Live Review: Between the Buried and Me


Between the Buried and Me – 03/01/2014 at London Music Hall in London, Ontario

Between the Buried and Me has always been one of my all-time favorite bands. When I first heard their album Colors, released in 2007, I was awestruck. I could not believe that there was a band out there that was so heavy and talented, but more importantly, so open to playing all genres of music and fitting all of those themes into any one song. Needless to say, this band is unbelievably talented – fully and completely, with each band member displaying their prowess just as well in a live setting as in their recorded works.

BTBAM’s most recent release, The Parallax II: Future Sequence, was yet another extremely impressive album and my personal favourite of 2012. When BTBAM comes anywhere close to my hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, I always make sure that I am in attendance. On March 1st, 2014, the progressive metal gods played London Music Hall in London, Ontario. The recently renovated venue was a perfect setting with a beautiful stage, bar, fantastic sound and a packed and energized crowd. The Kindred, Intronaut, and Deafheaven were all very tight, demonstrating the amount of musical talent within the progressive metal genre. You could tell that there were a lot of musicians in the crowd as there was a noticeable appreciation for pulling off odd time signatures, wacky key changes and creative chord progressions.

Once Deafheaven finished their set my anticipation for the evening’s headliner brought me to the very front of the crowd. I was able to secure a position stage right just in front of lead guitarist Paul Waggonner. When the set began and the band sauntered out onto the stage it was almost surreal. The band opened with “Foam Born (A) The Backtrack”, allowing the crowd to nearly overpower Tommy (vocals) as they sang along with the track’s opening lyrics. Once all the instruments came in and each member began playing, the sound was overwhelming. The mix was perfect and the confidence coming from each band member knowing that they were about to blow your mind was a beautiful thing to see.

The band played a mixed bag of tracks selecting songs from albums Alaska, Colors, The Great Misdirect & Parallax II. It was a perfect set to see for any Between the Buried and Me fan, but also for those new to the band; the selected songs really demonstrated the band’s variety of sounds and summarized very well what they can offer to the listener.

Some of the highlights from the show included the opening of “The Backtrack”, which went straight into “Decade of Statues”, Paul Waggonner pulling off the “Selkies” solo flawlessly, and the encore performance of “Sun of Nothing”, which translated very well live and left the crowd completely blown away. Blake Richardson played a superb set pulling off every part he had laid down in the studio, plus some added tricks that made the songs hit even harder live. Dan Briggs was incredible throughout the set and his energy on stage was addicting. Dustie Waring’s playing was nothing short of spectacular and the confidence of the entire band playing together as a unit was pure bliss for any fan.

This is an incredible tour, and the $30 ticket is definitely worth the money. Whether you see BTBAM play Parallax II in its entirety or a mixed bag of tracks, you will get a lot more out of the show than the price point – I guarantee it.

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