Words and Images by Emily May
Columbus hardcore punk band Beartooth are currently in the midst of their Disease Tour Part II in support of their latest album Disease. The venue was packed this evening with fans who were ready to get wild. As soon as the band burst onto the stage, the crowd had their hands in the air and were singing along with vocalist Caleb Shomo. The evening was a sea of fists in the air and fans crowd-surfing their way to the front, many doing so multiple times throughout the set. When Shomo told the crowd towards the beginning of their set to create the biggest circle pit they could, they happily obliged. Early in the set Shomo told the crowd the band was going to play them an old song for one reason only-to get the crowd off of their feet. He then launched into “The Lines”, directing the crowd to jump. The band then did a fun cover of TNT by AC/DC which got everyone singing along to the classic hit! Shomo then chatted with the crowd a bit, pausing at one point when a male fan screamed “TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF!”, jokingly responding “Woah! Give it a couple of songs and we’ll see what happens”. He then told the fans “You paid a lot of money to get into the show this evening and we appreciate and respect that! We want you to get your money’s worth so go wild! We want everyone to jump”. They proceeded to perform hits such as “Manipulation”, “You Never Know”, “After all”, and “Hated”.
Before launching in to “Body Bag”, Shomo said, “I usually dedicate this song to all of the ladies but tonight I’m dedicating it to the guy with his date who told me to take my shirt off. You guys don’t want to see that but I’ll give you one button. That’s all you get!”. The crowd chanted “TAKE IT OFF” and he gave in but said, “I’ll do it but you have to do something for me. Every time I say one life you have to say one decision”. The crowd diligently sang along to their part when the time came. Shomo then addressed the crowd saying what an interesting show this had been and how it takes a lot to get him to take his shirt off on stage. On a more serious note, he then discussed how our health is really important and how we can all be good at hiding it when we are sick. He went on to say how for most of us, the illness is mental and that most of the band members up on the stage and many of the fans, as well, have dealt with mental illness of some sort. He stressed that health should always come first and that he decided to wrote a record about it called Disease, which ended up being the hardest thing he’s ever done. To dig into places he didn’t want to go was hard but he found out that all of his mental struggles will never fully go away. It’s just as part of who he is. He stressed to everyone listening that just because you struggle doesn’t make you weak and that just because you don’t have the answer doesn’t make you wrong. He went on to tell them that when they walked out of the door that evening not to do so thinking that no one loves them because he loves them! He told the crowd that they will always have a place at a Beartooth show and to always speak out and be honest. The band ended the set with “Disease”, leaving the stage briefly before coming back out for a 2 song encore. Ending the show with “Greatness or Death” and “In Between”, they gave 1000% to their fans this evening this evening. The band and their fans were bundles of pure energy throughout the set and it was amazing to watch the connection that the two have with each other. It was a fun night of music. Of Mice and Men, Hands Like Houses, and Dead American opened the show.
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PHOTOGRAPHS OF BEARTOOTH, OF MICE & MEN, HANDS LIKE HOUSES, AND DEAD AMERICANS IN LOUISVILLE, KY
(click any image to open gallery view)