August Burns Red Delivery Plenty Of Holiday Cheer And Breakdowns Durning Day 2 Of Christmas Burns Red


As the echoes of Day 1’s sonic spectacle lingered in the air, Day 2 of August Burns Red’s annual Christmas Burns Red Festival promised a continued immersion into the relentless world of metalcore and diverse sonic landscapes. The lineup for the second day was an eclectic assembly of heavy-hitters, each poised to leave an indelible mark on the festival-goers. From the emotionally charged melodies of Kaonashi to the brutal onslaught of Signs of the Swarm, the galactic escapades of Galactic Empire, the raw aggression of Kublai Khan, and the progressive intricacies of Between the Buried and Me, the stage was set for an exhilarating journey through the expansive realms of metal. The anticipation was palpable as fans braced themselves for a musical odyssey that would transcend genres and push the boundaries of sonic exploration on this festive evening.

Kaonashi’s set at this year’s Christmas Burns Red was an emotionally charged and genre-bending journey that left an indelible mark on the festival’s diverse lineup. The band’s ability to seamlessly blend post-hardcore, math rock, and emotive melodies created a captivating sonic experience. Vocalist Peter Rono’s raw and visceral delivery, coupled with the band’s intricate instrumentation, stirred a whirlwind of emotions among the audience. Songs like “You’ll Understand When You’re Older” and “I Hate the Sound of Car Keys” showcased Kaonashi’s dynamic range, from poignant, introspective moments to frenetic bursts of energy. The band’s unapologetic and authentic performance resonated deeply, making Kaonashi’s set a standout and emotionally charged highlight of this year’s Christmas Burns Red Festival.

Signs of the Swarm’s set was an unrelenting onslaught of brutality that left the audience in awe of their technical precision and ferocious energy. Fronted by the guttural powerhouse David Simonich, the band’s sonic assault was relentless, with guitarists Cory Smarsh and Jacob Toy crafting a wall of crushing riffs and relentless breakdowns. Bassist Bobby Crow and drummer Jimmy Pino formed a formidable rhythm section, providing the backbone for the band’s devastating sound. Tracks like “Nightcrawler,” “Amongst the Low & Empty,” and “Tower of Torsos” showcased the band’s ability to seamlessly blend guttural vocals with intricate and pummeling instrumentals. Signs of the Swarm’s unyielding stage presence and tight musicianship solidified their reputation as leaders in the deathcore scene, making their performance an unforgettable and bone-shattering experience at this year’s Christmas Burns Red Festival.

Galactic Empire’s performance was a cosmic journey into the heart of the metal galaxy, captivating the audience with their unique blend of intergalactic metal and iconic Star Wars themes. Dressed as characters from the epic space saga, the band members, including Dark Vader on lead guitar, Boba Sett on drums, and Shadow Ranger on bass, transported the crowd to a galaxy far, far away. Opening with the ominous chords of the “Imperial March,” Galactic Empire seamlessly transitioned between beloved Star Wars compositions and their original metal arrangements, creating an otherworldly experience that resonated with fans of both metal and the iconic film series. Tracks like “Main Theme,” “The Force Theme,” and “The Raiders March” showcased the band’s technical prowess and ability to infuse metal intensity into John Williams’ timeless compositions.

The stage presence of Galactic Empire was nothing short of spectacular, with each member embodying their Star Wars character with theatrical flair. The crowd, a mix of metalheads and Star Wars enthusiasts, reveled in the harmonious marriage of two beloved worlds. Galactic Empire’s set was a testament to their ability to bridge the gap between fandoms, creating an immersive and unforgettable experience that left the audience in a state of euphoria and transported to a realm where the Force and metal collided in perfect harmony.

Kublai Khan’s set was a relentless sonic assault that showcased the band’s unwavering intensity and unbridled aggression. Fronted by the charismatic Matt Honeycutt, whose ferocious vocals commanded the stage, the band wasted no time unleashing a barrage of heavy riffs and bone-crushing breakdowns. Guitarists Nolan Ashley and AJ Bowen, along with bassist Eric English and drummer Isaac Lamb, formed a cohesive unit that delivered a relentless wall of sound. Opening with the explosive “Antpile,” Kublai Khan tore through their setlist, leaving the audience in a frenzy with tracks like “Boomslang,” “Swan Song” and “The Hammer.” The band’s stage presence was commanding, with Honeycutt’s raw and confrontational delivery creating a palpable energy that reverberated through the venue.

Kublai Khan’s set was a visceral experience, with the pit erupting into a chaotic maelstrom of bodies as fans fervently responded to the band’s punishing breakdowns and Honeycutt’s intense stage persona. The sheer sonic force of songs like “True Fear” and “Belligerent” created an atmosphere of controlled chaos, epitomizing Kublai Khan’s mastery of modern hardcore. The band’s ability to connect with the audience on a primal level made them a standout, leaving a lasting impression of unfiltered aggression and sonic power that lingered in the air even after the last chord had faded.

