Underoath captivates wild Michigan fans with support from Dance Gavin Dance, Crown the Empire, and The Plot In You.

With a line wrapping around the venue, fans have shown up early to make sure they don’t miss any of the bands on tonight’s sold-out show. With a stellar lineup featuring 4 bands that complement each other well, this show is sure to be a great one.

The Plot In You gets the evening off to a great start. The Ohio-based band led by Landon Tewers on vocals has many of the young women up front swooning in awe. Their set opens with “Rigged,” with Landon singing softly under a densely lit stage. Eventually, the whole band joins in and the song kicks into high gear, with the vocals transitioning to harsh breakdowns. Most of the songs in their set come from their latest album Dispose, including “Not Just Breathing,” “One Last Time,” and the closer “Disposable Fix.” It may be a brief set, but the fans respond with huge cheers and wish they could hear more. It’s a wonder that they have not gotten more attention and moved up to headlining venues of this size on their own.

Next up is Crown the Empire from Dallas, TX. Having been around since 2010, they have put out several great albums including Fallout, The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways, and Retrograde. They get things started with the thrashy song “Zero” that has lead singer Andy Leo rocking all over the stage and platform that spans the width of the stage up front. Drummer Brent Taddie powers the song with rapid-fire beats. Songs from all 3 albums fill the set along with 2 new singles, “20/20” and “What I Am.” The latter is getting plenty of airplay lately. Fans have started to get fired up as some moshing and crowd-surfing ensues. They close out their set with the epic “Machines” that has most of the fans bouncing up and down and waving their arms.

Sacramento rockers Dance Gavin Dance have brought the energy tonight as they immediately have the crowd going wild with crowd-surfers keeping security upfront busy throughout the set. Led by Jon Mess (unclean vocals) and Tilian Pearson (clean vocals), they lead the band through a 10 song set that is focused on their last 4 releases. The opening 4 songs including “Son of Robot,” “Midnight Crusade,” and “Care” all come from the latest album Artificial Selection. The band is technical at times with complex guitar riffing and changing drum time signatures. With a band name like Dance Gavin Dance, this reviewer was not expecting to be hit with such force by these powerful songs. By the crazed fans reaction, they have been following this band for quite some time. They finish up their set with “We Own the Night” and “Inspire the Liars.”

Headliners Underoath from Tampa, FL hit the stage and waste no time getting the crowd amped up again with the blazing single “On My Teeth” from their latest release Erase Me. The lengthy set is full of hits from across their history including several others from the latest album including “Rapture,” “Ihateit,” and “No Frame,” as well as classics like “Breathing in a New Mentality,” “Desperate Times, Desperate Measures”, and “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door”. The fans are loving every minute of it with a mosh pit in full force, plenty of bouncing, fist pumps, and loud cheers.

They have been busy since regrouping after a breakup back in 2013. They don’t seem to have missed a beat as they are in top form and touring as a headliner, as well as support for the likes of Bring Me the Horizon and on many major festivals over the past 2 years.

The stage setup is one of the best lit this reviewer has seen. Several panels line the front of the platform that has drummer Aaron Gillespie on the left and keyboardist Christopher Dudley on the right. Behind them are more light panels with a large display across the top center. The lights are bright and vivid with ever-changing colors. On top of that are beams of light that shoot out in every direction. Upfront is the same platform that has been used by all of the bands tonight. Spencer, bassist Grant Brandell, and guitarist Timothy McTague and James Smith all make use of it throughout the set.

And speaking of Aaron and Christopher, these 2 performers give it their all. Aaron lays down the rapid but precise beats with his hair flying about, while Christopher has to be the craziest and most active keyboardist. He jumps and spins and whips his head back and forth on all of the songs, while still managing to play. It is quite entertaining, to say the least. And vocalist Spencer Chamberlain is the energizer bunny working the platform up front, as well as crisscrossing all over the stage and letting his hair fly all over the place as he rocks out and sings with heartfelt conviction.

The fans tonight know this band well and sing along to the songs including “The Blue Note” and “A Boy Brushed Red Living in Black and White.” Something in the songs brings these fans together as many can be seen with their arms around each other, singing into air mics and to each other. It’s cool to see that lyrics and music can have such meaning and an effect on many. During “Reinventing Your Exit”, Spencer yells “jump, jump, jump” and the fans do just that in unison. A song that gets a massive response is “Too Bright to See, Too Loud to Hear”, that Spencer says they have not played in Michigan for 8-9 years.

Spencer takes some time to chat with the fans. He talks about how when they broke up he had been going through a drug issue that was not only impacting him directly but also his relationship with the band and others. He said that the fans should not look at performers like him any differently just because they are on a stage. They are all humans just like the rest of us. Finally, after saying he was waking every day with suicidal thoughts he reached out to his best friend, drummer Aaron, for help. It is a very emotional speech. There is silence in the room until Spencer says, “if I can do it, then so can any of you”. The crowd erupts in huge cheers. He then takes a seat at the piano and they close out the main portion of their set with “I Gave Up” from their latest release.

Returning to the stage, Spencer and Aaron now on guitar, do a cool cover of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box,” with the whole band joining in towards the end. They wrap up their set with the ripping tune “Writing on the Walls”. With the great fan enthusiasm, Spencer says they will be back to visit Michigan once again. The fans love it and respond with screams. A fitting end to a killer show by Underoath and overall show by the other 3 bands.

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Dance Gavin Dance
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Crown the Empire
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The Plot In You
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Royal Oak Music Theatre
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Event Date: 02-DEC-2017