Games Meet Metal: The Cool Tour: The Riff Review

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Cool Tour: The Riff Review

The Cool Tour, featuring As I Lay Dying, Underoath, BTBAM, and a whole mess of others
Sunday, July 18th @ Royal Oak Music Theater

Ugh, the "Cool" Tour. As long as I live, I will never get over that name. It just seems so rushed, like they needed a name for the tour THAT DAY, and this was the best they could come up with. Hey, they're playing air-conditioned venues, so that must be "coooooooollll." Yuk yuk! Yeah, we get the joke. Horrible tour name aside, the line-up is pretty good, save for a hiccup here or there.

The real hiccup occurred even before the show began. Our site's photographer, Sheila, was on her way to many a fantastic picture, when the alternator blew in her car. And she lives about an hour away. Cue the violin music. So, the poor lady had to call her husband, get the car towed back home, wait for someone to get home so she can use their car, and drive all the way back to the venue. You can knock about four hours off there. Well, she did make it back just in time for BTBAM to hit the stage, so at least we can share some headliner photos.

I, however, having a car impervious to alternator outage, was able to see the show beginning to end. Thus, I got to catch the openers in all of their occasional glory. War of Ages was on first, and while the crowd got into them a bit, I just felt they were a basic metalcore group with nothing original to the formula. Good for me Cancer Bats were up next. Not a pure metal band, but a much more hard rock driven force with Southern and hardcore tendencies. Kind of like a proto Every Time I Die.

Architects was up next, and they just didn't wow me at all. More metalcore with emo tendencies that wows the kids, but my old grumpy self. Then came The Acacia Strain. Their last cd, Continents, didn't really leave a great lasting mark on me, but hearing new tracks off of Wormwood live did a lot to bring me back into their fold. their set made me want to listen to their new stuff ASAP.... and I did. And I loved it. Now I want to see Acacia Strain even more, and not just for a puny 30-minute set. (If you're curious, you can read my tongue-lathering review of Wormwood by clicking here.) The final openers were Blessthefall, but they also didn't impress. I just have a feeling I don't like any band that has all their members equipped with Beiber haircuts.

Finally, the headliners! The last time I got to see Between The Buried and Me, they rock ed the joint, even if all they got to play were two songs. They like their long bits, you see. Now with more time, they got to upgrade to around, say, four songs! That's not a knock on them, though, as BTBAM can pull off progressive metal n a live setting like no other. Plus, they closed with my favorite track from their Colors album, White Walls. It's a near 14-minute opus, and it was beautiful!

(To view all our BTBAM photos, please click here.)

Underoath is a strange case for me. By all rights, I should not like the band one damn bit. But they put on such a great live show! It makes me forgive their more cheesier moments and religious leaning and just let them entertain me. I think that there's a lot of preconceived notions about Underoath being a bunch of emo's, but I just din't see it, either in their appearance or their stage presence. These kids know their metal and they know it well.

(To view all our Underoath photos, please click here.)

And now, As I Lay Dying! No mistaking these guys for anything but pure metal awesomeness! Okay, that was just a tinge cheesy, but they just ruled the whole concert. I only wanted on song out of them, that being Anodyne Sea off their lastest cd The Powerless Rise, and they hooked it up. Third song in too. So that aloe made me love the band's set.

(To view all our As I Lay Dying photos, please click here.)

Final verdict: Cool Tour's headliners are all solid performances, but you may want to bring a DS or PSP for some of the opening bands. A little Zelda can help Blessthefall's set go by much quicker.

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