In the aftermath of Kublai Khan’s set, it was evident that they had left an indelible mark on the Christmas Burns Red Festival, proving once again that they are a force to be reckoned with in the realm of contemporary hardcore. With their unrelenting energy and powerful stage presence, Kublai Khan stood out as one of the highlights of a night filled with intense and diverse performances, cementing their reputation as a band capable of delivering a sonic onslaught that resonates with the visceral spirit of hardcore music.

Between the Buried and Me’s took the crowd on a transcendent musical journey that showcased the band’s progressive brilliance and virtuosity. Celebrating the 15th anniversary of their groundbreaking album “Colors,” the band embarked on a sonic odyssey, playing the record in its entirety. Tommy Giles Rogers Jr.’s versatile vocals and keyboard prowess, along with Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring’s intricate guitar work, anchored the band’s complex compositions. Bassist Dan Briggs and drummer Blake Richardson formed a rhythm section that flawlessly navigated the album’s dynamic shifts. Opening with the atmospheric “Foam Born (A) The Backtrack” and closing with the epic “White Walls,” Between the Buried and Me took the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions and sonic landscapes.

The performance of “Colors” was a masterclass in progressive metal, with each song seamlessly flowing into the next, creating a cohesive and immersive experience. The intricate layers of “Informal Gluttony,” the frenetic energy of “Ants of the Sky,” and the melancholic beauty of “Prequel to the Sequel” showcased the band’s ability to blend technicality with emotion. The crowd, enraptured by the sonic journey, reveled in the unpredictable twists and turns of the album, creating an atmosphere of shared excitement and appreciation for a seminal piece of progressive metal history.

Between the Buried and Me’s set not only celebrated the legacy of “Colors” but also affirmed the band’s status as pioneers in the progressive metal genre. The performance was a testament to their musical prowess and a gift to fans who had embarked on this sonic adventure. As the final notes of “White Walls” reverberated through the venue, it was clear that Between the Buried and Me had created a moment of musical transcendence, leaving an indelible mark on Christmas Burns Red and solidifying their reputation as one of the genre’s most innovative and influential acts.

Soon it was time for the main event, as August Burns Red rushed the stage under the wave of “ABR” chants from the fired-up crowd.  The band’s performance was nothing short of a metalcore extravaganza, showcasing the band’s exceptional musicianship and infectious energy. The stage was set ablaze by frontman Jake Luhrs, whose commanding presence and impassioned vocals guided the audience through a sonic journey. Guitarists JB Brubaker and Brent Rambler, bassist Dustin Davidson, and drummer Matt Greiner formed an unwavering force that delivered a relentless assault of precision and power.

The set kicked off with the explosive “The Truth of a Liar,” immediately engulfing the venue in a whirlwind of chugging riffs and thunderous drumming. The band’s technical prowess shone through as they seamlessly transitioned into the pummeling “Meddler” and the anthemic “Invisible Enemy,” each song met with fervent approval from the crowd. The energy reached a fever pitch with the relentless assault of “Empire,” creating a mosh pit that mirrored the intensity on stage.

A moment of unexpected nostalgia occurred with the surprise appearance of the band’s original singer, Josh McManness, for a special rendition of “Endorphins.” This rare collaboration stirred emotions among longtime fans, providing a unique and memorable highlight. The set continued with a diverse selection of tracks, including the haunting melodies of “Ghost,” the fierce determination of “Defender,” and the holiday-infused metalcore twist of “The Little Drummer Boy.”

As Christmas Burns Red reached its peak, the venue was transformed into a winter wonderland with the band’s rendition of “Carol of the Bells,” showcasing August Burns Red’s ability to infuse holiday cheer with metal intensity. The crowd was taken on a rollercoaster of emotions as the set reached its pinnacle with the classic “White Washed,” a song that ignited a euphoric response from the audience.

The encores of “Frosty the Snowman” and “Marianas Trench” elevated the festive atmosphere, with the band injecting their trademark heaviness into beloved holiday classics. Confetti rained down on the crowd during the explosive conclusion of “Marianas Trench,” adding a visually stunning finale to an already unforgettable performance.

In conclusion, the Christmas Burns Red concert was nothing short of spectacular, showcasing not only the band’s musical prowess but also their unwavering dedication to their fans. August Burns Red delivered a performance that transcended the typical concert experience, creating a festive atmosphere that resonated with the holiday spirit. From the mesmerizing light show to the heartfelt interactions with the audience, it was evident that the band’s commitment to their fans goes beyond the stage. As the final notes echoed through the venue, it was clear that August Burns Red had not only delivered an unforgettable Christmas show but had once again demonstrated why they stand as one of the most dedicated and exceptional bands in the metalcore scene.