Beartooth at Irving Plaza Live Review
by Dan Wright
On Halloween Beartooth invaded NYC with Every Time I Die, Fit For A King, and Old Wounds.
First up was Old Wounds. They came out on stage and started so suddenly I actually jumped from surprise. There was no warning. But that didn't stop them from immediately putting every bit of energy they had into their music. They were jumping around the stage, swinging the mic, and throwing punches in the air. Unfortunately the crowd missed much of their great performance because they played their whole set in nearly complete darkness with short flashes of light, which is a shame because if their lighting complimented their energy it would've added a lot to their set.
The crowd was small at the beginning, and didn't have much love for the band, when the lead singer said "we're going to keep this short and sweet" someone in the crowd responded "good!", however the band didn't let this effect their energy, and in fact they embraced it and had some fun with it, replying "yeah, get these bozos off the stage, where's the hook!?" which got some laughs. They were also able to give it right back saying, "turn your heads and look at Fit For A King's merch table, good you know how to turn your heads". Between their sense of humor and all of their energy I think they succeeded in winning the crowd over by the end of their set.
Fit For A King was up next. Most of their band had embraced the night, one by dressing up in a skeleton onesy, another was the hulk, and the other by writing mosh on his chest and declaring himself "captain mosh". The lead singer was the only one not dressed up and he addressed this saying he could "be as boring as the other 3 could be awesome".
Every Time I Die's performance was electrifying. I don't really know their music but their performance made me wish I did so that I could scream along. They fully embraced the spirit of the night, changing their band name to "Embarking To Infinity's Door", and making up fake names when they introduced the band members. Jordan Buckley (or Terry King as he was introduced) came out smoking, and when they introduced Daniel Davison he played a sick air drum solo while a track played in the background. They also invented back-stories for their (all divorced) characters.
Their banter was just as entertaining as their music, which had the crowd jumping and screaming. They were constantly interacting with each other and put on a great visual performance as well. They left the stage to chants of "One more song!!"
Finally, Beartooth took the stage. The crowd’s energy was palpable. People were screaming their lungs out and jumping like crazy. The band fed off of that and gave it back 10-fold. Their performance was wild and easily the fastest-paced set of the night.
Their matching outfits complimented their performance; all sported white t-shirts with blood running from their mouths, and stellar lighting also aided in the spectacle.
Beartooth mostly played songs off of their 2016 release Aggressive (also the name of the tour), in fact that played almost the entire album, only skipping a few songs. They opened with Burnout and Aggressive, both off of that album. However, they also played some older songs, such as I Have A Problem which was on their 2013 Sick – EP, as well as many songs off of their 2014 release Disgusting.
They went the opposite route of Every Time I Die. Where ETID elected to devote their set to a story line and their made up characters, Beartooth focused more on their music, barely even speaking in between their first few songs. They created a wall of sound that combined with the crowd’s antics caused the room to literally shake.