The Amity Affliction are bigger than Jesus in Australia, and they’re currently doing a headlining run in support of their new album. This is a good thing, because they brought Architects, Issues and Stray From the Path along for the ride (along with Ahren Stringer’s roommate and his band, Deez Nuts) and tonight, Architects were having a bite at the headlining cherry with support from SFTP and local hardcore heroes, Hand of Mercy.
This must have been the fiftieth time I’ve seen HOM, and tonight was exactly the same as the last 49 times, albeit slightly tighter than the last show. Kinda puts how crap they were to begin with in perspective, huh? Everyone over here loves local hardcore, and when you have a song with that “I wash myself with a rag on a stick” soundbite from The Simpsons, it pretty much guarantees you a fanbase. There was wild windmilling, mic grabs, stage dives, torn crew necks, and lots of snap backs in the pit, because of course there was, and everyone just seemed to love the hell out of their set. Good on ‘em. Up next were NY hardcore kids Stray From the Path, and the amount of mic grabs, stage dives, and ninja kicks amplified ten-fold. This also led to a ten-fold increase in security activity.
Time for a rant: I hate when bands and punters give the seccers a hard time. One seccer was going into the pit and dragging kids out for crowd surfing, which is, you know, the law. He wasn’t being a Lord Doucheington, he was just doing what his contract requires him to. Unfortunately, this professionalism grabbed the attention of the band, who called him out mid-song and gave him a serve, saying “This is a hardcore show, you need to back off. You don’t get the energy of this place. We got this, man. Back down”.
Not cool, guys. The man is just doing his job. A general order from the show runner got the security to back off (again, the man was just doing what he’s paid to do) and suddenly people were jumping off the stage and not being caught and landing on their heads. If only there had been a seccer there to catch them…
Anyway, SFTP may as well have been called Stray Against the Machine (shout out to my good friend Chris Evans for that one!) and I was thankful when they finally walked off stage. Architects didn’t waste any time in coming on stage, and they did what they do best: make everyone else on the lineup look like garbage. That has not always been the case, though, and that’s why I love them. I first saw them in 2009 when they were supporting Parkway Drive and August Burns Red on Parkway’s first arena tour, and they were garbage. Absolute drivel. There was no conviction, no energy, no passion. It was like they were playing someone else’s stuff.
Fast forward to 2014, and Architects are a very different beast. Gone are the indecisive stage moves, the lacking confidence, the hollow words devoid of conviction. The new Sam Carter commands the crowd like a general ordering his troops. He oozes confidence and passion (and he’s gone back to his normal hair instead of that weird friggin Tintin shit he was sporting on their last tour. What the hell was that, Carter?), and this was seen no better than monologue regarding the virtues of Sea Shepherd, one of my favourite not-for-profit organisations. There is nothing more metal than a bunch of volunteers charging a Japanese whaling ship and sinking it to save a graceful giant of the deep from a hideous death, and it’s good to see that Architects agree. Donate here.
Anyway, it was my fifth time seeing Architects and suffice to say, they didn’t disappoint. Opening with the predictable “Gravedigger”, they threw a curve ball by following that one up with “C.A.N.C.E.R.”, an intense track that was written by guitarist and Architects’ mastermind Tom Searle while he waited to hear the results of skin cancer biopsy. I can’t even imagine what that wait must have been like for the poor bastard.
Up next was “Alpha Omega”, the heaviest song they’ve written this side of “Early Grave”. Tellingly, though, it was their newer material that got the biggest rise out of the kids at the front, and I got the distinct impression that they enjoyed playing the new songs more, too. They were good enough to pay service to their long-time fans (like me) with the aforementioned “Early Grave”, “Follow the Water” and “Day In Day Ou”’, but there was a definite dip in energy during these songs, while “Youth Is Wasted on the Young”, “Dead Man Talking” and “The Devil is Near” saw the room hit fever pitch.
Finishing up with the atheist anthem “Broken Cross”, they walked off stage for about eight seconds before coming back on to finish with their opus, “These Colours Don’t Run”. Bodies flew, mics were grabbed, people were injured and the security stood by and did nothing because SFTP had a hissy fit on stage. Outstanding. Anyway, I loved this show purely because of Architects. They are amazing. Go see them next time they hit your area.
Even if You Win, You’re Still a Rat
Day In, Day Out
The Devil is Near
Dead Man Talking
Follow the Water
Youth is Wasted on the Young
These Colours Don’t Run