IL

Bleed From Within kicked off this incredible night of metalcore with their unique, but also oddly nostalgic style of metalcore that is part Lamb of God, part Suicide Silence. If you weren’t familiar with Bleed From Within (like me), you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy they are to digest as a metalcore fan, while remaining refreshing to the pallet. Due to lineup changes, sections of their discography sound noticeably different, resulting in two different eras for the band. Still, Bleed from Within still knows how to rev up a crowd and get the blood pumping even after nearly 20 years as a band. With groove-infused riffs, deep heavy breakdowns, and gnarling vocals, Bleed from Within is the perfect opening act for what else is about to come.

Metalcore mainstays and one of my personal favorite metalcore bands, The Devil Wears Prada stormed the stage and delivered an absolutely pulverizing, punishing set that somehow sounded heavier than they do on recording. Filled with high-octane energy, TDWP didn’t let up once throughout their massive set filled with old and new tracks alike, perfect for covering all their bases ensuring no fan feels left out. With songs like, “HTML Rulez D00d”, “Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over”, “Mammoth”, and more, TDWP has an incredibly deep catalog of tracks that, while all sound like TDWP, also sound very different from one another really demonstrate how much they’ve grown and changed as a band. As an OG fan, of course, I’m going to say how I wish they played any or more tracks from the Zombie EP, Dear Love, Plagues, and With Roots Above and Branches Below, but considering how old those albums are, plus they’ve done anniversary tours for some of those records, so I honestly can’t complain. I’m happy they did play “Danger: Wildman”, “Born to Lose”, and “Dez Moines” though.

With this in mind, I found myself wondering how is it that a metalcore band from the early to mid-2000s (when metalcore arguably peaked), is still around playing massive shows and tours? It isn’t until you see a band like TDWP live that the reality fully kicks in…in a music scene filled to the brim with options, TDWP set themselves apart from the pack through musical stylings, but also through sheer work ethic and becoming a well-tuned, flawless machine as live performers. By becoming one of the most well-rounded acts today, TDWP delivers a set filled with invigorating and vicious energy as they deliver crushing breakdowns, punishing riffs, fantastic vocals, and stage energy, making everyone see them live to want to see them again. This consistency and delivery of their music has old and new fans continuing to support them even after so many years.

The titans of modern metalcore took the stage to the roaring of a sold-out Concord Music Hall where before they were able to all come out on stage, you could feel the movement of the crowd like waves as everyone pushed forward, surfers started coming over the top, and the pit opened up. These behemoths of metalcore are legends for a reason. 20 years of tearing it up and delivering consistently incredible shows and records without sacrificing their style or vision in the process is no easy feat to achieve. Bands will switch up style and genres after one or two album cycles just to try and stay relevant, but not ABR. Instead, ABR has stuck to their sound and brand and continues to refine, nurture, and grow as musicians. I had the pleasure to see ABR around 2015 a few times and I’m so glad to be able to say that now 7 years later, they’ve only gotten better.

Wasting no time, ABR rose like giants onto the stage proceeding to plow their way through their 18-song set all while commanding the crowd like a legion ready to obey at any moment. This kind of stage presence reminded me a ton of so legacy acts in metal whether it’s Slipknot, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, and so many others where the band has the entire room at their fingertips. This isn’t a dynamic that anyone can just have but is earned through years of touring and many recordings to the point where fans feel as though they are a part of the band and their performance, not simply just static viewers.

This over-the-top energy filled to the brim with intricate guitar solos, heavy-as-nails breakdowns, and piercing vocals was brought to life as they celebrated two decades of being a band performing songs from every era demonstrating how they become the juggernauts and why they still are to this day. Never sacrificing quality or their vision, August Burns Red is the perfect showcase of how to have a long and successful career as a band. By creating music that has stood the test of time and is one of the best live performances you can experience, August Burns Red proves time and time again why they are the metalcore legends that they are.

August Burns Red

Photos of ABR provided by Ray Duker


The Devil Wears Prada

Bleed From Within

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