“The journey ends tonight, right here in St. Pete… Sometimes we have to put a good thing to rest.” — Spencer Chamberlain
Underoath played their final show ever this past Saturday night at Jannus Live in St. Pete. I’ve mentioned the impact the Christian metalcore/screamo band has had on my life, and their farewell hometown show further cemented their legacy. [Text by Daniel, photos by Mike.]
Each of the evening’s support acts took a moment to give heartfelt thanks to Underoath amid distinctive performances. During opener letlive.’s second song, vocalist Jason Aalon Butler made his way through the crowd, climbed onto the roof a building adjacent to Jannus and then onto an apartment balcony, threw the screen door off its hinges, and knocked on the sliding door before trying to get inside. A set by recently resurrected As Cities Burn followed, and the fivesome commanded the stage and held us all rapt with their intense energy and crowd interaction. Final supporting act mewithoutYou delivered spoken-word vocals amid instrumentals that encompassed accordions, trumpets, and unique rhythms, and provided a nice variation to the evening’s predominately heavy lineup.
Enter Underoath. The band’s hour-and-a-half set consisted of songs ranging from 2004 breakthrough fourth album They’re Only Chasing Safety to most recent full-length effort, 2010’s Ø (Disambiguation), along with a new song, “Unsound,” they recorded for a 2012 career-spanning compilation album, Anthology: 1999—2013. Fan favorites and crowd pleasers aside, Underoath’s final performance was one of the most memorable live experiences I’ve enjoyed in a long time, full of passion and energy, both happy and heartbreaking. As vocalist Spencer Chamberlain put it, “We’re not going to make this a sad, sad night. We’re going to celebrate 10-plus years of this band.” Despite the positive words, the band members — who were mostly cheery and exuberant while playing — could be seen getting teary-eyed and hugging between songs.
One of the evening’s biggest highlights was the guest appearance of former drummer, singer and integral founding member, Aaron Gillespie. Gillespie left the band in 2010, but returned to the fold for two songs nestled in the middle of the set. Gillespie and current drummer Daniel Davison played simultaneously on separate kits for “Emergency Broadcast :: The End Is Near,” which has multiple drum tracks in the original recording. Then Gillespie took the helm of the main kit to play and sing fan favorite “Reinventing Your Exit,” a song not seen in the band’s setlists for a long time. Fan video below.
Fighting tears, Chamberlain addressed the crowd before Underoath played their final song: “I want to take a second to explain myself. We’ve spent 10 to 14 years touring together and we stand behind everything we’ve said, every guitar riff we’ve played, and every word we’ve sung. It’s starting to sink in that this is the last time I’m playing with these guys. That’s weird. Thank you. Thank you for being here. I’ve dreaded this day for a very long time. Underoath dies on this stage tonight and we leave a part of us with every one of you.” After finishing the last song, “Writing On The Walls,” Chamberlain and Tim McTague (with guitar in hand) leapt into an embracing crowd. Then, McTague launched his guitar from the stage and keyboardist Chris Dudley followed suit, throwing his rig and parts of the drum kit into the crowd as souvenirs for some lucky fans. The band members shared more hugs and tears as fans relentlessly cheered before making their final exit.
Underoath truly left everything on the stage in their farewell performance, except for a few instruments; a testament to a truly legendary band that will not be forgotten anytime soon.
Breathing In A New Mentality
It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door
In Regards To Myself
Emergency Broadcast :: The End Is Near
Reinventing Your Exit
Moving For The Sake Of Motion
Who Will Guard The Guardians
Young And Aspiring
Everyone Looks So Good From Here
Casting Such A Thin Shadow
A Boy Brushed Red… Living In Black And White
Writing On The Walls