The Dangerous Tour
August Burns Red
Fit For a King
Miss May I
February 27th 2019
Upstate Concert Hall; Clifton Park, NY
Just for a little bit of backstory here: I took about five or six months off from shooting, due to both my own decisions and other outside circumstances. But, it’s not all bad – after such a long gap, I knew it’d be something special when I finally made it back into the pit.
And even in a blizzard, or better yet, especially in a blizzard, what a treat it was.
The night started off with Toyko’s Crystal Lake, who opened the show with a wild drum solo that unfortunately I was only able to catch from outside. Even with missing the majority of the set, what I was able to catch showed why the room was impressively full for an opening act on a snowed-out Wednesday night.
(In my defense, we had an inch of ice on the roads and it was the last night of my car lease, so better safe than sorry. All things considered, only being five minutes late? I think I did alright.)
Miss May I were the first full set of the evening I was inside for, and they wasted no time in taking control of the room. A band that has been around the block a few times, their fanbase is one that runs deep and one that runs loyal, bringing headliner energy to a supporting lineup slot. For the photographer side of me, the amount of strobes and flashing at the start was inconvenient, but as a concertgoer once those first three songs ended, it made for a heck of a show and the room ate it up.
Fit For a King followed up with a strong performance of their own. One of the first times the Texas four-piece made their way through town, they played first-billing on a five-band night and I’d guess there were maybe 70 people in there by the time the set ended, but each one giving it 110%. Another, referenced during the set, was at the now-closed Valentine’s – a hole-in-the-wall club that other hole-in-the-wall clubs could only hope to be. This was a combination of the two: a full-sized room with small club intensity.
Over the last decade and a half, I’ve been lucky enough to catch August Burns Red multiple times at various points throughout their career. And each time has been better than the last because they’re a band that continues to elevate their own highest point, consistently performing at the top of their game while simultaneously constantly improving and refining and adapting.
After “Meddler,” they paused briefly to say their hellos, thank the crowd, etc. During the acknowledgment, JB Brubaker took a second to show some additional gratitude for the crowd’s energy and passion, mentioning that vocalist Jake Luhrs had been under the weather lately and wasn’t at full strength vocally. I can probably speak for anyone in attendance that if he hadn’t mentioned it, we would not have even noticed. They sounded as good as ever, and taking the illness into consideration, they may have actually been better this time around, kicking it into a higher gear to overcome the sickness. If I had to choose, I’d still probably take August Burns Red at 90% over the majority of bands out there. They’re something special, and a little bug isn’t going to slow that down.
Like I said before, it took a bit to get me there that night – the roads were crap and I felt like I was basically starting over. But, after a bit of time off, there aren’t many acts who could’ve gotten me back into the swing of things like August Burns Red. They’re in the top tier of any acts around. And even with snow and ice covering the roads outside, they continue to bring the heat.
King of Sorrow
The Truth of a Liar
Drum Solo / The Legend of Zelda