Photo of Underoath by Dan Newman
7:00 PM | The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd. | All ages | $36.50–$40
On March 14th, Underoath, Periphery, and Loathe will bring their 2023 “Blind Obedience Tour” to the Pageant. This will be Underoath’s second national tour in support of their 2022 album, Voyeurist. Underoath has a long history of playing St. Louis, beginning in 2002 with a headlining show at the Hi-Pointe, a bar and concert venue on McCausland Avenue that closed in 2006. Most recently, Underoath played with Korn and Alice in Chains at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in 2019. The upcoming show will be Underoath’s sixth time headlining the Pageant, in addition to multiple shows at Pop’s and appearances at Warped Tour and Mayhem Fest during their stops at the Amphitheatre.
Formed in Ocala, FL in 1997 (they have since relocated to Tampa), Underoath has had a long and strange career. Most Underoath fans likely discovered them sometime after the release of their 2004 album, They’re Only Chasing Safety, their first album to feature long-term vocalist and lyricist Spencer Chamberlain. Safety and its follow-up, Define the Great Line (2006), are considered by many to be signature albums of the mid-‘00s post-hardcore boom, and a staple of Millennial teen angst. These were followed with two more great albums in largely the same style, Lost in the Sound of Separation and Ø (Disambiguation).
Longtime fans may be surprised to learn that Underoath was originally a painfully earnest Christian metal group, and a rather heavy one at that. Their earliest, pre-Chamberlain albums fit squarely within the deathcore genre, with borderline black metal tendencies. Although largely disowned by their long-term fans (and apparently the band itself), they are worth listening to for, if nothing else, their “awkward angry teenager in a Christian Youth Group” sincerity (see for reference, the “Jesus Christ, I love you” coda of “A Love So Pure”).
Beginning with the 2018 release of Erase Me and continuing with Voyeurist, Underoath entered the “apostate” phase of their career, abandoning the Christian themes of their music completely and stylistically going in a slicker, more arena rock-friendly direction. This is a shift that many other metalcore bands from this era seem to have embraced, most notably Parkway Drive.
Joining Underoath on the current tour is Periphery, a highly technical progressive metal band with strong metalcore/emo tendencies. Formed in Bethesda, MD in 2005, Periphery rose to prominence in the era when progressive metal bands were increasingly fusing elements of metalcore into their music, giving rise to such greats as Between the Buried and Me and Protest the Hero. The extreme degree of technicality in their music saw them compared to bands like Meshuggah, whose guitarist Fredrik Thordendal coined the phrase djent to describe this particular style of “math metal” (“djent” being an onomatopoeia to describe the sound of the repetitive rhythm played on the lowest string of the guitar, the signature of this style of playing).
Including their eponymous 2010 debut album, Periphery has released six studio albums to date; confusingly, all but two of their albums, Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega, are named sequentially. As such, their upcoming LP, the self-awarely titled Periphery V: Djent Is Not a Genre (out on March 10th), is actually their seventh album overall.
Periphery was last in St. Louis in 2019 for a headlining show at the Pageant, where they played with Veil of Maya and Covet. They have also played Delmar Hall once (in 2017), Fubar twice (in 2010 and 2011), and Pop’s thrice (twice in 2012 and once in 2013).
Last but certainly not least is Loathe, the youngest band on this tour and the only non-American one. An alternative metal band that formed in Liverpool, England in 2014, Loathe released their debut album, The Cold Sun, in 2017. While touring in support of that album, they played St. Louis for the first time (and until now, last), headlining a show at the now-closed Firebird.
The release of their sophomore album, I Let It In and It Took Everything (2020), saw Loathe’s popularity explode. This album found them combining a variety of different styles—djent, metalcore, shoegaze, and even ambient—into one very compelling package. It was easily one of the best alternative metal albums of the last several years, with many critics hailing them as “the next Deftones.” They followed this up with The Things They Believe (2021), a release that found them expanding the ambient passages of I Let It In into an entire album.
With a lineup this great, the upcoming Blind Obedience Tour promises to be one of the most exciting alternative metal shows of the year. In advance of their stop at The Pageant, we’ve prepared a playlist with recent setlists from all three bands. See a full list of tour dates below. | David Von Nordheim
03.03.23 | Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore* (SOLD OUT)
03.04.23 | Stroudsburg, PA @ The Sherman Theater*
03.05.23 | Huntington, NY @ The Paramount*
03.07.23 | Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room*
03.08.23 | Pittsburgh, PA @ The Roxian*
03.10.23 | East Moline, IL @ The Rust Belt*
03.11.23 | Milwaukee, WI @ The Eagles Club*
03.13.23 | Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe*
03.14.23 | St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant*
03.15.23 | Kansas City, MO @ The Uptown Theater*
03.17.23 | Wichita, KS @ The Cotilion*
03.18.23 | Denver, CO @ The Ogden Theater* (SOLD OUT)
03.20.23 | Boise, ID @ Revolution*
03.21.23 | Portland, OR @ The Roseland Ballroom*
03.23.23 | Wheatland, CA @ The Hard Rock Casino*
03.24.23 | Anaheim, CA @ The House of Blues* (SOLD OUT)
03.25.23 | Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl*
03.26.23 | San Diego, CA @ Soma*
03.27.23 | Tucson, AZ @ The Rialto Theater*
03.29.23 | Albuquerque, NM @ The El Rey Theatre*
03.31.23 | Oklahoma City, OK @ The Diamond Ballroom*
04.01.23 | Little Rock, AR @ The Hall*
04.02.23 | Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works*
05.27.23 | Hatfield, EN @ Slam Dunk Festival
05.28.23 | Leeds, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival
07.15.23 | Mansfield, OH @ Inkcarceration Festival
*Blind Obedience Tour with Periphery and Loathe