August Burns Red returned to Boise this week and ignited the Treasure Valley as part of the Frozen Flames Tour. The Pennsylvania metalcore quintet arrived in town on the last stretch of its US touring in support of its 2013 album, Rescue & Restore. The band recently signed with Fearless Records and will release its seventh studio effort sometime later this year. Joining August Burns Red for the heavy festivities at the Boise Knitting Factory was Miss May I, Northlane, Fit for a King, and Erra.
Erra hails from Birmingham, Alabama. The quintet wasted no time whipping the crowd into a pit at the front of the stage. The band, featuring new frontman Ian Eubanks, focused much of its attention on its new EP, Moments of Clarity. The band gave a tight performance overall, but guitarist and clean vocalist Jesse Cash struggled with his vocal pitch on a few songs.
Texas Christian metalcore-tet, Fit for a King took the stage next, delivering fans a heavy dose of its newest release, Slave to Nothing including the title track, “Forever Unbroken” and “Young & Undeserving”. Bassist Ryan O’Leary made the stage rumble with his low end and frontman Ryan Kirby roused the crowd in ebullient fashion as they tore through “Ancient Waters”, “Hollow King (The Sound of the End”, “The Resistance” and “Warpath”.
Australia’s Northlane hit the stage with three songs off its 2013 album, Singularity; opening with “Quantum Flux”, “Worldeater” and “Windbreaker”. The band then tuned up its latest single, “Rot”, expected to be on the band’s third studio album due out in 2015. They finished the set off with three more tracks from their sophomore album; “Scarab”, “Genesis” and “Masquerade”. Northlane did not play any songs of its 2011 debut, Discoveries. The Aussies were perhaps the surprise of the evening, adding a bit of a prog element to the night with their sound.
Ohio’s Miss May I made its Boise return in neck-snapping fashion, whipping the already fiery crowd to greater frenzy from the opening chords of “Hey Mister”. The band is deep into the touring cycle for its mammoth fourth album, Rise of the Lion. From the new record they performed the hits “Gone” and “Hero with No Name”. The quintet riffed through a set that hit songs from all of their albums previous albums as well; “A Dance with Aera Cura” from Apologies Are for the Weak, “Our Kings”, “Masses of a Dying Breed” and “Relentless Chaos” from Monument, and “Hey Mister” from At Heart. Vocalist Levi Benton enthralled the crowd, his caustic growls nicely balanced against bassist Ryan Neff’s clean vocals. The band just gets stronger and more impressive with each tour. Miss May I will return to headline The Shredder on August 9.
The crowd found its second wind by the time August Burns Red finally took the stage. Their patience and commitment were rewarded with a 16 song set that included a nice little drum interplay between Matt Greiner and the band. August Burns Red’s attack was relentless; their energy boundless.Vocalist Jake Luhrs gave a dynamic performance, and the fretwork by guitarists JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler was spot on. I’m not sure what it was about this show, but the bassists got a lot of love in the mix all night long, and Dustin Davidson’s skills shined.
The band opened with “White Washed” from 2009’s Constellations album. They followed this with a solid chink off the newest album, Rescue & Restore, performing “Beauty in Tragedy”, “Spirit Breaker” and “Provision”. Also included in the set were “Thirty and Seven”, The Eleventh Hour”, “Up Against the Ropes”, “Marianas Trench”, “Back Burner”, “Fault Line”, “Meridian”, “The Seventh Trumpet” and “Closure”. The guys, as usual, delivered on every level. After they fired off a double encore of “Carpe Diem” and “Empire”, the crowd was drained and satiated in high metal fashion.
While I still maintain that five bands are too many for a standard, not festival show; not one of these groups failed to give 100%. If the seemingly tireless mosh-pit is any indication, the fans were fully appreciative.