First sold out club show of the year for me (back here).
Evening started out a bit awkward when I was buying my Animals As Leaders t-shirt at the merch stand and only realized after looking like an idiot that the guy handling the purchase was none other than Javier (rhythm guitarist for AAL). Apologized to him and got him to sign my ticket. Among the audience there were some interesting t-shirts - Protest the Hero, Veil of Maya, Tool, and even Meshuggah. Most of the audience was visibly more excited for Animals As Leaders than BTBAM surprisingly.
Animals as Leaders started a bit later than you'd expect, about 45 minutes after the scheduled start. With everyone chanting "TOSIN! TOSIN! TOSIN!" which was a bit amusing to me seeing as he's black and this is Russia, they came in with Tosin looking all humble and they began their set. After Point to Point, Wave of Babies, and Song of Solomon were over and all of us were pretty much under his spell (that fucker can REALLY play), they went into Tempting Time and that's when everyone really got into it. I was glad to see that our rowdy crowd of concert-goers weren't crowd-surfing or stage-diving yet, so that the rest of us could enjoy AAL in peace. Isolated Incidents sounded great in a live setting too, and Tosin took a moment to tell us how glad he was they'd finally come to Russia. The rest of the set went smooth, until the end of CAFO (my favorite AAL song!) when some dude decided he couldn't take it any longer and crowd-surfed over my head. Since I was in the middle of a (very badass, if I may add) windmill, I kind of hurt my neck so I gave him a death gkare as he jumped back. All the progheads around me were making it very clear they were pissed. When the set was done, Tosin left without even shaking anyone's hand or even throwing his pick, probably my only complaint about the night at all. Navene (drummer) threw a shitload of drumsticks over my way, and I caught at least three. I did give the other two away, so no one here should be calling me greedy.
Some time later, all of BTBAM came out to set up their gear. While I do think it's cool when a band sets up the stage themselves (instead of getting tech guys), I think they should at least acknowledge the existence of the audience in some way - no single member said anything or even looked at any of us during the 20 minutes they spent setting up. I even asked Tommy something (mind you, he's right in front of me getting some cables done) and he didn't even look at me (I'm speaking fluent English, you fucker!).
As that eerie intro to Specular Reflection started, I think I felt the sensation of shitting my pants. It was that awesome. I thought it was very clever of BTBAM to play songs in the the order they appeared on the album. Specular Reflection and Augment of Rebirth were fucking amazing - the room was on fire. Fortunately, over the course of their set only four or five people stage-dived, but I'm sure there was hell going on behind me in the pit. When Tommy started playing the intro to Mirrors on keys, I probably let loose a tear. One of my favorite BTBAM songs, hearing it live was spectacular - until some dude broke the mood with a scream of:
Seriously, man? Way to ruin it.
The rest of Mirrors wasn't really the same since everyone started clapping to the rhythm of the song and you couldn't hear his soft vocals. The next two Great Misdirect tracks, Obfuscation and Disease Injury Madness went great - I must've screamed my lungs out three times. Surprised those three songs alone didn't leave my voice hoarse. Prequel to the Sequel was brilliant as well - every aspect of it worked great live and the band pulled every moment of it off perfectly. The crowd's reaction to White Walls probably reinforced it's place in my top five favorite BTBAM songs, but I still have a problem with them ending the show with Selkies. They definitely could've played Alaska instead. I spent the next half hour having conversations with everyone in the band. Great dudes, all of them.
Between The Buried And Me
Augment of Rebirth
Disease, Injury, Madness
Prequel to the Sequel
Selkies: The Endless Obsession
Animals As Leaders
Point to Point
Wave of Babies
Song of Solomon
Thoroughly at Home