Aggressive. It’s a word that’s associated with Beartooth in more ways than one. Some would describe their music as aggressive. Their sophomore album is titled Aggressive and their live performance is more or less, aggressive. At first, the word carries a negative connotation, however for the millions of punk and progressive fans, the word is thrilling to say the least. Moshing, screaming and crowd surfing bring joy to this particular fan, and the metalcore outfit Beartooth refuse to produce anything less.
Launched by former Attack Attack! vocalist Caleb Shomo back in 2012, Beartooth has quickly ascended to heights that fellow bands in the scene only dream of. Their unique sound paired with massive choruses has clearly been a recipe for success as the band appears near the top of every rock and indie chart across the globe. Following the release of Aggressive in June, Beartooth has seen numerous venues sell out, but consistently plays in front of near-capacity audiences which was the case for their show at Charlotte’s The Underground.
The city, the majority dressed in Beartooth t-shirts lined up outside the doors hours before the band took the stage. To say that Charlotte was excited for the Ohio natives return to the Queen City is an understatement.
Photos by Benjamin Robson
After three openers, including a charged performance from Every Time I Die, the lights dimmed welcoming Caleb Shomo and co. to the stage. Commencing with “Burnout,” a track off Aggressive, the metalcore enthusiasts began to fuel an audience that needed few excuses to get wild. Known for their rather empowering lyrics, numerous songs such as “Aggressive” and “Beaten in Lips” came to life with Shomo’s passion behind the microphone. The fellow members that flanked the vocalist performed as if their lives were on the line, focused on strumming or drumming to every note.
Beartooth sandwiched their current renowned track “Hated” directly in the middle of the setlist and introduced the song as if fans hadn’t heard the catchy, radio-worthy track before. The performance seemed to crank up a notch after the first chorus with the help of an energetic surge from the crowd. The audience sang, and in some cases screamed, in unison with Shomo while others expressed admiration through homemade signs that became visible side stage.
Despite only having two albums to their name, Beartooth didn’t struggle to create a 14-song set list that crowd enjoyed from beginning to end. Even the deeper tracks off the backside of Aggressive including “Always Dead” and “Rock Is Dead” created a lively atmosphere that rivaled Beartooth’s renowned songs. Despite touring on behalf of their sophomore effort, Beartooth didn’t starve the audience of the songs that helped catapult the band to where they are today.
On the brink of their expected encore, Beartooth performed “In Between” and returned to the stage with “Body Bag” – the perfect way to end the night, allowing fans an opportunity to glimpse the vigor behind the songs that created the sensation known as Beartooth.