The Messengers tour rolled through Denver, CO last night with the intent of igniting the city. With a stacked ticket (August Burns Red, Protest the Hero, In Hearts Wake, and ’68), it came as no surprise that they did that and much more. An already buzzing crowd, arose together that night as each band commanded the Ogden Theatre stage with their immense stage presence and ravenous hunger to perform. More than anything, the circuit which by common definition is a tour, took the form of something else; The unparalleled celebration of August Burns Red’s second album release, Messengers, which turned 10 this year. Leaving many fans along with myself to ponder, “Has it really been that long?” Crazy to think it really has. With the addition of Protest the Hero, In Hearts Wake, and ’68, who came along to celebrate with ABR, you have a tour that is unstoppable and unbelievably fun to be a part of. Send out the messengers, this is one you and your friends seriously don’t want to miss.

’68

’68 opened up the night, sending the entire venue into an absolute frenzy due to the sheer and utter chaos that impended upon the Ogden Theatre. When Josh Scogin (ex-Chariot) unleashes himself amongst the stage, there’s only one thing you can expect: Bedlam, sweet and glorious bedlam. As he’s flailing himself about from one end of the stage to the other, Michael McClellan is vigorously drumming, each hit like a plunderous crash of thunder. You are left feeling unencumbered as you witness total anarchy unravel in front of you. When ’68 performs it’s less a concert and more an experience that leaves you forgetting your surroundings. For those brief, remarkable moments, you are immersed in their music and their performance, nothing else. You just can’t look away from what they do, and that is the true beauty of ’68.

In Hearts Wake

In Hearts Wake came to Denver to perform their hearts out. Their infectious energy quickly spread throughout the venue. It was very reminiscent of how it feels to be at a Parkway Drive show, which is a huge compliment in my book. As In Hearts Wake took to the sky, the crowd followed suit, doing their very best to shake the floor below them. At one point, Jake brought out a Crocodile pool float, and surfed the crowd on top of it. That’s something you can most likely expect at each of their shows. It serves a fun moment that elicits some much needed interaction from the crowd. Not like they needed to elicit any interaction though. Their fans were extremely devoted, and showed up ready to mosh and sing-along. The best thing, however, about their performance was their overall vibe. Their music was heavy, but there was something so light and joyful about their presence. That paired with the energy that took over the venue as they killed it on stage, created an unforgettable performance.

Protest the Hero

Protest the Hero’s performance was one that was pleasing to both the visual and auditory senses, but it was also tangible. Raw emotion poured out onto the stage in the form of sound and movement as Protest the Hero gracefully yet powerfully operated amongst the stage, beckoning everyone’s full and undivided attention. The perfect harmony of technicality and feeling consumed the mass in front of them as songs like “Harbinger” and “Bloodmeat” rang out into the atmosphere. Rody Walker’s voice is just as etherial and impeccable as it is on record, and his mid-song antics/jokes add more fun to an already entertaining set. It’s hard to believe a band can be this good live, especially given that their songs are all in advanced-mode. But you best believe it, even if you are still in shock long after the last note played.

August Burns Red

August Burns Red are beyond compare both in concert and on record;  That’s a given. But this wasn’t going to be your ordinary ABR show. This time would be different. We were not only here for awesome music, but we were here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Messengers. The venue swiftly became consumed by darkness as what I’d define to be an EDM song (name unknown) blasted along with a series of bursting lights. Not long after this unsuspected opening, August Burns Red jolted out from side-stage with their hands in the air, clearly amped up and ready to perform. Jake suddenly bellowed a deep growl as the remaining members giggled amongst him at the hilarious thought that they just broke down to an unlikely song. Finally, the Messengers celebration began as a sea of gold lighting crashed amongst the stage and “Truth of A Liar” roared out into the venue. Suddenly, we were no longer in 2017. We were standing in 2007 feeling that same excitement we did when we heard that opening track for the first time. How infinite and legendary we felt during those younger days, thinking we were cool banging our heads along to that crunchy breakdown. That’s how profound of an effect August Burns Red has had on my generation. But they’ve done more than that…  They’ve had a profound effect on the metalcore genre and beyond. Nowadays, 10 year anniversaries are everywhere you look, but none will be quite as remembered as the Messengers tour. Why? Because it manages to surpass what I call the nostalgic factor. Yeah, it takes us back to 2007 and brings back memories, but it has somehow managed to withstand the test of time. It’s also awesome to see bands taking on the endeavor of playing songs live for the first time in forever. Knowing that they put that much effort and dedication into a tour, makes it that much more special to be a part of. If anything, I am more than thankful to August Burns Red for putting together, as always, a killer tour that celebrates the times that have come and gone since Messengers first hit the shelves and our ears; in addition to giving us another awesome display of their uncanny ability to make us smile and bang our heads at the same time.

Have you been out to the Messengers tour? Share your experience with us in the comments!