August Burns Red came to New York’s Playstation Theater on Friday night as they continued their Messengers 10th anniversary tour with their 3rd show since kicking it off on the 4th – the album’s anniversary is actually in June, while the US run concludes in February before the band heads out briefly in May and then hits Europe – and the packed house certainly helped them celebrate in a big way.
I’ve always been a fan of anniversary tours, or any tour, really, where a band plays a particular album in its entirety. I watched RUSH do it twice with Moving Pictures, Buckcherry do it with 15, and now August Burns Red with Messengers. There really isn’t much to say about Messengers, the band’s landmark second album and first with lead singer Jake Luhrs. Fans know the deal, anyone covering the tour knows the deal, and ABR is playing it start to finish for the entirety of the tour.
What is worth mentioning, though, is the intensity of both ABR AND and capacity crowd. Right from jump street there was an energy in the building like no other show. I’ve been at this for a while now and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more intense crowd; I got knocked around pretty good in the photo pit by the endless barrage of crowd surfers, which is why this gallery is going to be the smallest we’ve run to date. It’s worth noting that Protest The Hero were awesome, and the Australian singer from In Hearts Wake stage dove on a giant inflatable alligator in the most Australian moment ever.
But, I digress. Back to August Burns Red. In addition to playing Messengers front to back, ABR came back out for a SIX song encore. Six songs. Most bands don’t play a one song encore anymore, let alone two. Six is unheard of. Included in the encore was a drum solo for the ages by Matt Greiner, along with a pair from the band’s latest album, 2015’s Found in Far Away Places. Empire, Fault Line, Martyr, Ghosts and White Washed rounded out the 17-song set including all 11 from Messengers, wrapping up an epic night full of insanity on the stage and in the crowd.
August Burns Red treated fans not only to an entire album, but an unprecedented six-song encore packed with their best material, and they destroyed everything in their path on the way to a 75 minute performance that saw the band leave everything on the stage and disappoint nobody, unless you count to the 2,000 people demanding more and not getting it. It happens that way, a concert. When you’re putting on as good a show as August Burns Red, everyone wants more. Even on a Friday night in New York City where there’s never any shortage of things to do, and that says something about ABR. Not many bands can pack a venue on a Friday night in this city, but ABR did and nobody wanted to leave when the house lights came on.
That’s the definition of a great show. Gallery Below.