This article is co-written by Patrick Saad and Rami Rouhana.
Thursday July 14th 2016 – we attended a gig by BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME (BTBAM) and supporting act PROTEST THE HERO at Underground in Cologne-Germany. The show also featured unannounced surprise band SPRING UP FALL DOWN.
We arrived at around 7 PM as concerts in Germany start early and finish early so people can get back home (especially via mid-week trains) and get to work the next morning. This is a major difference from local Lebanese concerts (except international festivals) which start at around 10:30+ PM!
The venue was a bit of a surprise as Underground was more of an overground hangar – a small place that could probably pack a maximum of 300 attendees, but surely enough it did! Since a normal German summer is not scorching, the place had no air-conditioning but given it was packed, the temperature peaked at 37 degrees Celsius, which made the gig slightly less enjoyable, even for the bands who jokingly complained about it.
SPRING UP FALL DOWN
Rami, Patrick | This surprise band jumped on stage and immediately went at it – we were not sure who the band was since we’re not familiar with their tracks. The sound was clear enough and balanced but a bit loud at times. The 3-member band played enjoyable instrumentals with cool melody fusion and some subtle electronic effects. Their music could be mainly described as Post-Rock with slight hints of Sludge Metal and even Psychedelic, but the overall direction is Prog.
PROTEST THE HERO
Rami | I must say I’m not very much into this band’s music and wasn’t familiar with them to begin with, so I just went to the gig with fresh ears. I could say they were more interesting than expected, the crowd was moving and slightly mosh-pitting, and sure enough they got everyone excited as beer constantly flowed and bodies swayed. The lead singer pulled some standup comedy, commenting on attendees’ tattoos before each song, joking about the heat and the sweat and even saying that talking is a nice way to fill up gig time to reach the 70-minute performance as stated on the contract (sounds like a joke but it was happening).
Patrick | Protest the Hero’s live performance was fun and energetic, especially with their in-between-songs crowd interaction (they did drag that a bit). I was surprised to see that this Canadian outfit has surprisingly a large following in Europe; people were singing along and shouting song requests – it seemed to me like the band is as popular as the main act! It was enjoyable to watch their technical capabilities with songs having sudden tempo changes and badass time signatures.
Check out their 2013 album VOLITION:
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
Rami | I would be biased if I describe how great this band’s energy and music is, mainly because I’ve been constantly listening to their latest release “Coma Ecliptic” since the day I got hold of it. On stage the band’s performance is perfect; they play all those complex songs exactly as they sound on the studio versions. Every band member is perfectly connected to the others as they jump around in their jungle of time signatures, intricate passages and wall of sound.
Patrick | Rami nagged on and on about this “Coma Ecliptic” record by BTBAM, and at first that surprised me since last time I checked, this band played Deathcore, a style that neither he or I enjoy. However, with only one listen, I understood what all those raving online Prog reviews were about – this band is easily a top 5 Prog Metal band at the moment, and I only needed to see them live to remove all doubt. They are like if Leprous and Hacken had a baby, fed it cocaine 24 / 7 and then ordered it to blow your brains out. They were unbelievably tight and delivered simply the most impressive live Metal band performance I have ever witnessed! It was so good that my backpack which had personal belongings including a laptop couldn’t help but jump from under my feet into a sudden and crowded moshpit – that’s how good they were. Of course, after rescuing my backpack, I proceeded to show those shy Germans a taste of Lebanese moshpitting. As the place was small and the crowd was really close to the stage, you find yourself running around in a small moshpit and jumping with Thomas Giles (vocalist) as he literary roars in your face, then look up just to gasp for air! SICK BAND!
Check them out live (from 2014):
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME will be touring with DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT and LEPROUS in 2017!