PlayStation Theater welcomed Between The Buried And Me and The Devin Townsend Project's co-headlining tour "Transcending The Coma" with direct support from Fallujah on Friday, September 16, 2016. Prog/Rock and Heavy Metal fans lined up outside the venue at 6:30 P.M. with the concert expected to begin at 7:00 P.M. Tickets went on sale May 20, 2016 and the first leg of the tour began early this month on September 9th in Nashville, TN with east coast tour dates to start. The tour kicked off as long and highly anticipated with Between The Buried And Me's continued promotion of their latest and most dramatic album Coma Ecliptic. The Devin Townsend Project are also touring in support of their new album Transcendence which was just released this month on September 2, 2016. Fallujah also join the tour to promote their newest album Dreamless which was released on April 29, 2016 and since then has been exalted by fans upon its release.
It was only when PlayStation Theater's General Admission area became amass with fans at 8:30 P.M. that San Francisco Bay natives Fallujah kicked off the evening with their set. Fallujah's stage lighting illuminated to a deep red and purple, introducing the rapid chugging instrumental "Sapphire" featured on their 2014 album The Flesh Prevails. Fallujah entered the stage to atmospheric and ambient tones of an Axe-Fx, to face a ravenous crowd ready for a night of Prog Metal. Fallujah followed up with the new Dreamless album track "Amber Gaze" with guitar lead trade offs between guitarists Scott Carstairs and Brian James, sending the audience into a frenzy. Lead vocalist Alex Hofmann shouted to New York City fans for horns up before the "Amber Gaze" breakdown which sent the band into a tailspin of headbanging. Fallujah performed two more songs from The Flesh Prevails album, "Alone With You" and "Allure". The rest of the set list included songs from the new album "Scar Queen", "Abandon", "Wind for Wings", and "The Void Alone". Fallujah were the ideal support act for the "Transcending The Coma" tour, immediately engaging the audience with an "in your face" approach of bellicose vocals and setting the stage with melodic trance like ambiance. With Dreamless being Fallujah's third album released through Nuclear Blast, this album has definitely made a good impression on the metal scene and only means bigger things to come for them and to fans. Once the "Transcending The Coma" tour wraps up, Fallujah will join the Impericon Never Say Die! Tour 2016 on November 3, 2016 in Germany, see more dates here!
With a packed venue, concertgoers poured out into the bar area for beer refills while taking a moment to view the merch tables and keeping friends held tight to the front of the stage to hold their spots. If fans hoped Between The Buried And Me would be playing any songs prior to Coma Ecliptic, they were sadly mistaken, however would not be disappointed in the least. BTBAM announced back in May that they would be performing only music from Coma Eclpitic in full during the "Transcending The Coma" tour. Since its production in 2014 and BTBAM's eighth studio album, they have stated to be proud to perform the album in its entirety to fans and offer them the full effect of what the band intended it to be. Coma Ecliptic hit the #1 spot on Billboard's Hard Music Chart in 2015 as well as making "Transcending The Coma" tour the first time Between The Buried And Me perform the entire album during a live set.
In complete darkness, the audience shouted in anticipation as BTBAM's faint glimpse of silhouettes became visible when they entered the stage. It was only when bassist Dan Briggs began the intro to "Node" on the keyboard, did the venue go into an uproar of cheering as a dim spotlight appeared on frontman Tommy Rogers while fog billowed behind them across the stage. "Node" is a haunting and enigmatic track off the new album, setting the mood for a dramatic performance of Coma Ecliptic. As the song progressed, guitarist Paul Waggoner came in with back up vocals while the crowd sang along. Blake Richardson comes in on drums near the end of the song with a startling crash and theatrical lighting. The haunting tune of "Node" transports listeners to a dystopian-like environment with Waggoner's guitar leads full of progressive groove, making it the best opening song to do justice to the live performance of Coma Ecliptic.
Between The Buried And Me followed "Node" with the orchestrated, seven and a half minute heavy hitter "The Coma Machine". The song carries on with the sci-fi concept of the album which depicts the story of a man who voluntarily enters a coma to escape his current life to experience his past life. The man then decides whether to remain in one of those lives, continue the journey through other past lives, or wake from the coma to return to his present life. BTBAM mastered the concept of the album and music production so much so, that listeners can imagine taking the journey themselves. Constant alternate timing, a mysterious direction in the sound of the album, and a light show that could send anyone into epilepsy were the meat and potatoes for the excellent BTBAM set that evening. If anyone in attendance had not seen them live before, their brilliant virtuosity was made apparent that night at PlayStation Theater.
Between The Buried And Me's show was a journey itself. Tommy Rogers is dramatically intense, seeming to painfully plead through his melodic and dirty vocal delivery, as if to express the emotions of the protagonist. Equally impressive, was Dan Briggs' ability to switch between keys and bass during abrupt changes in melodies. Hands clapped to the beat of the dark and menacing "Dim Ignition". Throughout the entire set, BTBAM maintained a sinister vibe on stage with extreme low lighting and strobes, the venue completely engulfed in darkness with the only source of light emanating from the stage. Some opted to enjoy the show more comfortably in the seated section of the venue. BTBAM were a major success in conveying the story of Coma Ecliptic to fans old and new and provided the audience with a climactic finale. Between The Buried And Me will continue touring with The Devin Townsend Project into early March 2017 beginning on January 30, 2017, see more BTBAM dates here. Be sure to purchase Coma Ecliptic and experience one man's mysterious and relatable journey.
When fans hear the name Devin Townsend, we imagine the prog rock genius on stage delivering a cosmic and seismic performance along with his renowned facial expressions of shock, all while bending his guitar strings into another dimension. The Devin Townsend Project did all of it and more after Between The Buried And Me concluded their set. Opening their show with Devin's 1997 single "Night" from the Ocean Machine album, PlayStation Theater had not been louder all night with fans screaming and shouting. Before entering the stage, strobe lights blinked on and off to a popping beat of a countdown intro, leading fans to clap along to the clicking sound of the strobes. The band entered in full force under a wash of blue lighting. Devin began playing immediately, shedding an excited smile over a crowd of screaming fans who observed his glowing guitar in awe. Devin was attentive to fans the entire evening with set list hits such as his solo tracks "By Your Command", "Hyperdrive", "Ziltoid Goes Home", one of our personal favorites "March of the Poozers", and "Kingdom". "Rejoice" from the 2014 Z² album was the fourth song on the set list and soon after "Where We Belong" from the 2012 release Epicloud. Songs performed that night from Transcendence included "Failure", "Stormbending", and The Devin Townsend Project's final song of the night "Higher". The always comical and maniacal Townsend had essentially demanded one of his songs to go screw itself at one point during the show. Devin Townsend is gifted when it comes to fan interaction, creating an intimate and casual environment between himself and fans attending his concerts. The Devin Townsend Project concluded the show with an encore acoustic performance of "Ih-Ah!" followed by the larger than life, heavy metal track "Higher", a song worthy of playing during a sudden revelation.