August Burns Red, Born of Osiris, Erra and Ocean Grove bring the house down at the Worcester Palladium
Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
The first guitars and amps to be tuned and warmed up belonged to the gentlemen from the down-under. Ocean Grove – an Australian band from Melbourne introduced a style of music that could remind one of a Linking Park feel. Specifically, the use of voice modulation and scratch-table effects. An effect board was used throughout the set by Luke Holmes (lead vocals) to nail the electronic additions to his performance. Ocean Grove provided a wide range of creativity in their songs. These weren’t your typical breakdown-blasting and hair-whipping rockers. In a way, they gave off a P.O.D. vibe with their heavy hitting choruses accompanied by their hip-hop feeling bridges. Ocean Grove certainly blended well with the rest of the bands on The Phantom Anthem tour. If this band isn’t on your list of “need to see,” be sure to add them.
It would be interesting to know how many times JT Cavey (lead vocals) from Erra has gotten mistaken for Jake Luhrs (lead vocals) from August Burns Red. Both have golden pipes and impressive beards. But this is beside the point. Erra proclaimed the stage theirs after Ocean Grove. The technicality displayed during their set was truly inspirational. Jesse Cashe might be from another universe with the amount of talent this human being possesses. The ability to effortlessly sweep pick while nailing his high octaves is nothing short of incredible. But this is how Erra has made their name over the years. By being so technically orchestrated, their performances speak for themselves. They certainly did not fall short on this evening. “Seven” off of Impulse (2011) also ripped off all of Palladium’s floorboards.
Wait. who’s up next? Born of Osiris? Time to party.
The breakdown, djent and double-bass gods have spoken. All must go see a Born of Osiris set. If you decide to partake in this experience, you’ll hear a fulfilling synthesizer, shredding guitar fills, and double kick-drum beats for days. And just for kicks, David DaRocha (bassist) and Lee McKinney (guitarist) cut off all the tuning heads to their instruments. Why? No one knows... but it’s awesomely unique. What’s also awesomely unique is how well all of these instrumental progressions blend so well together. Vibes of Children of Bodom could be felt with the finish guitar style and synth combination taking over. Every now and then, you can also hear a dash of death metal with Jashka Raatikainen’s (drummer) blast beats. Not a soul in sight was seen stationary while Born of Osiris was on stage. Be ready to move, jump and headbang when seeing these boys live.
With a flaming “U” lingering above Matthew Greiner’s (drummer) set, August Burns Red greeted the New England (anti-Philadelphia) crowd with the intro music to “King of Sorrow” off of Phantom Anthem (2017) bellowing into the Palladium walls. Jake Luhrs (vocalist) has this indescribable ability to sound like three vocalists performing at the same time while on stage. The amount of practice and precision Jake puts into his craft is visibly noticed during ABR’s live sets. JB Brubaker (guitarist) and Brent Rambler (guitarist) effortlessly demonstrate their ability to play in sync with each other while Matt Greiner hits seven cymbals at once with ease (joking… but it seriously sounds like he hits at least four cymbals with one swoop of his drum stick). One unique detail of an August Burns Red concert is that you can go from a thrashing breakdown to a salsa dance within moments of each other. An example of this was seen during performance of “Provision” off of Rescue and Restore (2013).
Although the Phantom Anthem Tour has come to its completion, keep all of these bands on your radar (if you haven’t already). The next time you’re in town when these groups are performing, you have to go!
Until next time.
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