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Release the Panic Tour at Workplay

posted May 8, 2013, 6:47 PM by Sarah Brehm   [ updated May 8, 2013, 6:51 PM ]

On Monday, May 6, I found myself at Workplay in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, for the Release the Panic tour featuring Southbound Fearing, We As Human, and RED. 

When I got there (late), Southbound Fearing was already rocking out on stage. I didn’t get to hear much of their set, but what I did hear I enjoyed. It was quality rock music that reminded me a bit of rock from the ’90s. I look forward to hearing more from Southbound Fearing. 

We As Human is already making an impact in the Christian music scene, and the debut album on Atlantic /Word Records doesn’t come out until June 25. We As Human’s quick rise to popularity is due mainly because they were “discovered” by John Cooper, lead vocalist and bassist of Skillet. Extensive touring with Skillet on the Awake and Alive tour and on Winter Jam, and now with RED have enabled We As Human to build a continuously growing fanbase. And their music is good. Aggressive, edgy melodies with mosh-approved choruses will please any fan of Skillet and RED; they played several songs including “Zombies,” “Dead Man,” and their current single “Strike Back.” We As Human are sure to become a great powerhouse in the Christian rock music genre. 

RED’s set for this tour immersed the audience into a graffiti-filled street alley, complete with trash cans, trash bags, and street lamps. Adorning the back wall were flyers for the Accedia Corporation offering strategies for contented living. Not familiar with Accedia Corp? It’s the fictional corporation that turns everyone into “faceless” machines with “nothing wrong, nothing real inside.” In RED’s movie-like music video for “Release the Panic” (which is actually a continuation of their equally epic “Feed the Machine” music video), RED starts a rebellion that fights back against the evil Accedia Corp. 

RED’s set kicked off with the aggressively heavy track “If We Only,” and then transitioned into “Damage”—one of my favorites off Release the Panic. “Take this away,” screams vocalist Michael Barnes, “it was a just a mistake! Save me!” (Seriously, if you haven’t listened to “Damage,” go do it now.) RED always performs with exploding energy and excitement. Barnes constantly jumped around the stage while guitarist Anthony Armstrong and bassist Randy Armstrong never stayed still. And drummer Joe Rickard played his heart out. 

Their set consisted of sixteen songs, mostly from Release the Panic, with highlights from their previous three albums, including “Faceless,” “Let Go,” “Perfect Life,” “Death of Me,” “Feed the Machine,” and an acoustic version of “Not Alone.” RED ended the night with the single that started it all—“Breathe Into Me” from End of Silence. As always, it was a fantastic show. 

After the show I got three-fourths of RED to sign my album review of Release the Panic that I wrote the March issue of HM Magazine. As I drove back to Chattanooga on a very foggy Interstate 59 at one in the morning, I realized that this concert was the ninth time I’ve see RED. I can’t wait for number ten!

Words by: Sarah Brehm
Photos and Video by: Sarah Brehm

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