Two nights in a row I found myself at Kansas City music venue The Truman. Friday night with Flogging Molly, and then the very next night…something completely different; progressive metal titans Between the Buried and Me, or BTBAM for short. The “Human Is Hell Tour ’22” kicked off in Asheville, North Carolina on February 22nd and has dates running through March 31st in Columbia, South Carolina. Direct support on the tour comes from Long Island mathcore outfit, Car Bomb.
Opening act Car Bomb launched into their sonic assault with a lengthy set consisting mainly of tracks off their past two albums, Meta (2016) and Mordial (2019). This was the first time that I got to check out this quartet from New York and I enjoyed the low-end head stomp that they brought to Kansas City. The songs often shifted rapidly through a variety of grooves and at times I found myself wondering if it was still the same song. However, I dig what these guys are doing and hope to see Car Bomb out on the road again soon.
One thing that can’t be denied is that Kansas City loves Raleigh, North Carolina’s Between the Buried and Me, and that was made clear from the moment the band took the stage. Each song on the setlist was greeted with a roar of approval from the audience and enthusiastic sing-alongs, as vocalist Tommy Giles Rogers Jr. moved between his keyboard and the front of the stage. The backlit stage design cast each member in silhouette while simultaneously illuminating the crowd that seemed to know each song word for word. Opening with three in a row from their latest release, Colors II (2021) – “The Double Helix of Extinction”, “Revolution in Limbo”, and “Fix the Error”, this quintet has proven time and time again that they have crafted a unique style which effortlessly blends bewildering technical proficiency with masterful storytelling.
The set continued with “Ants of the Sky” from 2007’s Colors, and then two tracks from Coma Ecliptic (2015) – “Dim Ignition” and “Famine Wolf”. Throughout the night, lead guitarist, Paul Waggoner, performed his inspiring six-string wizardry with ease, as he moved from the side of the stage to stand on top of the front monitors.
The band is touring in support of their 2021 Sumerian Records release, Colors II, and we got to hear two more cuts from the album, “Bad Habits” and “The Future Is Behind Us”, before the band launched into “Condemned to the Gallows”, a popular track off 2018’s Automata I. The boys wrapped up the set by reaching back to their 2005 release, Alaska, with the long-standing crowd favorite, “Selkies: The Endless Obsession”.
After a brief pause, BTBAM returned to the stage to put the proverbial cherry on top with an encore performance of “Voice of Trespass” from Automata II (2018).
I’ve seen and photographed Between the Buried and Me perform live several times over the years, and they never disappoint. In 2017, I even got a chance to interview bassist Dan Briggs, and you can check that out here. There’s also a review of Coma Ecliptic available on the site here. So, if you get the chance to see them when they come through a venue near you, don’t hesitate to go. The remaining dates are listed below.
Between the Buried and Me 2022 Tour Dates with Car Bomb:
02/22 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
02/24 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Elevation 27
02/25 – Harrisburg, PA @ HMAC
02/26 – Philadelphia, PA @ *venue TBD
02/27 – Asbury Park, NJ @ House of Independents
02/28 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
03/01 – Quebec City, QC @ Imperial
03/02 – Ottawa, ON @ Bronson Centre
03/04 – Buffalo, NY @ Rec Room
03/05 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
03/06 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
03/08 – Detroit, MI @ Crofoot
03/09 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Elevation
03/10 – Fort Wayne, IN @ Piere’s
03/11 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s
03/12 – Kansas City, MO @ Truman
03/13 – Tulsa, OK @ Cains
03/15 – Denver, CO @ Summit
03/16 – Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater
03/18 – Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst
03/19 – Berkeley, CA @ UC Theater
03/20 – Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory
03/21 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
03/23 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
03/25 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
03/26 – Little Rock, AR @ The Hall
03/28 – Destin, FL @ Club LA
03/29 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
03/30 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
03/31 – Columbia, SC @ The Senate