August Burns Red Makes an Epic Appearance In Buffalo

Show Review
August Burns Red: The Dangerous Tour 
Date: 2/28/29
Venue: Town Ballroom
City: Buffalo
Bands: Crystal Lake, Miss May I, Fit For a King, August Burns Red

Words By: Chandler Poczciwinski
Photos By: Haley Sousa
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August Burns Red

You know when August Burns Red announces a tour it is going to be a show that you absolutely cannot miss. The first time I saw August Burns Red (at a non-Warped Tour show) was back in 2017 during The Messengers 10 Year Anniversary Tour, and it was honestly one of the wildest sets I have ever seen. Between ABR’s theatrical light rigs and overall commanding presence on stage, they are a band that is worth seeing time and time again. Their latest endeavor properly titled, The Dangerous Tour was so stacked with today’s premiere metalcore acts that you might have had to pinch yourself just to check if you were dreaming. This support included: Crystal Lake (Tokyo, Japan), Miss May I (Troy, OH), and Fit For a King (Dallas, TX). What really made this tour so dangerous was the amount of money you were going to spend on merch after the show.

Crystal Lake started off this evening, coming to us all the way from Tokyo, Japan. This tour with ABR was Crystal Lake’s first ever U.S appearance, however, they have been making an impression overseas for quite some time. Crystal Lake’s newest project Helix (Feb 15, 2019) was released mid-tour so they had a bunch of new songs to play during their milestone first U.S tour.

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Crystal Lake

CL didn’t seem intimidated in the slightest by big shoes to fill playing alongside metal heavyweights August Burns Red, Miss May I and Fit For a King. Frontman and lead vocalist Ryo Kinoshita spent more time in the air than on the ground as they played through their hit songs “Apollo” and “Aeon”, ending off their set with a big theatrical ending that drove the point home that Crystal Lake is a name worth remembering. Overall, Crystal Lake had a memorable performance, and if people didn’t know Crystal Lake before, they do now.

Next up was metalcore legends Miss May I, who played a nice mix of old favorites and new hits to the excited Buffalo crowd. They started off their set with “Swallow Your Teeth” off their most recent release, Shadows Inside (June 2, 2017). Obviously, they had to play their song “Hey Mister” (2012), and no matter how many times I see Miss May I, I will never get sick of hearing the crowd chant “Hey mister, where have you been!?” during the chorus of the song.

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Miss May I

I am not sure what Miss May I has in store next for their fans, they do not have another tour planned (to the best of my knowledge), so maybe they will be hitting the studio soon? We will have to wait to find out, but until then, the title track off their latest album Shadows Inside is worthy of placement in your personal metal playlists (if you haven’t already done so).

Fit For a King, one of my favorite bands in the scene right now was the next act to take the stage. Whenever I think about Fit For a King the image that always comes to mind is that of bass player Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary swinging his bass around like a tornado. If you have never seen this in person before then you are truly missing out because it is quite the sight to see. Thankfully Fit For a King hit my high expectations for them, with O’ Leary moving his bass around like a mad man. However, midway through the set during a break between songs, frontman/lead vocalist Ryan Kirby announced that O’Leary had fractured his ankle the day prior, but this didn’t stop him in the slightest from putting on a great show.

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Fit For A King

My favorite part of Fit For a King’s set was how they had Levi Benton (Miss May I) sing his feature part in their track “Stacking Bodies” and, Ryo Kinoshita came out as they played their final song, “Tower of Pain” off their latest release, Dark Skies. Sadly, Jake Luhrs (August Burns Red) did not come out for his part in Dead Memory. If you have never heard of Fit For a King then their new record Dark Skies is a great place to start. My favorite song off Dark Skies is the first track titled “Engraved, the intro guitar riff and drop just keeps bringing me back for more.

Finally, August Burns Red took to the stage in an epic fashion that set the tone for the rest of their set. Like I said before, August Burns Red has already earned the title of one of the wildest shows I have been to, right alongside the annual Every Time I Die Christmas show.

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August Burns Red

Even though the Buffalo date on The Dangerous Tour was one of the last stops of the 32-day U.S tour, where 16 of the dates sold out, August Burns Red still held nothing back and left it all on the stage. Attendees of The Dangerous Tour were also treated to  Matthew Greiner’s now iconic drum solo, and Dustin Davidson traded his bass for a guitar as they played their cover of The Legend of Zelda during their encore set. It was interesting to see the wide demographic of die-hard fans that August Burns Red had in attendance that night. They have fans young and old, some who have obviously been long time listeners since the Messengers and Constellations days, to newer fans who might have just discovered the magic of ABR when they released their acclaimed album Phantom Anthem. No matter when you discovered August Burns Red, you realize early on that they are a truly special band. Between their epic concerts, rocking Christmas albums, or overall genre-pushing music that advances with each new album, August Burns Red is worthy of all the praise they receive. So, how could August Burns Red follow up a tour as utterly awesome as The Dangerous Tour? Well, they will be making an appearance at the Mountain View, CA dates of the Warped Tour 25th anniversary celebratory events, so that is a great place to start. Whatever August Burns Red has in store for us next, I’m sure it will be something amazing, because they are always pushing the boundaries and are never stagnant. If you love video game soundtrack covers then make sure to check out the August Burns Red version of “The Legend of Zelda”, it is a great ABR twist on a classic song, but until next time, get off the charts and support your local music scene.

Here are a few more photos from August Burns Red set:

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