Live Coverage || Holy Hell tour @ AFAS Live, 12/1/2019

Architects recently embarked on their biggest headline tour to date. And when I say biggest, I don't mean longest, no no. We are talking big venues, enormous stage production and a very strong desire to prove that, not only are they still going strong, but also that they are one of the best bands of our generation. The only way for this endeavor to be complete, would be the right choice of touring companions. And that was exactly the case with Beartooth and Polaris. But let's take it from the top, shall we?

Polaris went on stage at 7:15 receiving a very warm welcome from the crowd. You know you're off to a good start when the first act is blowing you away from the first note. I'd never had the chance to see the band before and I truly regret that. Their vibe and energy on stage was spectacular; vocalist Jamie Hails didn't stop headbanging and sharing big smiles with the fans throughout the set without skipping a beat, while the rest of the band took full advantage of the crystal clear sound resulting, combined with the song selection, in a mind-blowing performance. Go 'Straya! I was very happy to see that the audience didn't treat them as the "necessary evil" before Architects and the band reciprocated the feeling by inviting fans to  hang at their merch table. 10/10 would watch again.

Beartooth was up next. Vocalist Caleb Shomo is a very good entertainer who knows how to get his crowd, which was singing back most of the lyrics, going. I've never really been a fan of the band so I sat on a side to watch. It was definitely an impressive show, but the quintet still didn't win me over. Maybe the choice of mostly newer songs was what threw me off but the show was quite amusing regardless.

By that time, AFAS was almost full (although to be honest, I would've loved to see the venue sell out). As the intro started playing, I don't think I was fully prepared for what was to come. Architects stormed on stage with "Death Is Not Defeat" and "Modern Misery". The intensity of their show was further amplified by the visuals, pyros and lightshow that caught the curious eye. I doubt I've ever seen this band play such an emotionally charged but still very focused show. Sam Carter thanked the very excited crowd multiple times throughout the night, despite "fearing he sounded like a broken record". The setlist consisted mainly of songs from the last four albums, a choice that clearly marked the rebranding of the band. The selection of tracks off of "Holy Hell", to me was on point; Carter delivered a hair raising performance, nailing both screams and clean vocals -sure, he could've avoided the slightly out of key low notes in a chorus of "Holy Hell" but it didn't seem to bother the kids who kept screaming along, moshing and crowdsurfing. What I personally loved the most was the chemistry between the band and Josh Middleton who, undoubtedly had very big shoes to fill. This realization particularly struck when the T//S visual appeared, and I don't think there was a single person in the room who didn't think of the motto "for Tom, for ever". The show ended with "Doomsday" and "Gone With The Wind" under loud cheers and rounds of applause.

All pictures courtesy of Dearohwell photogrpahy

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