No matter the look, no matter the message, no matter the venue, a hometown show for Upon A Burning Body never gets old. For the band or its fans. The latest injection of metalcore infection came Saturday night at Paper Tiger when the boys who never bypass an opportunity to bleed San Antonio metal celebrated Friday’s release of Southern Hostility.
Upon A Burning Body’s fifth full-length album charges out of the gate with first single “King of Diamonds,” (watch ATM’s footage below), which ended up being the second song offered live after another new blistering track “All Pride No Pain.”
Prior to headlining the dingy, sweaty, storied venue formerly known as the White Rabbit, original vocalist Danny Leal and original guitarist Ruben Alvarez graciously went “Into the Pit” for an all-encompassing interview ranging from the new album, their collaboration with Ice-T, appearing on an episode of “Hardcore Pawn,” the much-maligned staged kidnapping of Leal to promote the release of 2014’s The World Is My Enemy Now, their groundbreaking 2014 Knotfest performance (coverage here) and other topics (watch below).
So after fellow local hardcore acts Ammo For My Arsenal, Coldcasket — fronted by Alvarez’s younger brother Thomas — Memories In Broken Glass, Donella Drive, and A Tragic Setback plus UABB labelmates Uncured warmed things up, UABB’s close friend Jose Mangin took to the mic to introduce the featured attraction. Prior to that, the host of Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal and Octane satellite radio programs spoke with ATM via Facebook Live about his second trip to the Alamo City (watch here). Mangin and Leal conceded to ATM that the radio host, who was a guest vocalist on “Till the Break of Dawn” on previous album Straight From the Barrio, would likely jam with the band in some capacity. Considering those facts and how far Mangin traveled, it was a stunner that no such collaboration materialized after all. Instead, Thomas Alvarez joined the group for a song.
But one expected aspect of a UABB concert didn’t disappoint. Following pit-stirring renditions of “The Champ is Coming,” “Already Broken,” “Remenissions” and “Sin City,” Leal, Alvarez, drummer Tito Felix and bassist Joe Antonellis ended with the mandatory “Texas Blood Money” (watch below). As the crowd sang “The stars at night are big and bright” in unison, members of UABB’s label and marketing company who also flew in for the show couldn’t help but get goose bumps to go with their sweat-infused foreheads in the sauna of the Paper Tiger.
Upon A Burning Body may have stopped wearing high-class suits on stage circa 2015 — a wise move considering the conditions of a typical humid June night in their hometown. But they still looked — and sounded — as sharp as a little Southern Hostility can come across when unifying a band and its dedicated fandom.