When you watched the 2015 documentary Tired Violence it felt like one of those cliffhanger endings to the second movie in a trilogy. People within bands change, priorities turn as families grow, and life on the road gets harder. I happened to attend one of the Underoath farewell shows in 2013 at Union Transfer in Philadelphia. There was a sense of melancholy, matched with a feeling of mutual respect between the fans and the band who had made an endearing imprint in the metalcore scene. When the encore was finished and the house lights came out, I again felt like this was just a breather; a reprieve if you will.
Underoath’s ‘Rebirth’ stop at the Playstation Theater was entertaining on two fronts: for one, the band was playing two of their most beloved albums front to back, They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define The Great Line. There were also no signs of weariness with Underoath—albeit the announced hiatus was short, but they were just as ferocious as ever. As the TOCS opener, “Young And Aspiring,” was played, everything became unglued. The band, seemly energetic, molding with the clashing lights and smoke, was like a match moving quickly through a rough surface. These two albums were released two years apart and sound just as turbulent and strong as they did when these songs were first performed. “Reinventing Your Exit,” “It’s Dangerous Business…,” and the rarely played “Down, Set, Go” all prompted some creative crowd surfing.
Later in the night, the illuminated Disambiguation sign lit up in the background and the DTGL set started. Usually, you have a separation of fans who would prefer one album over the other. In this case, the earlier songs were just a warm up from the slightly harder songs to come. There were old, torn Underoath shirts, sweat-drenched hair, and lost shoes within the maelstrom of emotion. Rebirths, from a music sense, can be both violent and beautiful at the same time. The six-piece band from Florida seems to be in a better place and enjoyed a welcome home party with hundreds of their friends that night.