Upon a Burning Body Concert

On Tuesday, September 27th, I traveled with my new friend, Ian Schiela, over to Harrisburg for one of the most intimate, yet hectic shows I’ve ever been to. Rising deathcore superstars, Upon a Burning Body returned to the circuit with a few other local bands trying to make names for themselves. The concert took place in a small venue known as The Champ, which is basically an old warehouse next to the train tracks with a piece of plywood on the side it stating that it’s The Champ. As run down as it may have looked on the outside, the inside was much nicer, but still meant to look very underground and intimate. The general standing room was about the size of a large classroom, if not slightly bigger and had a stage about two feet off the ground and a big as a college dorm (which is really small when you account for drums and amps taking up a lot of space. There was also no rail separating the band from the crowd (you’ll here how that plays out later).

I drove up to the concert with Ian (who is the guitarist for the opening band of this particular show. More on them later), and after an hour drive with some rain, we finally arrived at the Champ, and proceeded to unload some equipment and I was able to meet the rest of Ian’s bandmates. Ian’s band is called It’s a Trap (yes, after the Admiral Akbar quote) and Ian plays guitar in the band. The rest of the band includes Brad Duerr on guitars as well,Scotty Wushensky on bass, Drew Smallacombe on drums, and last but certainly not least, we have Hayden Lindblade on vocals (This is the only band I’m going list off the names for btw, because I don’t know anyone personally from the other bands). While we were setting up some of the equipment, we had the privilege of seeing Upon a Burning Body doing their soundcheck. There were some haircuts within the band and if you see them on the Thrash and Burn tour, you’ll see what I mean if you get the chance.

The doors opened up at 6:00 and right at 6:30, Ian and his band, It’s a Trap took the stage. Considering that everyone but Ian is still in High School, they were extremely tight for a band that haven’t been around for a while. They’re musical style is very heavy hardcore infused with heavy metal influences like the new The Devil Wears Prada album. If you are a fan of bands like Texas in July, August Burns Red, and The Devil Wears Prada, then you will find a lot of potential in this band and i highly recommend everyone who is reading this to go out and search the band on facebook and become a fan because they’re really great.

The next band that came on was a band called From These Wounds (contrary to what the publicity poster above may imply, From These Wounds went second and the band Fearing the Abstract didn’t play due to some issues surrounding one of the band members) and these guys were way more metal than It’s a Trap  but threw in some pretty heavy breakdowns in order still fit in with the rest of the bands on the bill. This band are a lot like Within The Ruins in the sense that they are very heavy and there is no clean vocals at all and the guitars are very technical. If you like Within the Ruins then you’ll dig this band. They also have a facebook page set up so go on and check it out.

Following them was a band called Camisado, who are actually from Maryland (as opposed to It’s a Trap who are from West Chester, PA and From These Wounds who are from Dover, PA). This band were a lot very very post hardcore with metalcore influences. This band would be for fans of Motionless in White, We Came as Romans, and The Word Alive. They were extremely tight and they put on an amazing show. They had a lot of visuals synchronized with their beatdowns and came across as a very professional band with a lot of edge and potential. I wouldn’t be surprised if I started seeing this band appear on more bills with some bigger names. Again, please check out this local band and help them get bigger. All of these bands that I’ve talked about deserve your attention and are very talented.

Finally, the headliners. What more can you say really? For 5o minutes, there was pure mayhem in the audience as Upon a Burning Body took the stage opening up with their infamous introduction song and going straight into “The Devil’s Advocate” and “Any Given Sunday”. They also played such hits as “Donnie Brasco” and “Scarface”. One very important thing about this show that made it special was that the band have spent the past few months in the studio working the new record (hopefully to be released early in 2012, according to Danny) and this was the first live show they’ve done since. The band thought it would be nice to drop a new song for us to test the material out. Not only that, but later they played ANOTHER new song. So we were honored with being the first people to hear these new songs and let me tell you, I’m very excited for this new album. The songs are insane live and I hope the record is just as crazy as those two songs.

Like I said earlier, theres no railings so there were a lot of people trying to get on the stage and stage dive, and some people did. There was also a lot of pushing and nothing to brace yourself against, so there were a lot of people falling down (Ian actually cut his hand on a serrated piece of metal while trying to brace himself). This leads to not a lot of room to hide so everyone was in danger of the maelstrom that had formed in the middle of the room and extended to almost all edges of the venue. I was actually pulled into the pit during “Scarface” and had to fight some hardcore kids in order to get back to the front of the stage. Finally the band closed their set with “Carlito’s Way” stopping right before the drum fill breakdown in order to heighten the suspense for what was an explosive finale to the night. However, the band had never played “Intermission” as no sooner did the band walk of the stage, the crowd was immediately chanting “ONE MORE SONG!…ONE MORE SONG!”. Obviosuly, Danny came back on and the band went straight into Intermission. During their seminal breakdown, Danny leaned the mic out for the audience to sing out to, but had to use twp hands to prevent the mic from being swallowed by the crowd that had formed around the middle of the stage (I was so close Danny’s balls were literally right in front of my face…the entire show). Then the song ended, the lights went up and so concludes one of the best and craziest nights of my life. my neck is STILL killing me and its been three days since the show.

Some highlights from their set included: Danny gave me the mic to sing “It’s Just Beginning” during the end of “Donnie Brasco”; getting a high five from Danny; Getting to be the first to hear the new songs; both Ian and I caught  a drum stick!!, and afterwards both Ian and I got photos taken with Danny (Unfortunately, my photo wasn’t saved properly, so I am EXTREMELY depressed by that), but it was still an amazing night. It was very eventful and memorable and I’m so glad I went.

I highly encourage all of you reading this to check out the opening bands and if you aren’t a fan or Upon a Burning Body…become one.

Luke Helker

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