The progressive metal veterans took the stage in NYC with an exciting energy around them, delivering a strong set that highlighted a number of tracks off their new album, Automata I. “Condemned to the Gallows” proved to be a solid opening track, smoothly transitioning into the more recent fan favorite, “The Coma Machine”. Applause exploded throughout PlayStation Theater as the song’s opening chords rang out, solidifying “The Coma Machine” as one of the band’s best tracks. BTBAM looked fresh and energized, and it’s always a pleasure seeing a lineup that’s been grooving together for thirteen years still having fun on stage (this noticeable by guitarist Paul Waggoner’s beaming smile).
The middle of the set served as a suite, showcasing the newer songs “Millions”, “Gold Distance”, and “Blot”, all to a warm reception from the crowd. Tommy Rogers’ vocal performance on “Millions” was an absolute standout; his wonderfully developed cleans brought forth a velvet delivery on what is an already smooth track. “Blot” truly rips live, drummer Blake Richardson, and Bassist Dan Briggs were especially tight throughout, reminding anyone in the audience that hasn’t listened to Automata I yet, that they shouldn’t sleep on it.
The band then nodded to The Parallax II: Future Sequence, playing the classics; “Astral Body”, and “Lay Your Ghosts to Rest”, two songs that have become staples in their live performances. It’s quite remarkable how the members of BTBAM are so in tune with one another, performing for long stretches at a time without missing a single note. It’s their dialed-in brand of technical rigor that sets them apart from the crowd, and has made them one of the best, and most important metal acts of the last decade.
The final song of the set was a true treat for fans of the severely underrated album, The Great Misdirect; “Obfuscation”. Even though they only played the second half of the song, it was still one of the most exciting moments of the show.
BTBAM returned to the stage with a perfect encore, performing the epic, brilliant “Silent Flight Parliament”/”Goodbye to Everything Reprise” suite. The crowd belted out the last bits of “Silent Flight Parliament” before coming together in harmonic unison softly singing the outro line of “Goodbye to Everything Reprise”.
Between the Buried and Me sounded stellar, showing no signs of stopping any time soon. While the setlist might not have appeased fans looking to hear more of their older material, to my surprise, nobody yelled out “PLAY SELKIES”, it marked another fantastic performance from a band with an impressive live track record.
Their latest album, Automata I, is out now on Sumerian Records.
Condemned to the Gallows
The Coma Machine
Lay Your Ghosts to Rest
Obfuscation (Second Half)
Silent Flight Parliament
Goodbye to Everything Reprise