Underoath - O2 Ritz Manchester

Underoath - O2 Ritz Manchester

On June 15th 2004, Underoath released their second album ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’. At the time, it was a huge success and for many was a gateway album into the metal scene. 20 years on and Underoath have embarked on a huge tour celebrating the albums 20th Anniversary by performing the album in full. Tonight, they bring the show to the O2 Ritz in Manchester. Tonight, is the final date of the U.K. tour and the queue for the show leads up the street. 

Our first and only support act tonight, is the much talked about Static Dress. For this band, a tour like this is a huge opportunity, not only is it a chance to play along side a band who had such a big part in creating the scene that stands today, but it’s also a chance to show, some of the older members of the crowd, what they’re made of. The band members take to the stage under atmospheric lights before vocalist Olli Appleyard explodes onto the stage. Kicking things off with ‘for the attention of…’ the band waste no time in pushing things up to 100, giving the crowd a taste of their high energy performance right from the start. For a young band to have such a strong presence on stage is quite an impressive feat and Olli’s vocal performance is as impressive as ever; switching between vicious screams and melodic clean vocals with ease. It's a strong performance from the whole band with  bassist George Holding making the most of the space around him, never standing still for too long and Olli moving across the stage frequently, interacting with the crowd at any chance he gets. Static Dress are a great choice for an opening act on tonight's tour, musically, they're emotive and raw whilst also captivating to watch. They clearly draw inspiration from the likes of Underoath, Bring Me The Horizon and many other heavyweights from the metal scene but never leaning too far into those influences, allowing them to sound unique and interesting. Judging by the crowd's reaction, the set is well received with frequent moshing throughout, for those who hadn’t been aware of Static Dress, prior to this set, definitely know who they are now. 

It's nearly time for Underoath and anticipation is building. As previously mentioned ,the band's influence in the scene has been huge and getting a chance to see the band play ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’ in full is something not to be missed. One by one, the band take to the stage before lead vocalist Spencer Chamberlain takes to the stage to much applause. They kick things off with album opener ‘Young and Aspiring’ before diving into fan favourite ‘A Boy Brushed Red’. In no time, the crowd erupts into chaos, with multiple mosh pits and a wave of crowd surfers making their way across the crowd. Spencer also takes the opportunity to jump down from the stage and climbing onto the barrier to embrace the fans. As the band move into ‘The Impact of Reason’ the atmosphere in the room doesn’t let up with the energy only getting higher as the band hit another fan favourite ‘Reinventing Your Exit’. 

Underoath have been in the game for a long time now and it shows on stage. Playing every song with absolute precision, it makes for a truly electrifying performance. Spencer's vocals are on point, sounding as powerful as ever whilst the rest of the band deliver a tight performance with a stand out performance from drummer Aaron Gillespie who provides some incredible clean vocals from behind the kit. As the album play-through draws to a close, Aaron and Timothy McTague take centre stage for an acoustic play-through of ‘Some Will Seek Forgiveness’. But the night is far from over, the band still have songs to play from a huge catalogue of music. Though it's not the band who have chosen the remaining songs tonight, this is a fan voted set, giving fans the chance to hear their favourite songs played live. A stand out from this is ‘Hallelujah’ which sounds huge live and brings with it some huge singalongs. As the set draws to a close the band give their final performance of the night by playing the huge hit ‘Writing on the Walls’.

It's been a huge night with Static Dress delivering a massive opening set before Underoath brought the chaos to the stage. After 20 years you can never be to0 sure how a band will sound playing songs from so early in their career but Underoath’s ‘They’re Only Chasing Safety’ has never sounded so good and a real chance for the fans to embrace the album and show their love and appreciation for an album which no doubt played a huge part in their teenage years.

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