Image Penny Wong
“We’re so sorry it’s taken us ten years to get here, but we’re here now!” said Spencer Chamberlain, vocalist of metalcore band Underoath, in the middle of their set. The band was genuinely surprised to see so many fans on this side of the world, and even more so when they found out that so many of us had been listening to them since 2004, when they released They’re Only Chasing Safety. At first they were skeptical.. But they definitely believed us after!
Before Underoath took to the stage, we were audience to homegrown bands Tres Empres and Love Me Butch, and special guest Japanese post-hardcore group 2Side1Brain. Most of us were thinking out loud, “2Side who?! Who the hell is that??” but we ate our words and offer up our sincerest apologies for being ignorant of this band. 2Side1Brain was a pleasant surprise, serving up amazing music with adorable onstage antics (guitarists’ synchronised running-on-the-spot while playing their instruments, climbing on the speakers, bouncing all over the stage) and their infectious energy got everyone jumping and headbanging along. At one point, the vocalist, Shuntarock, took a minute to thank Malaysia for supporting Japan in their time of crisis, while the other band members waved their hands and bowed, thanking us as well. His broken English and sincerity made it very difficult not to fall in love with them!
Local rockers Tres Empres and Love Me Butch were all set to impress. Tres Empres kicked off the show with their high energy performance. They may not have been around for long, but Tres Empres has quickly become popular among the hardcore scene. We’ll be keeping an eye on these boys! Love Me Butch were as awesome as ever, with vocalist Syarul Reza delivering what was possibly the most passionate performance of his life. Guitar god Wing Meng was the dude with the balls to bring Underoath to us, and we are ever so grateful! Love Me Butch played songs from their most recent album, Worldwide Transgression, which is definitely worth a listen. Or two, or three, or five listens.
We waited nearly an hour for Underoath, but the minute they walked onto the stage, they were explosive. Underoath didn’t waste any time with frivolities, plugging in their instruments or saying hello to the crowd. They just walked right out, and before the crowd even knew it, the lights were on, the guitars were blazing, and Spencer had started singing. The crowd went completely batsh*t crazy! It was so insane that part of the barrier broke. The security was quick to take action, and the band patiently waited for them to take away the barriers, since that was a better idea than allowing the crowd to kick it down and trample anyone who might trip over the fallen barrier. With the barriers gone, the gloves were off. Hundreds of metalheads rushed forward, getting right up in front of the stage, and climbing on the speakers to get close to the band.
Underoath took all this in stride, never stopping and never slowing down. Some of the crazies who got onto the stage even hugged the band members, and one lucky dudette managed to plant a kiss on Spencer’s cheek! If anyone overstayed their welcome on the stage, security or the bands’ manager would come over, grab them by the seat of their pants, and shove them back into the crowd. Those who got thrown back into the pit had to hope to God someone would catch them, or kiss the ground when they landed. Many bruises were collected that night, but it was so worth the pain in the morning. Underoath played favorites like ‘A Boy Brushed Red.. Living In Black And White’, ‘It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door’ and the song everyone had been waiting for, ‘Reinventing Your Exit’.
We weren’t the only ones who had a good time. Spencer thanked the crowd multiple times for coming out to see them, saying that this was the show they would never, ever forget. Now, you might roll your eyes and say, “They probably say that to every single crowd they play in front of!” But in actual fact, they don’t say things like that very often, and the band reiterated their sentiments on Twitter barely hours after the show. Spencer tweeted, “In my opinion, I’ll never be the same, Malaysia made me cry, made me smile, made me fall in love with what I do all over again, thank you!” and drummer Daniel Davison tweeted, “One of my top favorite shows I’ve ever played was tonight in Malaysia. I was on the verge of tears the whole show. Thank you all so much!”
All in all, a show that most of us won’t be forgetting any time soon. The bruises, aches and pains are still fresh, as are the memories, and we really hope Underoath will come back soon! Watch them performing ‘A Boy Brushed Red.. Living In Black And White’ below, and you’ll see just how hard we Malaysians can rock.