A Day to Remember
With Veara, Enter Shikari, Silverstein, August Burns Red
Revolution, Fort Lauderdale
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Touring acts tend to avoid South Florida because we are not on the way to anywhere -- except rehab. The best way to fit this region into an itinerary is to launch the tour here. Wednesday was the first date of Toursick 2010 featuring A Day to Remember, August Burns Red, Silverstein, Enter Shikari, and Veara at Revolution. Put your back toward Cuba and the continental United States opens up before you like a blood vessel on a 16-year-old's forehead hitting the metal security gate at the front of the pit.
It would be an evening of post-hardcore, pop-core, and other hyphenations. Although extremely excited to see Enter Shikari, English rockers with supercharged riffs, bellows to the beyond, and a crunch of keyboard (and the coolest in all of current music) the fates were against me. Day job realities and an unfortunately long will-call line enveloped Enter Shikari's entire set. Nothing funny about that.
Melodic-aggro act Silverstein, from Ontario, Canada, followed. Because
the vast majority of the crowd had from 3 p.m. (or whatever time high
school lets out) to make it to the show, I was stuck near the merch
table at the back. During "Arsonist," when they encouraged the crowd
with a blatant "I wanna see you mosh!" I can only imagine the kids on
the floor obliged.
August Burns Red from Lancaster, Penn., was the intensity climax of the
night. From the beginning of "Back Burner" on, it was 40 minutes of pure
mayhem. At any time, lead singer Jake Luhrs and between one and three
of ABR's guitarists -- channeling rock gods from earlier eras -- stood
on boxes at the front of the stage, leaning, spitting, sweating on the
crowd. Luhrs berated everyone and everything with vocal cords of
leather, into an unrelenting strobe light, and the kids responded.
On the floor, a swirling and constant stream of guys and gals rode the
hands of their friends into the three foot sanity/security gap between
the stage and the masses. Neither the band nor the crowd let up as both
blasted through "Truth of a Liar," "Meddler," and others. A friend said
it was akin to getting a free botox, but I don't know what that means.
As the set came to a close, Luhrs, who already seemed part of the crowd,
showed even more love, stating he'd be "at the merch table, so I can
get to know you on a more personal level." If that was possible.
Could A Day to Remember compete with previous 40 insane minutes they'll
follow for the duration of this substantial tour? Where August Burns Red
was the peak of intensity, A Day to Remember was the night's peak of
showmanship and multimedia extravaganza, opening their set with a short
film on a huge jumbotron-like electronic screen at the back a two-level
stage populated by loud steam-shooting canons.
A Day to Remember hails from Ocala, but lead singer Jeremy McKinnon
later let the crowd know that South Florida is close to his heart,
stating that we supported the band even before their hometown did.
Kicking off the set with "The Downfall of Us All" while the jumbotron
shone a large red "ADTR", the crowd's teen spirit would not subside.
Continuing with the irresistible pop/hardcore mix of "A Shot in the
Dark" and "The Danger in Starting a Fire," kids in the crowd got thrown
or vaulted themselves over the outstretched hands of security and across
no-mans-land, onto the front of the stage.
As the set continued, seemingly everybody in the crowd sang along to the
popular "Monument" from 2007's For Those Who Have Heart, and "Have
Faith in Me" from 2009's Homesick album. The first song of the
encore gave us the only slow-down of the night with "If It Means a Lot
to You." And then finally they finished with a song many in South
Florida can appreciate, a powerful rendition of "A Plot to Bomb the
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Panhandle," complete with a symbolic explosion of confetti and streamers
over the pit. The crowd left happy. I guiltily purchased an Enter
Shikari t-shirt on the way out.
-- Andrew Wamsley