The Skyway Theatre is almost like a hidden gem for photography for me; I forget how much I appreciate the layout of the venue until I get there for a show. It just so happens that a contender for show of the year for me was at Skyway and I had been waiting for this night since the tour got announced. When August Burns Red announced their ten year anniversary tour for their 2009 album “Constellations,” which happens to be my favorite album of theirs, I knew it would be a show I couldn’t miss. As I made my way into downtown Minneapolis for the show, I was so giddy with excitement I arrived an hour before the show started. The buzz around the venue was enough to make the time fly and soon enough Silent Planet took the stage.
Sadly, I have only seen Silent Planet twice before this show, and their previous sets left me feeling in awe. There’s something about the raw honestly and musical prowess of this band that hooked me from the first time I saw them (ironically back in 2016 when they also opened for August Burns Red). Silent Planet wastes no time getting into the heat of their set, lead singer Garrett Russell jumping off the stage and getting face to face with the crowd three songs in. The band was far from disappointing, setting the bar very high with their hard hitting, and emotionally cathartic set.
Shortly after Silent Planet, another favorite of mine took the stage. Even though I had just seen Silverstein almost five months ago, I was eager to catch them again; their new album “Dead Reflections” has been a regular in my Spotify mix. Silverstein came out swinging, the band starting strong with “Retrograde” and even throwing in their new single “Burn It Down.” There honestly is not a bad thing I can say about their set; each aspect of their performance made their set memorable and extremely enjoyable and won me over all over again. Mixing in their classic songs (“Smile in Your Sleep,” “Massachusetts,” and “My Heroine”) with new material, Silverstein’s set was phenomenal, highly nostalgic, and captivating.
Last but certainly not least, August Burns Red took the stage just after 9pm. The play through of “Constellations” was something I was looking forward to for months and I sure was far from disappointed. The musical technicality that August Burns Red uses in their songs really shows during their live sets; even after seeing them live over 10 times I’m still blown away by how good these musicians are. The blistering guitar solos, weird time signature rhythms, and hard hitting drums always leave me speechless and hearing this album live was just like listening to it at home with my headphones on and the music turned up as loud as I want it. I was brought this overwhelming comfort by hearing this record live and to that I am very thankful to this band for putting this tour on and providing that experience for myself and countless others in the crowd. Every member of the band has an incredible amount of talent; vocalist Jake Luhrs took over bass duties on “Meridian,” bassist Dustin Davidson took on lead guitar during “Rationalist,” with guitarist JB Brubaker on bass, and the encore started incredibly strong with a mesmerizing drum solo from Matt Griener and Davidson. There’s not much else I can say that I haven’t already said in previous reviews of this band; August Burns Red is one of the best metal bands of this century, live and on record and I hope to be able to catch them live every time they stop in the Twin Cities.