It's always to a band's credit when they bother to learn the majority of their back catalog so they can march out totally unexpected set lists. Last night, I saw Between the Buried and Me for the third time, and every song they played marked the first time I'd seen it. The venue and crowd conditions were unideal for the band's progressive sound, but the performance was tremendous.
Several local bands played a side stage and we didn't catch them, but Animals As Leaders, a Behold...the Arctopus-esque prog-jazz-shred instrumental quartet took the stage soon after our arrival. They were pretty much terrible and had no sense of what a song is. Then came Last Second of Silence, and they played Attack Attack music, whatever that is. It was awful. Then came Veil of Maya, who despite presumably naming themselves for Cynic's lead track from their world-changing debut Focus, sounded instead like a hyper-deathcore version of The Faceless. They were terrible, but their set was entertaining thanks to a huge group of karate-kicking straight-edge high school kids. They were serious; it was hilarious.
Then came Between the Buried and Me, and they never disappoint. They blasted through a 75-minute set containing songs from every record except the covers album, and like I said before (the color keeps fading), I hadn't seen any song they played the other two times I'd seen the band. That's impressive. The karate-kicking continued, but BTBAM made it tolerable with their flawless performances of tracks like "Sun of Nothing" and "Mordecai". Simply put, you need to see this band if you have any interest in their music. They are a thing to behold in a live environment, flatbill-capped hardcore kids notwithstanding.