Christian hard rockers RED brought their Release The Panic tour to the Middle East Nightclub & Restaurant on Friday night, and they turned the whole place upside down. RED took the stage a little after 9:30pm, to an anxiously awaiting crowd. Right from the get go RED had the small, but full venue moving in all directions to their fast paced, powerful, new music. There was plenty of love for the older RED releases as early on they mixed the barn burning “Faceless” right into their set.
“Release The Panic” still got the most attention from the band’s set, as it would see eight tracks played off it. Including “Damage”, “Hold Me Now”, and “If We Only”. RED’s melodic rock style had everyone captivated and the songs, both old and new mixed incredibly well. Drummer Joe Rickard put on a wicked display during his drum solo, which lead right into “Perfect Life”. RED frontman Michael Barnes took some time out of his set to deliver his well wishes to the City of Boston, and announce that one dollar from every ticket sold would be donated to Boston’s One Fund for victims of the marathon bombings. Barnes then stopped and joined with guitarist Anthony Armstrong for an acoustic performance of “Not Alone” dedicated to Boston and the marathon bombing victims.
RED closed the evening with three of their heaviest songs, “Feed The Machine”, “Release The Panic” and their signature song, “Breathe Into Me”. In the interest of time they skipped playing an encore and just played straight through. But during the heaviest songs RED’s fans were getting everything they had left out of them. RED played for a solid hour mixing in heavy songs and melodic ones, showcasing their diverse style and alternating genres.
Opening the show were Toledo, Ohio Christian Rockers, Southbound Fearing. Lead by their do-everything singer/rhythm guitarist/manager/publicist and booking agent Brady Leonard, they had RED’s fans happy they showed up nice and early. Lead guitarist Eric Ade was a fun man to watch as he made the small club stage look like it was an arena stage, finding places to jump from and slide on throughout the band’s set.
Both bands showcased, similar, yet contrasting styles, Southboud Fearing’s set was more of a rock n’ roll set, followed by RED’s distinctive brand of Christian Hard Rock. But still, both bands got the crowd going and made them sure that they had got their money’s worth that night.