By: Dieter Unrath
August Burns Red are no strangers to their hometown neighbors in the garden state, a fitting place for one of the final shows of their Phanthom Anthem Tour. The tour featuring, Ocean Grove, Erra, and Born Of Osiris as support rolled into Starland Ballroom on Thursday night to play to a near sold out crowd. The band has played the venue almost every year for a while now and last visited the venue in 2017 on their ten year messengers tour. The metalcore group never seems to fail drawing the Jersey faithful, as the venue was packed out just as much as any of their other headliners at the venue.
This was probably around the 30th time I’ve seen August Burns Red and they continue to blow me away every single time. I consider them by far one of the most consistent live bands with a large sound that envelopes all your senses. Vocalist Jake Luhrs commands the stage and the crowd without being demanding of them. Jake doesn’t need to tell the crowd to open the pit up, but rather implies it with a simple flick of the wrist. The crowd always willingly complies. String members David, Brent, and JB bounce around the stage, making their super technical parts look like a light activity. The great light show, featuring their frozen flame logo illuminated in multi colored lights, complimented the music with colors set to the moods of the song. Drummer Matt Greiner, who is one of the best in the genre, featured his own solo, a five minute bass filled barrage of drums and bells that left the venue vibrating. The band played many songs off their new record, including King Of Sorrow and The Frost. They also included older songs like White Washed and Composure. Response was huge on all songs, showing that the fan base studied up and enjoys the new record as much as the old classics.
This tour has concluded but we all know this won’t be August Burns Red’s last run around the country. When they go out again, make sure you attend and see why these now veterans are amongst the best in the genre. If you’ve already seen them, go again, but you probably don’t need me to tell you that or why.