Underoath – The Dome at Oakdale Theater – 5.9.18
Wallingford, CT – 5.9.18
Words + Photos by Jordyn Beschel
Hot off the release of their first album in roughly a decade, the scene’s favorite metalcore band Underoath have taken off on their “No Fix Tour” with support from popular acts Dance Gavin Dance, Veil of Maya, and LIMBS. The tour, though a short run compared to their extensive Rebirth Tour back in 2015, has hit cities and states the band had not played in years, and some even at all. It’s been many, many years since Underoath stepped foot on a stage in Connecticut alone, so it was great being able to catch them again locally at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT and welcome them back.
Surprisingly, Underoath played a fair mixture of songs from all of their more acclaimed full-length albums. Considering this headline tour was in support of the newest album, Erase Me, they did not neglect the fact that it is still so fresh and new that many may not know all the words yet. The band opened up with the first single that was released, “On My Teeth”, with the album’s artwork glowing ominously green as the backdrop. Later on in the set, frontman Spencer Chamberlain mentioned that they could not fit their full production onto the stage as it was much smaller than the previous ones on the tour, causing keyboardist Chris Dudley to be a bit cramped, use a makeshift table top, and ultimately “look like a DJ.” Side note, it was also not actually his birthday, again.
They followed up with the opening track to their iconic 2006 album Define The Great Line before settling down into the jazz interlude “The Blue Note”, which triggered true fans because they knew exactly what song was coming next. As the introductory guitar trade-off carried out, the crowd opened up wide in the middle to gear up for one of Underoath’s most popular songs, “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door”. Chamberlain stepped up onto the front of the platform, calling on the fans to sing along in a haunting choir.
Of course, the band played their old stuff (no pun intended) like “Reinventing Your Exit”, “A Boy Brushed Red…Living in Black and White”, and “Writing On The Walls”, but the most notable songs live were actually two of their new tracks from the album. “No Frame” quickly became a favorite of mine off of the release because of its diversity. It has a lot of electronic elements compared to most other Underoath tracks, and yet it is still one of the most dark and brooding songs they’ve written. Instrumentally, the song translated flawlessly. Hearing those deeply driven basslines and the prog-esque breakdown live was wild, but when the full band kicked in and Chamberlain chimes in with the song’s chilling lyrics in the final verses, it was truly mesmerizing.
“Bloodlust” was actually played as part of the encore, which alone shows us how significant the song is to the band. To be truthful, the song wasn’t one of the standout tracks on the album musically, but lyrically, it is one of the most powerful songs Underoath has ever written. The song sends flashbacks to the 2008 album Lost In The Sound of Separation in terms of musical experimentation and lyrical vulnerability, but what really sold me was Chamberlain’s speech beforehand. After negotiating with the crowd, “If you let us play one new one, we’ll play one old one,” he stated before continuing that the speech came naturally and now has become part of his banter every night. He went on to say how “Bloodlust” was written in their darkest period, how he struggled with (and overcame) addiction, and how there was a time when the willpower to live was merely nonexistent.
Even if Chamberlain didn’t share this with the crowd before they began the song, watching each and every member put their all into its performance gave insight on how important it was to them alone. The new album as a whole has been a milestone for the band as they triumphed in their own lives and collectively as a band, reaching a level of emotional integrity unlike they ever have before. Seeing parts of the album come to life on the No Fix Tour truly transcended its greatness, and only solidified the throne Underoath has held in the scene.
Personally, I have watched Underoath progress in the last decade and thensome both as a fan and a critic, but since their official return and the release of the album, there has been a fire in their eyes that is unmatched. This new era of the band is undeniably the strongest and most passionate that they have ever been.
The No Fix Tour is almost done, but Underoath has plenty more shows coming up throughout the year. A full list of tour dates are below.
Underoath Tour Dates:
May 16 Ft. Wayne, IN Piere’s
May 18 Columbus, OH Rock on the Range
May 19 Lexington, KY Manchester Music Hall
May 20 Springfield, MO Gillioz
May 22 Corpus Christi, TX Concrete Street Amphitheatre
May 23 Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall
May 24 Dallas, TX Bomb Factory
May 25 Little Rock, AR Metroplex
May 26 Pryor, OK Rocklahoma
June 15 Paris, France Download Festival Paris
June 16 Amsterdam, Netherlands Melkweg
June 21 Dessel, Belgium Festivalpark Stenehi
June 22 – 24 Scheessel, Germany Hurricane Festival
June 22 – 24 Neuhausen Ob Eck, Germany Southside Festival
June 23 Dessel Belgium Graspop Metal Meeting
June 28 Prague, Czech Republic Aerodrome Festival
June 29 Madrid, Spain Download Festival Madrid
June 30 Ysselsteyn, Netherlands Jera on Air
July 12 – 14 Cadott, WI Rock Fest
July 13 Oshkosh, WI Rock USA
July 28 – 29 Montreal, QC Heavy Montreal
August 24 Reading, UK Reading Festival
August 25 Leeds, UK Leeds Festival