The eager crowd chants "ABR, ABR" with some loyal fervor before the sultry intro bleeds into "Back Burner." August Burns Red packs their first ever live album, Home, full of fan favourites akin to the opener. For their nearest and dearest fans, the God-fearing masters of metalcore played hits like "The Eleventh Hour," "Truth of a Liar," "Meddler" and "Up Against the Ropes." For all the long haul fans, they even pulled out "Your Little Suburbia is in Ruins" and "A Shot Below the Belt". Since, throughout their career, they released very few songs that ever flopped, it would be understandably difficult to fully satisfy everyone in the crowd without playing nearly every song in their arsenal. Unfortunately, they had only enough time to fill a CD.
Independent from the accompanying DVD (which features a band documentary and fan testimonies alongside the filmed live show... and was not available to us for review), the audio half of the package may serve as a sort of a live best-of album for ABR. Shot and edited by Space Monkey Studios (Lamb of God, Every Time I Die, Coheed and Cambria), the production came at a perfect time for ABR. Their latest album Constellations hit the Billboard Top 200 at #24, a phenomenal grand slam for a group immersed in such a visceral genre, not to mention a group steadfast in the Christian faith. The release of Home could be considered a milestone point for the band, celebrating their skyrocket in popularity and musical professionalism.
The editing itself is quite impressive, leaving the live performance with a studio-recorded sound. The actual performance is everything that you would expect from ABR. Virtually flawless guitar and bass from JB Brubaker, Brent Rambler and Dustin Davidson, and a quite literally flawless performance from Mr. Matt Greiner on drums. The only issue I can find is the admittedly sketchy vocal presentation of Jake Luhrs, but anyone who has seen ABR live can chock that up to his inspiring stage presence. I'm not too sure any of the 1250 people in the sold out crowd were complaining at the time.
For the show, the band returned to the place of its humble beginnings, Manheim, PA (click here for a review of the actual live show). It's where it all started, and in light of such a new height the band has reached, it's only natural they would celebrate with their family and friends. "We played our first ever show as a band in Manheim, PA in April of 2003," explains guitarist JB Brubaker. "Between then and now we've been fortunate enough to play all over the world. But when it came time for us to record our first live DVD/CD, it only made sense to do so back in Manheim where everything began. It was exciting for us to have people come from far and wide to the town where most of us grew up, and to be able to play such a special show in front of our families and close friends who have been supporting us since the beginning."
Naturally, any real August Burns Red fan is already vibrating in anticipation for a new full-length album (and has been since Constellations was released in the summer of 2009), so it pleases me to inform any and all ignorant readers that they are currently writing and will be hitting up the studio in 2011. Let Home be your brief liberation from the fits of anxiety that have been plaguing you thus far. It is a great way to experience the band and their mannerisms first hand, as well as the pulverizing live show they deliver.- Review date: 9/28/10, written by Wayne Reimer of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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