August Burns Red featuring Fit For A King, ERRA, and Like Moths To Flames | Leveler 10 Year Anniversary Tour | 12/8/21 | Photos + Review

August Burns Red Brings The Belasco To A New Level On Their Leveler Anniversary Tour

Venue: The Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA

Date: 12/8/21

August Burns Red has been a leading band in the metalcore genre for quite some time. The band solidified themselves with their sophomore album “Messengers.” They garnered a large following from then on, constantly innovating in their song structure and musicality. For the tenth anniversary of their fourth album, “Leveler,” the band re-recorded the album in its entirety, bringing on special guests and changing the tunings of the songs from then on. In celebration of this, they embarked on a 10th-anniversary tour supporting the album, which they played in its entirety. Unfortunately, a few of the crew and band members caught COVID-19 on the run of dates in October due to the pandemic, forcing the band to postpone about a week’s worth of dates to December. Regardless, I am beyond stoked I got to cover this date for August Burns Red, along with the incredible lineup of Fit For A King, ERRA, and Like Moths To Flames. 

Up first was Like Moths To Flames from Columbus, Ohio. This is a band that I first got into in 2012 when I saw them on the “Scream It Like You Mean It Tour” alongside bands like Attack Attack!, We Came As Romans, and more. The band is the perfect middle ground between metalcore and post-hardcore. Since the last time I photographed and saw them back in 2018, the band found their new label at UNFD, where they dropped their fifth album “No Eternity In Gold” in 2020, along with their new EP “Pure Like Porcelain” in 2021. The band really strengthened their sound on these new releases. Chris Roetter’s vocals were showcased to the highest power on these releases, truly showing off his vocal prowess. Their single “Habitual Decline” in particular pops off like no other, both live and on record, showing off Chris’ cleans and screaming. Guitarists Zach Pishney and Jeremy Smith flourish on these releases as well, really bringing the instrumentals to new levels. I started feeling the band incorporating some elements of progressive metal on some songs, which, as many will tell you, is my favorite subgenre of metal personally. Unfortunately, bassist Aaron Evans was unable to make the rescheduled dates for whatever reason, which was my first time seeing the band without him. He has an entertaining stage presence that was sorely missed for me, but Chris Roetter was on top of that crowd, really getting people hyped like no other. Roman Garcia closed out the band’s live lineup on drums, who absolutely smashed through those drum parts with precision. The band played six songs that night, playing songs from their first album to the newest EP. Like Moths To Flames is always an incredible band to see live, and I cannot wait to hopefully see and photograph them on their upcoming co-headliner with Polaris in March – April! 

SETLIST

  1. The Worst In Me
  2. Habitual Decline
  3. I Solemnly Swear
  4. Preservation Of Hate
  5. The Anatomy Of Evil
  6. Bury Your Pain

ERRA from Birmingham, Alabama, was up next. The last time I saw these progressive metalcore boys was in 2019, when they did a co-headlining tour with Northlane. The band has since released its critically acclaimed self-titled album via UNFD in 2021, which helped the band garner even more fans and streams galore. The band opened their set with the song “Gungrave,” which has some heavy riffage from guitarists Jesse Cash and Sean Price, the vocal stylings from JT Cavey, the deep bass grooves from Conor Hesse, and the intricate drum patterns from Alex Ballew. The song has that iconic yin and yang in vocals between Jesse’s cleans and JT’s screams. The band then went on to play their heaviest song from the self-titled album “Scorpion Hymn.” JT’s vocal prowess is on full display here, truly showing off his range. From lots of mids, screeching highs, and deep gutturals, JT is truly a powerhouse, and this song showcases all of his abilities in one. The instrumental structure of this song is much darker than many of their other songs, making this song a standout on the record as a whole. In contrast, the following song the band played is “Divisionary,” which is much brighter in sound compared to “Scorpion Hymn.” Jesse’s vocals are the song’s focal point, but those contrasting parts with JT’s screaming help give the song layers and momentum. The intricate guitar patterns really stand out to me in this song, along with a thick prominent bass tone in the latter half of the song, which gives Conor his’ moment to shine. The band played a total of 8 songs throughout the set, showcasing the band’s newest album and songs from previous releases. I was thoroughly excited to hear how these new songs translated live, and they definitely did not disappoint. I cannot wait to see and photograph these guys again on their spring tour as they support Beartooth, Silverstein, and The Devil Wears Prada!

