August Burns Red is a band we’ve always loved watching perform and while we got busy enough no to really think about them in the past two years, seeing them entering the stage in Paris the other day particularly marked us. In fact, it hit us that we did miss them. A lot. Having recently released their sixth record ‘Found In Far Away Places’, which we previously described as a “heavy, pulsating banger” August Burns Red have finally returned to Europe this fall. This time, they are not headlining, only supporting Asking Alexandria (alongside In Hearts Wake and Memphis May Fire.)
There are so many bands that are maintaining our current musical landscape alive and proposing quality formulas in the heavier shades of rock music. Furthermore, as you know by now, we always make a point in favoring local talents over anyone else, but when americans do it great, we have to oblige.
White Washed opened the show with vigour and reminded us that we were facing true masters. The circus tent quickly turned into mayhem, which made us realize that the band could (should) have easily headlined this 1000 capacity venue. However, we were having August Burns Red again and we shouldn’t complain. For a band that’s constantly touring and growing and touring again, it’s easy to forget how to reinvent oneself, it’s easy to get bored and inevitably boring. However, things seem to be as exciting for August Burns Red as day one and the vibe they’re giving off while on stage is fantastic and even a bit overwhelming; with new song Majoring In The Minors, for example. The song holds perfectly the band’s spirit, from the powerful riffage wizardry to the incredible drumming, all punctuated by that typical August Burns Red switch. Frontman Jake Lhurs gets closer and closer to his audience, while all of the other band members – despite lacking of space – are obviously having fun. The only thing we have been capable of for the next 30 minutes was to smile widely. Musically, it’s well crafted, on point and perfectly mastered, the years of experience being visible. Songs follow up, including a fan favorite; Composure. A classic Matt Greiner drum-solo would have been massively appreciated, but we understand that a support slot isn’t enough to showcase everything a band is about in its classic fashion.
August Burns Red take advantage of their music to convey positive messages of caring and mutual respect, as it appears on their recent single Ghosts, which they also play on this tour. Originally performed with a guest appearance from Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember, the song deals with homelessness and calls in for generosity and support. In this regard, they do not merely sing about this, but they also turn it into actions. For instance, they set up a project of collecting donations of can foods on all shows of their next headliner in America. The idea is to send the proceeds to local charities, of course but also to raise awareness among the people, especially the younger generation, regarding what’s wrong in nowadays’ society and mostly how we can participate as individuals to make it better.
It’s refreshing to see that metal can be used to give people a great time, but also to make a positive influence on youth and society. August Burns Red are complete artists, from their work to their messages and actions, and this gives us hope. At the end of the day, this is what music should be about. In the abundance of bands formed by young people looking to live the dream, many of them sometimes lose track and don’t seem to be able to give a true purpose to their work, which is a shame and inevitably leads to undesired actions and experiences in both sides of the scope. This unfortunately doesn’t help punk, metal and alternative rock in general, who already suffer from being too stygmatized. So yes, watching bands like August Burns Red smash it all over the world definitely gives hope and make us think that we need more artists like them to keep our music alive and a safe space.