Two shows in one city in a row. One sold out night down, one more to go. After selling out the original Manchester date for the UK/Europe album tour, a second night was on the list, on the verge of selling out. Can the groups still put on a energetic show for another night?
Beartooth (7) have been a name on the scene since 2012, leading up across many tours and releases. Stage-audience interaction was average, simple lyric repetition and speeches – on the more negative side. In perspective, it’s understand where Caleb comes from in his speech. Mental health issues never being overcome, but to state it will always be stuck in you is a little negative because it isn’t. Perhaps a poor word choice, but a nice message of accepting who you are. In terms of performance, they haven’t shown too much improvement. In terms of reciprocating recorded material live, the group do an impressive job. The issue is, there is little to separate them live from any other band. Besides the flag logo, Beartooth have little to separate them from the average metal band. An improvement that will come with time.
Architects (9) are no strangers to putting on incredible performances. Whether jumping on the Architects bandwagon before or after ‘Holy Hell‘, their popularity as a band has increased tenfold. Opening with the venue anthem Death Is Not Defeat an instant aura took over the Mancunian crowd. ‘Holy Hell’ has pushed Architects to new heights and this first track is a snippet of this peak.
Sam Carter is a entertaining frontman, both as a vocalist and in connection with the audience. Interestingly, even Dan Searle (drums) has a word for the audience, related to not chugging wine but a word either way. Also any band quoting the Scottish ‘Disgusting’ vine after whisperings within the in-ear monitors have clear interpersonal relationships with each other. Even in the crowd, people are encouraged to take part in the pits and sing alone with encouragement from Sam himself. Audiences make gigs as much as a band can. Any audience that stops the middle of a show pretending to row as pirates helps entertain quite a large majority of people to say the least.
Yet, an important part of the show revolved around the passing of bandmate Tom Searle. Emotional connections in a true form are hard to make work, but from a perspective hearing 4000 people clap and shout ‘Tom’, the emotional impact on the band was more than visible. From unscripted memories to the visual tribute following ‘Gone With The Wind’, Architects have developed an incredible connection with the audience. Something not expected On such a level.
On a lighter note, visuals were a surprising impact to the show. Adding small references to ‘Modern Misery’ and rarer setlist appearance ‘Momento Mori’ created a perfect balance of visual storytelling to the tracks. Dramatic use of pyrotechnics and Co2 cannons also added a kick to tracks such as ‘Mortal After All’, lifting the energy in quick succession. However, of the setlist is an aspect to improve. ‘These Colours Don’t Run’ being the oldest track following tracks ‘Broken Cross’ and ‘Naysayer’ from ‘Lost Forever // Lost Together’. Crafting a set list is difficult, but perhaps a bit more variation of older tracks could be a move forward
Of the night, the best performance comes in the form of single ‘Royal Beggars’. Proving Sam Carter’s ability to transition from brutal highs to low harsh vocals, its clear why this band are so respected. For a finale, ‘Doomsday’ sounds like a good form of closure. While loud and well executed in a musical sense, for a finale the performance sadly wasn’t as extravagant as expected. Still, not a negative ending, one that was rather enjoyable.
Consistently improving since 2004, Architects are reaching new heights of performance and audiences. A strong show musically with an honest appreciation for those around them.