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The back room at the White Rabbit is a slow cooker. Hot, sticky kids pile in for the all-ages show, crowding to the walls and risking second-degree burns from skin-to-skin contact, while the tangy reek of BO gives way to a smell disturbingly not unlike brisket cooking.

This is the first show Upon a Burning Body’s put on since their drummer quit about six months ago, and the fans turn out despite the heat. Lead singer Danny hops on stage and sprays the faithful with Silly String, making this sweat-box concert seem momentarily like a cruel prank. Most of the neon goo evaporates upon entering the muggy atmosphere, but what’s left looks temptingly drinkable. Bass chords rumble, and the hardcorest of the hardcore begin, unbelievably, to mosh. Shirtless stage divers slip through splayed fingers like greased hogs. The rest just stand back and scream — song lyrics, random obscenities, whatever. Everybody’s screaming.

New drummer Ramon, behind the kit for only three weeks, almost immediately justifies himself, nailing the woodpecker bass thump while simultaneously whipping the hihat through frenzied time changes. Some bands swap drummers like groupies, but for UABB, skull-stomping the line between thrash metal and hardcore with high-speed riffs and complex switch-ups, a drummer change is no joke. Tonight, they’ve only practiced enough songs for an abbreviated half-hour set list — which draws some groans — but Ramon’s got them down, keeping time while the rest of the band burns through the tracks at near superhuman pace. The music’s loud, but you can almost make out the hiss of sweat sizzling on guitar strings.

The band’s next few concert dates are out of town, but the band will return to the studio next month to record tracks for a new album, and hopefully play a few longer shows when they’ve had time to rehearse and the temp drops. BYOIV.

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November 18, 2020

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