This past Wednesday 2500 Dallas metal fans got their faces rocked as they experienced a much-needed dose of metal at The Palladium Ballroom. The Cool Tour was in Dallas and everyone within 100 miles knew it.
There was so much anticipation around the supporting act Underoath. This was the first time Underoath played in Dallas since the departure of drummer Aaron Gillipese. So many questions needed to be answered, what did UO sound like with out AG? Are UO going to play any new songs? Who sings AG’s parts since he isn’t with UO? How does the new UO drummer Daniel Davison compare to Aaron Gillespie?
One by one the fans lined up outside the door waiting for answers. When Underoath took the stage the crowd erupted with cheers and Spencer authoritatively walked front and center and let a ferocious yell. Any doubts if Underoath had lost anything when Aaron left quickly vanished shortly after Underoath began their set. Underoath did an amazing job of mixing songs from their older catalog while playing a new song off the unreleased album that does not have a name, or release date.
The new song that Underoath performed has the working title “Spaz” and much like the title suggests, the song was all over the place. At one moment Spencer was singing the clean vocals and then the next he would scream. Musically, Spaz was intriguing and reminisced something similar off of Define The Great Line; however, Underoath lacked in not having a second vocalist. The transitions between the dirty and clean singing was not smooth, which resulted in the vocals sounding choppy.
Despite that minor difference Underoath was solid throughout the whole set, and afterwards many people were left thinking “Aaron who?” That isn’t a knock against Aaron, it’s a reassurance to all Underoath fans that they will not be disappointed with Daniel Davison filling in as the soon to be permanent drummer of Underoath.
A notable highlight from Underoath’s set was when Spencer openly acknowledged his faith and the band member’s faith in Christ, and mentioned, “Without him, we would not be here.” Spencer went on to talk about how nobody is perfect and that we all mess up, and that everyone needs to feel accepted and loved. After Spencer shared about his faith in Jesus Christ Underoath closed their set with Desperate Times, Desperate Measures. Fans cried out “One more song!!” as UO walked off the stage but they did not return because they had to pay their respects as a supporting act to As I Lay Dying.
The hardest part about going to a show has to be the set changes. People are hot, sweaty, and smashed against the barriers. You are thirsty, but don’t want to leave for the fear of losing your spot. This is what the 2,500 people were thinking and feeling as they waited in anticipation for As I Lay Dying. The stage crew worked hard and steadfast to assemble the drum risers and prepare the stage for one last performance. After what finally seemed like hours (but more like 20 minutes), the lights finally dimmed, the crowd screamed, and the thick heavy guitar tone kicked in as As I Lay Dying took the stage.
Immediately a circle pit erupted and hundreds of people exerted their energy while trying not to get knocked out by the person behind them. Fans screamed as metal permeated the air and the once docile crowd turned into a scene from Braveheart. As I Lay Dying played song after song only stopping to hype the crowd up more. At one point Tim called upon the crowd to separate to form a wall of death, and an epic parting happened akin to Moses and the Red Sea.
After patiently waiting Nick produced a squeal on the guitar and hundreds of people started running at each other full force until there was no longer a separation but just one massive crowd collectively together enjoying the final moments of The Cool Tour. As I Lay Dying scored some more time in their set due to the unacceptable actions of Vincent Bennett of The Acacia Strain. The Acacia Strain’s set was cut short because Vincent attacked a kid after the kid threw quarters at him while on stage.
The end result was the crowd boo’ed The Acacia Strain and Vincent left the stage neglecting the final song. To say that The Cool Tour was a success would be an understatement. On a hot summer night in Texas, The Cool Tour was exactly what Dallas needed.
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