by Reggie Edwards
In February Red Released the Panic and it’s been a nonstop thrill-ride ever since. With a growing following in the nonchristian market and an ever-growing fanbase in the Christian industry, Red are becoming a double threat.
With a strong set to open the night (4.25.13) from Southbound Fearing, We As Human took center stage to open the rest of the night for Red.
We As Human put on one of the most energetic and charismatic sets from an opener in quite awhile. They took the stage with such command you’d think they were headlining the night. They were all over the stage, engaging with fans, climbing the amp stacks and more.
They played an impressive combination of old material from their self-titled EP and their upcoming full-length debut which drops in June. To top it off they gave away a free CD sampler to anyone that bought anything- anything from their merch table.
Putting the finishing touches on the evening was Red, who played a whopping hour-and-a-half-plus set on a stage that was adorned with blinding stage lights, graffiti walls and street signs which read “Anonymous Ave.,” playing with the concept of being lost people trying to find their way home from a dark world.
They kicked it off with “If We Only” from Release the Panic, an interesting choice as they usually start it off with “Feed the Machine,” but it got the crowd off their feet nonetheless.
The missionary rockers fed the crowd with hit after hit followed by favorite after favorite. “Faceless,” “Let Go,” “Already Over,” “Mystery of You” and “Not Alone” were among the Red classics (even though it’s hard to count anything from Until We Have Faces as classics as they’re only an album old), and of course the staples of “Death of Me” and “Breathe Into Me.”
They played a great collection of new tracks too- “Release the Panic,” “Perfect Life,” “Glass House,” “Die For You,” “Hold Me Now,” Damage,” “So Far Away” and “If We Only” all found their way into the setlist- something rare as a lot of bands wouldn’t play that much new material but Red know their fans and their fans want to hear everything.
Frontman Michael Barnes was charismatic as ever, strutting around the stage, jumping, sticking his head into the crowd to sing with them, high fiving fans and shaking their fans. Bassist Randy Armstrong pulled himself up on the stage lighting rafters and hung there for a few minutes and guitarist Anthony Armstrong- Randy’s twin brother- was all over the stage as well.
Not to mention the ever-so-popular Red drum solo courtesy of Joe Rickard putting a rock spin on a few rap and hip hop songs- “All I Do is Win” and “The Harlem Shake” were among these songs.
Whether you’re a longtime fan of Red or a brand new fan, there’s something for you on this tour- Red just keep on picking up steam and growing in power and strength. If they keep it up, they could really be one of the biggest bands in the industry in a few years.