Beartooth and Underoath: Moshing for the Messiah

Greetings fellow lovers of all things rock and roll! It’s your ol’ pal Dallas back with another rockin’ review. As always, I was joined by the head honcho of the site, Josh. It’s been a while since this dynamic duo gave you all a review, so let’s dive from the stage and mosh our way through this show.

This show, like many others we have reviewed, was at Arvest Bank Theatre (or the Midland to us locals). The theatre oozes class from decades long past: gold leafed trim, crystal chandeliers, antiques, and spectacular plaster work through and through. Funny how the refined interior is often host to some of the region’s heaviest rock shows.

Tuesday’s show offers three courses of delicious metal, but we filled up on the first two courses. I guess our eyes were bigger than our stomachs (and we didn’t get press for the last band – whoops!)

The weather in Kansas City wasn’t exactly conducive to standing in line; drizzle and overcast skies made the mood outside gloomy – but the brave fans of Underoath and Beartooth we lined up around the block, even after the doors at 6. Needless to say, they needed some hardcore to warm their bones from the unseasonable Midwest weather.

The crowd kind of transported me back to the hardcore hey-days of a decade ago. Lots of these fans spend their formative years listening to hardcore that defined the scene in the mid-aughts. But another portion of the crowd probably recently discovered these bands as influences – either way you heard them, though, this show was not likely to disappoint.

First to the stage was Beartooth – relative newcomers to the scene – hailing from Columbus, OH and forming in 2012.  Beartooth sets themselves apart from the rest of the bands in the genre with more of a hardcore punk influence while emphasizing catchy choruses.

The ferocious fivesome opened their set aggressively with their track “Aggressive”; title track from their latest release in 2016.  Their set seemed to mirror their latest album’s title, often with Caleb calling for more and more fan participation. This certainly was not a set where you wanted to stand still. Catchy choruses and thrashing instrumentals continued on with the band playing a hearty mix from both their latest release and their album Disgusting. The 7 song set concluded with much fanfare with the song “Hated”

Caleb Shomo – lead vocals, guitar
Taylor Lumley – lead guitar, backing vocals
Kamron Bradbury – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Oshie Bichar – bass guitar, vocals
Connor Denis – drums, percussion

Next to the stage was veteran hardcore rockers Underoath.  The group has embarked on touring again after their 2013 farewell tour. The 2017 tour signaled a rebirth of the band since the 2013 disbanding. To quote 1989’s hit movie All Dogs Go to Heaven, “You can’t keep a good dog down”

 Forming in 1997, Underoath has gone through a wide range of styles, ranging from hardcore/black metal styles in their beginning, melodic leaning post-hardcore in the middle, and landing to what we know now with a heavy metalcore sound that brings out the crowds.

They opened the set with “Everyone Looks So Good From Here” from 2006’s Define the Great Line. Judging by the size of the crowd, it might be hard to make out individual faces, but the song’s title is probably rang true with the band. You could tell they enjoyed playing again.

The set continued with fan favorites from both Define the Great Line and they’re Only Chasing Safety – Underoath really seemed to focus on what got everyone hooked to Underoath in the first place. The 11 song set concluded with “Writing on the Walls”, again from their 2006 release.

Although another band was headlining this show, Underoath really brought the energy and excitement one would usually see in a headline act. Personally to me, Underoath was one of the bands that really defined hardcore in the early 2000s, and quickly became one of my go-to bands and quickly influenced my musical tastes. In 2012, when they announced their breakup, I was pretty upset that I hadn’t gotten a chance to witness one of my favorite bands on stage, but their 2017 tour gives redemption to anyone who may have missed their chance in the past.

Aaron Gillespie – drums
Christopher Dudley – keyboards, synthesizers
Timothy McTague – lead guitar, backing vocals
Grant Brandell – bass guitar
Spencer Chamberlain – lead vocals
James Smith – rhythm guitar

It’s been a pleasure reviewing this show. As always, if this show is headed your way, don’t miss the opportunity. Beartooth and Underoath will be touring North America through April.

 Until next time, peace, love, and rock and roll

Words by Dallas Hessel
Photos by Josh Chaikin

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