It’s been a while since Underoath has made New York City a tour mark, unless you count their stop at Terminal 5 supporting Bring Me The Horizon last spring. So, it only made sense for this leg of the “Erase Me Tour” to hit the Big Apple, taking along Dance Gavin Dance as immediate support again, and The Plot In You and Crown The Empire as superior opening acts.
The “Erase Me Tour’s” loaded line-up made it too easy for Playstation Theater to sell out, but this isn’t new for an Underoath show in NYC. Upon arrival to Times Square, the line to the venue was visible from blocks away. Opening act The Plot In You went on much less than an hour after doors, which had a lot of people in the line frazzled and upset (including myself). Of course, the show must go on, even with half of the venue standing outside--at least they sounded phenomenal through the walls.
Crown The Empire was the next band to go on that night, and it was clear from the get-go that they had a great amount of fans present, even if they were only the second band on the bill. Guitarist Brandon Hoover started off the set with an accidentally hilarious grand entrance, which he made the sound guy help him restart and told the audience to “forget it ever happened”. Second time was the charm, and the rest of the band followed one by one and kicked off with “Zero” from their 2016 full-length Retrograde. The band’s energy was unrivaled, and frontman Andrew Velasquez had a natural captivity that the made the fans go ballistic.
Check out the video for the recent Underoath single, “On My Teeth,” here.
It’s certainly common nowadays for bands to tour back to back, even if it’s a new leg in the same continent. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to take out the same artists with them. Dance Gavin Dance is an exception, securing their spot as immediate support for the second round of the “Erase Me Tour.” By the time the band went on stage and guitarist Will Swan started the mellow intro to “Son of Robot”, it’s as if the venue turned upside down.
Pits were opening, fans were jumping and throwing their fits in the air, and frontmen Tilian Pearson and Jon Mess swooned us all with their dance moves. The hype didn’t stop until the band played their final note in “Inspire The Liars”. When the stage cleared out, so did the crowd at a rather alarming rate. It wasn’t until the lights went dark again and the ominous instrumental buzz began playing over the speakers that people started booking it back inside for the long-awaited headlining act.
Underoath’s Aaron Gillespie started the opening drums to “On My Teeth” and the screen behind him starting glowing their new signature green. Guitarist Tim McTague, bassist Grant Brandell, guitarist James Smith, and keyboardist Chris Dudley entered one by one and landed in their respective spots on stage. It wasn’t until frontman Spencer Chamberlain ran to his mark front and center that the venue was lit back up, showcasing the venue now at its maximum capacity.
We recall the band selling out this exact venue during their return on the “Rebirth Tour” back in 2016, and Chamberlain apologized immensely for their lack of appearances. “This is going to be the longest Underoath show you’ve ever seen,” he proclaimed, constantly checking in with the soundboard to see how much time he had before the venue’s hard curfew. Chamberlain definitely kept his promise, and Underoath certainly made up for all of the lost time. Though this was technically still a show in support of the band’s newest release, Erase Me, we got a serious surprise when it came to their setlist this time around.
Even though this is technically the same tour as the spring, they made sure they did something special. The setlist itself was roughly five songs longer than the first North American leg, and they threw in some songs that made long-time Underoath fans quake. We got to hear their staple songs, of course, like “In Regards To Myself”, “Reinventing Your Exit”, “A Boy Brushed Red…”, and the infamous “The Blue Note” intro into “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door.” We also got to hear songs off of the new record, like “Rapture”, “No Frame,” and “It Has To Start Somewhere”.
However, what really shook things up were the new additions, such as Erase Me hard-hitters “ihateit” and “I Gave Up”, heard live for the first time, and deep cuts “Young and Aspiring” from They’re Only Chasing Safety, and “A Fault Line, A Fault Of Mine” and “Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear”, two stellar tracks off of Lost In The Sound Of Separation that have not been performed live since the band’s tour in support of the release back in 2008-2009.
The “Writing On The Walls” indicates you should watch this next video...
Something notable, which seems to have become a bit of a tradition since the band’s return to the stage, is Chamberlain’s honorable vulnerability on stage. Opening up to fans about the reality of mental illness and addiction is something many artists and musicians with a platform fail to do, especially when it is in regards to their own lives. He spoke honestly and wholeheartedly on suicide, getting help, accepting help, and remembering that no matter how dark it gets, there will always be something more to live for--a message heavily interwoven throughout Erase Me. His proclamation was a tearjerker, indeed, and inspirational to say the very least. Gillespie and Chamberlain then graced us with a very special, never-done-before duo acoustic performance of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” before leaving us with a classic, “Writing On The Walls”.
Though the “Erase Me Tour” is coming to its official end, with just a few dates left before the band’s return and hometown show in Tampa, FL, we don’t expect Underoath to be slowing down any time soon. Before exiting the stage, Chamberlain promised to never let NYC go this long again without an Underoath show, and we’re going to assume they plan on keeping that promise.
Remaining 2018 “Erase Me” Tour Dates:
12/13 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
12/14 - Tampa, FL - USF Sun Dome