Between the Buried and Me Bring 'The Colors Experience' to Life on a Historic Tour

Between the Buried and Me Bring 'The Colors Experience' to Life on a Historic Tour

- By Nicolas Delgadillo

The progressive metalheads are delivering two albums in full across two nights in each city, with backup from The Acacia Strain delivering their own special sets.

All photos by Nicolas Delgadillo

Progressive, heavy as hell, and forever unpredictable, Between the Buried and Me have had a long and treasured musical history here in the Carolinas. It seemed only fitting that the band’s next large-scale endeavor, a special tour dubbed The Colors Experience, kicked off in the city of Charlotte this past week, only a couple of hours from their hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Since the turn of the century, BTBAM have been steadily putting out albums and performing around the world, representing themselves with a technically astounding and eclectic variety of music - everything from metalcore to jazzy breakdowns, hoedowns, pure thrash, transcendent synths, blistering guitar solos, and so much more. They’re also no stranger to performing their albums in full, making the Colors Experience a new but not totally unfamiliar area to explore. 

The band has embarked on a bold mission to perform two nights in every city on their current tour, playing their seminal 2007 album Colors in its entirety for the first night and its sequel, 2021’s Colors II, front-to-back for the second night. It’s fascinating to watch the two albums performed in succession this way, as if witnessing the band’s evolution unfold in real time - what’s changed and what’s remained in their songwriting and sound.

The Acacia Strain is joining BTBAM every night with their own unique pair of performances. Crowds will get to see the Northern heavy-hitters set rooms ablaze by playing their 2023 twin albums Step Into the Light and Failure Will Follow, along with some surprise old school favorites. The two fanbases officially collided for the first time at the tour’s sold-out debut in Charlotte, where hundreds lined up at the doors as early as they could to be a part of the historic pair of evenings.

The Underground played host to the world’s first taste of The Colors Experience, where photographers, security, and fans of all ages were crammed up front as Acacia Strain immediately launched things into overdrive for Night 1. Led by frontman Vincent Bennett, the band played through every single fast and vicious track off of Step Into the Light, marking the live debuts of several new tracks all at once. 

Bennett got the place moving right off the bat with his infectious energy and stage presence, shoving the mic into fans’ faces to scream the words along with him and encouraging them to come over the barricade. “I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!” he told the crowd regarding the metal barrier. “I get that it’s for safety, but I hate it.” From them on out it was crowd surfers galore, giving security one hell of a workout as the night went on.

The BTBAM chants started long before the headliners took the stage. Diehard fans both young and old were giddy with excitement, and as the lights went down and frontman Tommy Giles Rogers walked up to his keyboard, they were ready to shout every single word to opener “Foam Born (A) The Backtrack” and the ensuing hour of the first Colors in all of its glory.

The more casual fans in attendance were wowed as the music and melodies zigged, zagged, twisted, and turned in every direction. The rest had no problem keeping up with and even anticipating the dramatic shifts in the music, ready to dance, mosh, crowd surf, windmill, jump; you name it, right on cue. There was a tremendous and undoubtedly special energy in the room those two nights.

As the band reached the end of their 2007 album, one fan near the back wondered aloud, “Do I go in the pit for White Walls?” He was gone the next second, happily lost in the mass of moving people in the center of the venue.

The Acacia Strain dramatically shifted gears to begin Night 2, bringing their usual fast and fierce sound to an extremely slow chug for the emotional weight of Failure Will Follow. The three songs all go beyond the ten-minute mark, with middle section “bog walker” hitting an impressive seventeen-minutes in length. 

The fans were more than game, finding the grooves hidden amongst the doom-laden riffs and vibing with the change of pace. “That’s the first time we’ve ever done this live, so we were nervous.” Bennett confessed to the crowd as their set seemingly came to a close. But the audience was hungry for more and drunk with power thanks to having squeezed an encore out of BTBAM the previous night, so the band decided on at least a couple of more, much quicker songs for them.

“These are assbeaters so if you’re done crying and want to beat somebody’s ass, let’s go!” the frontman shouted and the band tore into their 2010 crusher “The Hills Have Eyes”. The place went into a true hardcore frenzy, with dozens of people climbing on heads and launching themselves over the much-maligned barricade while others released some demons in the pit. After that came fan-favorite “Carbomb”, and if you’ve seen Acacia Strain before, you know how wild it gets when that one ends a set.

After a brief break, BTBAM'S Tommy Giles Rogers stepped out into the dazzling spectacle of lights that illuminated everything in a vast array of different shades. Joined by Paul Waggoner, Dan Briggs, and Blake Richardson, the North Carolina natives performed Colors II in its entirety for the very first time, with half of the album’s songs being debuted live that evening. Local Charlotte legend Tristan Auman joins the band on this run, and plenty of friends and family had clearly shown up to throw down in support.

Everything from the three-minute intro “Monochrome” to fifteen-minute closer “Human Is Hell (Another One with Love)” was played, and neither the band nor the audience ever seemed to waver in strength or enthusiasm. One person could be overheard talking to his friend “I’m glad I got here for night two. It’s like they have even more energy!” He was talking about BTBAM of course, but the same could be said for everyone in the building, who danced and screamed the night away without a care in the world for the second time that week. 

It was a technical showcase of the highest caliber with a beautiful and appropriately colorful production to back up the stunning music. Between the Buried and Me is a group of exceptionally talented musicians and performers, and they appear to be at the top of their game in every way for this tour. There were countless smiles that could be seen on the band’s faces those two nights, displaying confidence in the songs and an appreciation for the tremendous response the crowd was giving them.

In case it wasn’t obvious, The Colors Experience is not a tour to be missed if you can help it. Both bands are delivering an unforgettable and refreshingly different pair of shows that are likely not going to be repeated. Whether you come to see both bands or just one of the two, you’re going to be completely blown away - and probably a little bruised.

Between the Buried and Me & The Acacia Strain will be bringing ‘The Colors Experience’ across North America through mid-April. Check out the remaining tour dates below.


Mar 14: Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
Mar 15: Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
Mar 16: NYC, NY – Webster Hall
Mar 17: NYC, NY – Webster Hall
Mar 18: Toronto, ON – The Opera House
Mar 20: Toronto, ON – The Opera House
Mar 21: Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
Mar 23: Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
Mar 24: Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
Mar 25: Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
Mar 26: Nashville, TN – Basement East
Mar 27: Nashville, TN – Basement East
Mar 29: Dallas, TX – Trees
Mar 30: Dallas, TX – Trees
Mar 31: San Antonio, TX – Vibes
Apr 01: San Antonio, TX – Vibes
Apr 03: Denver, CO – Summit
Apr 04: Denver, CO – Summit
Apr 06: Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
Apr 07: Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
Apr 08: Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Apr 09: Santa Ana, CA – Observatory
Apr 11: Sacramento, CA – Goldfield Trading Post
Apr 12: Sacramento, CA – Goldfield Trading Post
Apr 13: Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
Apr 14: Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
Apr 15: Seattle, WA – The Croc
Apr 16: Seattle, WA – The Croc

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