Friends, family, humans, we meet again. Same place, same time, the Local Radar is here to shine light upon any and everything that is hot in the scene. I try to keep the content fresh by extending my reach on some up-and-coming talent, along with some local veterans, show reviews, festivals, and so much more. This week, I am going to take a slight break from spotlighting a specific band, and give you some insight on an amazing show I recently attended to close out my summer concert season.

I am sure many of you have heard of a little band called Between The Buried And Me, and you may have even seen my interview with them in this very publication a few weeks back. However, this time I want to rant about their live performance that recently happened at Starland Ballroom on Aug. 13. What started out as a normal Thursday night for this chick, ended up being one of the best shows I have been to all year, hands down. Maybe some of you readers were here as well, so we can bask in the glory together.

Upon getting started, an awesome metal band named The Contortionist kicked off the night in style. I had heard about these guys from my friends in Toothgrinder (Asbury Park), who were recently on the road with them, and all of the feedback I got was positive. This was my first time seeing The Contortionist, so I wanted to make sure I was very attentive and focused.

Having met them before the show, I knew already I liked them on a personal level, and I was sure their professionalism and talent would be just as awesome. Indeed, I was right. The crowd was very into this band, moshing and singing along to most of their tracks. It was a perfect way to set the tone of the evening; heavy, rocking, and steady. If you haven’t heard of The Contortionist, I highly recommend you pick up their new record entitled Language, available now. Now that the bar at Starland had been set high, there was no going downhill from there.

Next came to the stage a little band that I am sure you all have heard of, Animals As Leaders. Having never seen this band live, I didn’t know what to expect from an act that didn’t have any lyrics, but let me tell you, I was completely blown away. They had the crowd eating out of their hands, where people were even singing the riffs, as weird as that may sound. They are some of the most talented and tight musicians I have ever encountered, and I literally was at the edge of my non-existent seat the entire night. They kept the interest of the crowd for over an hour, with barely anyone even leaving the room to go to the bathroom. I was convinced they were the band to beat, but let me assure you, Between The Buried And Me were right on par.

As the lights went low, and the “BTBAM” chants started, I almost got the chills. I had a lot of friends and family at this show, and everyone was just as eager as I was to hear what they had in store. From the start of their set, and the very first note, the crowd sang along to each and every word, surfing and swaying better than ever. I found myself almost watching the crowd for a part of their set, just to see how amazingly engaged their fans were with their performance. They played the latest and greatest, along with a few new tracks from their latest album, Como Ecliptic. With over an hour-long performance, they left the stage for a brief moment, to come back with the most amazing encore ever. Singing Queen and having the crowd hit every note; I could literally feel the energy inside of me. Cheers to Between The Buried And Me for completely blowing my mind.

I always have a pleasant experience at Starland Ballroom, but this show was one of the highlights of my summer. If you were there too, please pass this along, so we can add it to our Local Radar memory book (if one of those even exists). Until the next show, buy a ticket, get to a concert, and support your local bands and venues. I will see you next week!

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