Underoath: Observatory Live Stream Review – They’re Only Chasing Safety

Underoath: Observatory
Live Stream Rebroadcast – They’re Only Chasing Safety
August 1-31, 2020

Let’s not start this by talking about how hard things have been and that there is still a way to go until we are back to ‘normal’. We know, we’re living it and no one needs reminding. Let’s instead focus on the one thing we all have in common, our love of music. Because live music isn’t really a thing at the moment, bands are finding creative ways to do what they love while also providing some much-needed relief and enjoyment to fans.

One such band who have done this is Underoath through their Observatory live streams and rebroadcasts. They have been live streaming an album in full once a week, starting with Lost In The Sound Of Separation on the 17th July, Define The Great Line on the 24th and finishing with They’re Only Chasing Safety on the 31st. Tickets were only $22, and you can access the stream until the end of August. I wasn’t able to watch the live stream on the 31st, so I rebroadcast TOCS on Sunday night.

TOCS is an album very close to my heart, it was one of the first ‘heavy’ albums I fell in love with, and it still gets a regular play through. ‘I’m Content With Losing’ was on a mix-cd I was given at 18 years old to get me into heavy music (other bands on the cd included Alexisonfire, Taking Back Sunday and Thursday). I have memories of driving to the beach from my hometown with my friends, listening to TOCS. I missed seeing Underoath play it in full when they toured back in 2017, so I jumped on the chance to see it even if it was a stream rather than a live show.

After waiting for 20 minutes with just a visual and background music as you would at a real show, the band finally burst into the intense screams of ‘Young and Aspiring’, from there it was into fan and emo playlist favourite ‘A Boy Brushed Red Living In Black And White’. The entire album is obviously full of classic songs but ‘Reinventing Your Exit’, ‘I Don’t Feel Very Receptive Today’, and ‘I’m Content With Losing’ were highlights. Another incredible moment was slow banger ‘Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape’ which was a heavier version and featured Aaron Marsh who sang the song on the album. The band also threw ‘I’ve Got Ten Friends and a Crowbar That Says You Ain’t Gonna Do Jack’ onto the end of the set.

Speaking of Marsh though, the only small criticism of this entire broadcast was that he seemed to struggle to find the key when singing and it seemed to be because he couldn’t hear himself. Vocalist Spencer Chamberlain also appeared to struggle a bit too, his sound was drowned out at times, and he seemed to struggle with some of his screams. Drummer/ clean vocalist, Aaron Gillespie’s vocals were much louder and fantastic. I am not going to pretend I know anything about sound and I can appreciate that a live stream is different to a live gig and other than those small things, everything else was on point, especially the visuals! Each song was introduced with visuals, and the light show was amazing. Spencer also took the time to thank everyone and send his love which was a touching moment.

I knew I was missing live music, but until I saw this, I didn’t realise just how much! It was a weird feeling sitting with my partner, cat and dog on the couch, under a blanket, with the volume not too high so as not to disturb my sleeping housemates. Despite this, I still got into the songs, sang along, ‘moshed’ in my seat, and the songs still managed to give me goosebumps.

As I said, the tickets to each show are cheap, and you can also buy one that allows access to all three. The streams are also available to watch as many times as you want until the end of August, so its incredible value. The band also said on Instagram that the Observatory is only just beginning and seemed to tease Disambiguation and Erase Me live streams, so it looks like there is plenty more to come. I know it’s not exactly the same as a live show but honestly jump onto it, it is the best alternative and a damn good one at that.

Review by Caitlin MacDonald (@cait_2tone)

You can catch Underoath’s exclusive rebroadcast of They’re Only Chasing Safety until August 31st. Purchase a pass here

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