After establishing their name in the UK back in April when touring with Of Mice & Men, Beartooth returned for their first UK headline tour. With a debut album under their belt, as well as more experience cutting their teeth on the US Warped Tour – not a place for the faint hearted – the anticipation for the tour was high. First on the bill were Climate [6/10]; this metalcore band seemed slightly out of place compared to the slightly more hardcore bands on the rest of the bill. The band sound massive on record, with big tunes and an incredible sound, however sound problems throughout the set hindered their performance hugely.
The next band on, Dead Hearts [5/10], bought a more hardcore edge to the proceedings. But the problem with this genre nowadays is the new phenomenon of ‘Hardcore Dancing’, which involves jumping around and swinging your limbs in all directions with blatant disregard to all other members of the crowd. Dead Hearts blasted through a set of generic hardcore, where the songs just blurred into one, and the only excitement was this dangerous and annoying craze.
The headliners, Beartooth [6/10], were met with more enthusiasm than most bands that have come to Birmingham are usually greeted with – the buzz around this band has been huge. As soon as the opening chords of ‘The Lines’ started, the crowd erupted in sing-alongs and a venue-wide mosh pit. However quickly the high energy start of the set waned and the atmosphere became increasingly unsatisfying. The heaviness of the beatdowns was not as crisp as expected, and they were just muddled and sludgy at times. Caleb Shomo’s screaming was often poor, and it was obvious that there was his voice was strained. The one-two punch of clean singing juxtaposed against growls is usually very tight on record, however live they struggled and the band just sounded loose and tired. One thing that could not be faulted however was the constant energy of the crowd, one of the craziest Birmingham has seen in a long time. While Beartooth have released a really good album, sadly their live performances have room for improvement. Hopefully by the time the band return, these issues will have been ironed out and their next run of dates will see the band back to their best.