SETLIST

  1. Gungrave
  2. Scorpion Hymn
  3. Divisionary
  4. Eye of God
  5. Irreversible
  6. Breach
  7. Vanish Canvas
  8. Snowblood

Up next was Fit For A King from Dallas, TX. This was my fifth time seeing these metalcore greats, and they once again did not disappoint. Since I saw them in November 2019, the band dropped their sixth album in 2020 titled “The Path” on Solid State Records. It was met with critical acclaim and became the band’s most successful release to date streaming-wise. The band opened the set with the song “Stockholm,” which is a heavy banger to open the set with. This is one of the heavier songs from “The Path,” with Ryan Kirby’s iconic gutturals and lower toned vocals, the deep bass grooves from Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary, those chuggy guitars from Daniel Gailey and Bobby Lynge, and the fast and tight drums from Jared Easterling. This was Fit For A King’s first tour as a five-piece since 2013, with Bobby returning to the live stage for the tour. This was also the last run of shows with drummer and founding member Jared Easterling, who announced his departure prior to the tour. The band then went on to play the song “Locked (In My Head),” which was one of the leading singles from the new album. Locked definitely has a more post-hardcore vibe, reminiscent of the bands from the early-mid 2000s while still having a modern edge. Tuck and Ryan do an incredible job going back and forth on those clean vocals, really providing an emotion-driven melodic song to the mix that helped push the band’s boundaries in terms of what can be expected going forward. Continuing this momentum, the band then played “Breaking The Mirror,” which is all about overcoming past failures and pushing forward. The band really brought it to the next level with this new record, and the crowd was eating it up, with lots of crowd surfing and moshing galore. The band played a total of 11-songs, most of which came from “The Path” and “Dark Skies” and one song from “Deathgrip.” The band has really strengthened their core sound while still broadening out on what is possible. I cannot wait to see and photograph them on their “Dark Path Tour” in the spring as they headline the US with Silent Planet, Hollow Front, and AVOID supporting them. It will be an incredible time, and I cannot wait to see these metalcore boys again!

SETLIST

  1. Stockholm
  2. Locked (In My Head)
  3. Breaking The Mirror
  4. When Everything Means Nothing
  5. Annihilation
  6. The Price Of Agony
  7. Deathgrip
  8. Backbreaker
  9. The Path
  10. Tower Of Pain
  11. God Of Fire

August Burns Red from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, came up next to the stage. The band came out swinging with the brand new opening track from the Leveler re-recording “X,” a wholly instrumental track. Bassist Dustin Davidson came out front and center, plucking those deep bass notes. Guitarists Brent Rambler and JT Brubaker played these gorgeous melodic guitar riffs that created a sing-along melody that would go into the next track. Due to personal issues, vocalist Jake Luhrs could not play the rescheduled dates. Due to this, Michael Felker from the metalcore band Convictions came in to do vocals for the band. Michael came out swinging on the song “Empire,” a fast-paced and riff-heavy metalcore track. One thing that is in the forefront of all of August Burns Red’s songs is the drum playing from the impressive Matt Greiner, who is truly on point with every beat he makes. The song “Empire” is jampacked with all of the elements that have helped August Burns Red solidify their sound: progressive and intricate guitar and drum patterns, sing-along sections, breakdowns, guitar solos, and uplifting vocals. The band then went on to play “Internal Cannon,” which was the song that got me into August Burns Red back in the day. The song features Matt K. Heafy from Trivium on the studio re-recording, which really added another layer to the song. The incredible dynamics in this song make it apparent why it is a fan favorite. August Burns Red’s metalcore style creates the melody using the instrumentals, as about 99% of the vocals are screaming in their music. Internal Cannon also has this slow-down section that incorporates some influences from jazz and blues that really help give some serious contrast to the song. The band then went on to play “Leveler” in its entirety, then came back to play a few newer songs and even an instrumental cover of “Carol of the Bells,” since the show was near the holiday time, totaling in at a whopping 18-songs in their setlist. August Burns Red never disappoints, and I cannot wait to see and photograph them again on their tour going on now with Killswitch Engage and Light The Torch! August Burns Red is genuinely an incredible band!

SETLIST

  1. X
  2. Empire
  3. Internal Cannon
  4. Divisions
  5. Cutting The Ties
  6. Pangaea
  7. Carpe Diem
  8. 40 Nights
  9. Salt & Light
  10. Poor Millionaire
  11. 1/16/2011
  12. Boys Of Fall
  13. Leveler
  14. Drum Solo

ENCORE

15. Bloodletter

16. Defender

17. Carol of the Bells (Mykola Leontovych cover)

18. White Washed

The Leveler 10th anniversary tour was a celebration of a truly incredible album from one of the leading metalcore bands in the genre, August Burns Red. Fit For A King, ERRA, and Like Moths To Flames were the perfect bands to support August Burns Red on this tour! Make sure to see all of these fantastic bands on their upcoming tours if they come to a city near you!

August Burns Red | Fit For A King | ERRA | Like Moths To Flames

Photos + Review courtesy of Jamie Kaufman | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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