Saturday, December 06, 2008

Underoath and Saosin - 11/25/08 at the Ritz

While I was back home in Florida a few weeks ago, I had a chance to check out Saosin and Underoath live in concert in Ybor City at the Ritz. And thought I neglected to bring my camera (doh!), I still figured I could write a few words on the matter.

I'd just like to start off by saying that my expectations were turned completely on their head. I knew that Cove Reber, Anthony Green's replacement, was a little bit weak, but I still had faith in the band to put on a sick show. And I also knew that Underoath wasn't exactly my favorite band, and wasn't looking forward to too much from them. However, the truth was just the opposite; in brief, Saosin sucked, Underoath rocked.

Drummer Alex Rodriguez was about all Saosin had going for them. Not only did Cove absolutely ruin every song, he seemed to do so with vigor and gusto. On crowd favorite "Seven Years" (from the Translating The Name days), he threw in extraneous death metal growls during the chorus, and no amount of understanding could forgive the voice cracks which ruined "Translating The Name" itself. "You're Not Alone" came off as a trite exercise, and the other cuts from "Saosin" were equally disappointing. As mentioned before, though, the drums were sick - they fucking destroyed.

Underoath, on the other hand, was a different story. Returning to the Tampa Bay area was a homecoming of sorts for the band, and they brought an energy and enthusiasm rarely seen. I've skimmed over Underoath's back catalog before, and found very little to get excited about - seeing them live has definitely made me look at their body of work in a whole new light. Singer/screamer Spencer Chamberlain is a frontman from the days of yore, carrying the band on his shoulders. That's not to say he's the only one with talent, not at all. The guitars and bass are heavy and incessant, and Aaron Gillespie's drumwork leaves nothing to be desired. They even managed to preach about Jesus to the crowd several times without coming off as proselytizing, a feat in and of itself.

Saosin disappointed, Underoath surprised, and $26 was well spent.

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