Published Mar 20, 2009It didn't appear that the luck of the Irish was on the side of Underoath when they rolled into the Kool Haus... I mean the Guvernment on St. Patty's Day. After selling out the Phoenix last September for their CD release show, it seemed natural for the Tampa sextet to return to the vast cave that is the Kool Haus. Well, it caught everyone off guard when security started ushering people through the Guvernment doors. Apparently, a Tuesday night show on the drunkest day of the year didn't translate into a sellout show - even for Underoath - forcing the show to move next door.
Well, the move was an absolute blessing. The smaller room meant greater intimacy between the band and crowd. And the change in scenery didn't seem to change the band's demeanour when they walked out on stage. After Norma Jean ripped through their 40-minute set, priming the crowd for Underoath, a grainy video came up on the screen behind the stage. Quick edits and cuts flashed across the screen, showing people trying to escape an unseen terror.
As the band appeared, a man wearing a gas mask revealed the words "I am the messenger" on his palm. And with that, all six members hit the crowd with a wrecking ball, opening with "Breathing In A New Mentality" from their latest album, Lost in the Sound of Separation. While the crowd fed off of their energy, guitarist Tim McTague's enthusiasm outshined the whole room. Always a wonder to watch, he was jumping across the stage, climbing amps like an ape and staring into the crowd with his characteristic power stance and gnarly beard jutting out.
The crowd vocally showed their love for the band, but it's unfortunate the passionate intensity didn't move much further past the halfway mark in the room. Hearing their new material live showed how vastly superior it is to anything they've done previous - and thankfully the majority of the set reflected that. "Emergency Broadcast" was especially thundering, while "Desolate Earth" and "Too Bright To See Too Loud To Hear" added an introspective feel with Spencer Chamberlain's sombre voice yelling, "We're forgetting our forgiveness" in the latter of the two.
Fans ate it up, raising their hands to air as they sung along. A small community was formed, for but a brief moment, confined to small quarters and stuck together by the sweat on their backs. Perhaps that luck was with them after all.