8/16/21 | Beartooth | The Below Tour | Photos + Review

Beartooth Dominates Anaheim With A Sold Out Show on The Below Tour

Venue: House of Blues Anaheim in Anaheim, CA on 8/16/21

As music fans, we all have bands that we want to see. But then something seems to always come up. Whether it be scheduling issues or another show overlapping, that’s always been my issue when it’s come to seeing or photographing Beartooth. I’ve been listening to their music since their debut in 2013, but this show was my first time actually seeing or photographing them. To say it was amazing would be an understatement, and I was so glad to finally see and photograph Wage War and Dragged Under as well. California hasn’t been getting as many big tours since we reopened live venues post-pandemic. So to have a show of this caliber come through was absolutely amazing.

First up on tour was Dragged Under from Seattle, Washington. I’d best describe Dragged Under’s sound as being that perfect blend of metalcore and hardcore punk. Their sound is right up the same vein as bands like Stick To Your Guns, Beartooth, and Stray From The Path, which are all among some of my favorite bands of all time. The band started off their set with the songs “Instability” and “The Real You”, which really showcased vocalist Anthony Cappocchi’s vocal prowess and control over the stage and crowd. Bassist Hans Hessburg was an animal on stage, headbanging and jumping around the stage like crazy. The band then went on to play their newest single, “Brainwash Broadcast”, which has received critical acclaim and has garnered a lot of views, streams, and radio play on SiriusXM Octane. Ryan “Fluff” Bruce shines on this song with his’ leads and hooks, which translate well live as well. Sean Rosario on rhythm guitar adds that dynamic sound that pushes the band over the edge. Kalan Anderson is the final piece to the puzzle, slamming the hell out of those drums and keeps the beat on time. The band played 7 songs, 6 of which came from their debut album “The World Is In Your Way”. I was thoroughly impressed with their set overall, and I’m glad they could play a good number of songs as the opener. I cannot wait to see these guys shine on a stage again soon!

SETLIST

  1. Instability
  2. The Real You
  3. Brainwash Broadcast
  4. Chelsea
  5. The Hardest Drug
  6. Just Like Me
  7. Hypocondria

Up next was Wage War from Ocala, Florida. Wage War has been a band that has always been on my bucket list and has always been on my radar, but I never got the chance to see. For my first time seeing them, I was blown away. The first thing you will notice about Wage War is how much of a presence lead vocalist Briton Bond has on stage. He absolutely commands that stage and screams the hell out of those words. The band played a great mix of songs, 3 of which came from their 2019 album “Pressure”, 3 from their 2017 album “Deadweight”, 2 from their 2015 album “Blueprints”, their newest single “High Horse”, and an unreleased track “Teeth”, presumably coming from their upcoming fourth album. One of my favorite things about Wage War’s sound is the clean vocals provided by Cody Quistad, who also plays rhythm guitar in the band. Those melodic choruses on songs like “Who I Am”, “Low”, and “Alive” are what really hooked me on Wage War, and I was so happy to hear these songs live. Lead guitarist Seth Blake really adds some unique hooks to the band’s sound. I consistently find myself humming some of those down-tuned guitar hooks from their songs in my head, and they sounded even better live! Adding to those lower tones, Chris Gaylord hits deep with those groovy bass tones that keep those heads banging. Finalizing their lineup is Stephen Kluesener, who adds some dynamic beats and rhythm that really grounds the band. I’m so stoked I was finally able to see Wage War, and I cannot wait to see and photograph them again soon!

SETLIST

  1. Stitch
  2. Who I Am
  3. Prison
  4. High Horse
  5. Alive
  6. The River
  7. Don’t Let Me Fade Away
  8. Teeth
  9. Gravity
  10. Low

Finally, Beartooth came to the stage from Columbus, Ohio. Beartooth has a sound that has always been unique. They’re riff-heavy metalcore with more of a hardcore punk style edge mixed in. But what sets them apart from many bands are their melodic choruses and hooks that really drive home with audiences. For their fourth record entitled “Below”, the band set out to really go back to their roots, with an aggressive yet diverse showing of music. Beartooth opened the show with the first track off the album, titled “Below”. This aggressive start to the album and set truly set the stage for the show they were about to put on. As vocalist Caleb Shomo ran out stage and screamed out those opening lines of the song, it was chaos from then on. The band brought an extensive lighting setup and LED light panel behind them, which lit up lyrics to songs and showed dynamic visuals for each song. Caleb really honed in on his’ musicianship on this record, taking elements from each of the three previous records while also trying out some new styles as well. Bassist Oshie Bichar was on fire, constantly moving about on stage and helping with the sing-along sections. Guitarists Zach Huston and Will Deely shredded on their parts and added a lot to the band’s sound. Connor Dennis is a superb drummer and was incredibly energetic throughout the entire set. The band played a whopping 17-song set: 8 from 2021’s “Below”, 4 from 2014’s “Aggressive”, 3 from 2018’s “Disease”, and 2 from 2016’s “Aggressive”. With a wide array of songs from both the new album and the rest of the discography, Beartooth made sure to make this headlining set something new fans and old would love. I am so glad I could finally see and photograph them, and I cannot wait to do so again soon.

SETLIST:

  1. Below
  2. Devastation
  3. Hated
  4. Sick of Me
  5. Fed Up
  6. Dominate
  7. The Lines
  8. Beaten In Lips
  9. Body Bag
  10. Hell of It
  11. Skin
  12. You Never Know
  13. Bad Listener
  14. Disease
  15. In Between

ENCORE

16. The Past Is Dead

17. The Last Riff

All in all, The Below tour was an absolute dream come true. Beartooth has been a huge bucket list band for me to see for quite some time, so seeing and photographing them was a dream come true. A massive shoutout to the fantastic crew and the other bands Wage War and Dragged Under, who absolutely DESTROYED that stage! Thank you for bringing this tour to California and for presenting us with live music once again!

Beartooth | Wage War | Dragged Under

Photos + Review By: Jamie Kaufman | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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