I've started practicing a new tradition on my Thanksgiving break in the Tampa Bay area. Visit the family, grub on some turkey, and head out to The Ritz to cover Underoath. For the past few years, the Christian metalcore outfit and Tampa natives have either ended their tour here, or randomly played a show for Jesus the day after Thanksgiving. Some things were different this time around; vocalist Spencer Chamerlain's new dready hairdo [pictured below], a new drummer, a just-released 2010 LP...
Phoenix sextet The Word Alive opened the show and didn't leave a lasting impression; I've found that all the new bands of this ilk sound
This year's attendance seemed little shy of the previous few years, a bit disappointing as Underoath is one of the few hard bands to actually make it out of this town and enjoy some pretty moderate success. Regardless, the musicians came on stage with enough electrified energy to put TECO out of business. I have seen plenty of bands that can move and rage all over stage, but UO is the one that stands out the most.
The band opened their set with "In Division" off their seventh and latest release, Ø (Disambiguation), and followed it up with a healthy selection of tunes from their previous six albums, though understandably, the setlist leaned heavy on the new material to promote the new album. Promote, Promote, Promote!
I used to listen to these gentlemen religiously after Chamberlain joined the band, back when I thought screaming was great and before I realized that music generally sounds better when you can understand the lyrics. But this show reminded me why I still enjoy screaming sometimes -- at least as delivered by Underoath. I'm looking forward to the new direction the band is headed with the new drummer and album, along with a 2011 turkey break show by one of the bands that I have always stuck by no matter how loud they are.