Russian Circles, Between the Buried and Me, and Coheed and Cambria certainly made their rounds at Pittsburgh’s Stage AE on Thursday, Feb. 8th.
A mutual friend on Facebook shared an interesting article in relation to the sold out show at Stage AE, last Thursday. I kept an open mind about reading the article, but there were a few things (mostly choices with language) presented themselves as red flags. The author chose a colorful array of words to describe the “emotionally sterile” performance of Between the Buried and Me.
Maybe he couldn’t see the performance? The author describes the set as “Wanky.” In no way was this show, “contemptible” or “worthless,” which is the true definition of the British slang term “wanky.” The quintet from North Carolina displayed nothing less than an energetic and passionate performance. From bass player Dan Briggs running back and forth from stage left to right, to vocalist/keyboardist Tommy Giles standing on feedback amps, mirroring a symphony leader. Alternating from chilling vocals to playing keyboard, I think requires a little bit of effort and talent, no? All the photos included in the article were taken from way up on the balcony, as opposed to where Pittsburgh Music Magazine was located right in front of the gate. “Songs made no structural sense.” – Seeing as several members are classically trained, I’m not really sure where there’s validity in any of this? I almost don’t even know how to respond to that. Is he referring to signature changes?
“Not many prog-metal frontmen would hit the stage with a ukulele, but Claudio Sanchez couldn’t care less about the rules.” – This serves as a totally contradictory statement to previous attack against BTBAM. Is this not exceeding the boundaries in creativity? I’m confused. Oh and by the way, Coheed and Cambria are definitely not categorized as “prog-metal,” more melodic rock as you described earlier.
“Jumping through genres (I swear there was jazz fusion and country in there, too)” …uhh dude, I think that’s kind of the point? This is what music is all about… especially “progressive” metal. The title of the genre espouses the experimental nature of the agenda, overtly. None of these accusations really have any fortification in any way. BTBAM put on an incredible performance, just as they do always. I’m not sure if the author had never heard them before, or was just trying to challenge the show in general, or really simply left unimpressed? I’m interested.
The author has since revised his review with a mild apology toward BTBAM’s fans, who jumped on this immediately. Stating that he “Has probably seen King Crimson before many of you were born. And it wasn’t like it was my first rodeo.” Well, I definitely have my share of King Crimson floating around on my I-pod, and I certainly can’t compare the two. Regardless of their talent, King Crimson is even weirder and more chaotic than Between the Buried and Me! Regardless of the intent behind the negative review of the performance, whether taste, personal preference, or unrealistic standards, verbally bashing an incredibly structured set and delivery is like standing in quicksand when it comes to a reaction from their loyal fan-base. Seven albums later, Between the Buried and Me are revered as one of the greatest to experience live, and constantly receiving loads of recognition from many productive musicians on the scene today. I think I’m going to have to go ahead and politely disagree with the statement “an interminable hour of heavy music with a deadening effect.” Between the Buried and me arguably transcend the sound of progressive metal. Everyone that I know personality, even down to friends in Periphery and other successful progressive bands to the scene list their 2012 The Parallax II: Future Sequence (released on October 9th), as the best album of the year.
These guys slayed, along, with Russian Circles and Coheed and Cambria to create an unforgettable experience for myself, and others who were lucky enough to be present to this sold out event.
All photos property and copyright 2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine