Last Thursday, Brighton metalcore band Architects played a show at the Institute in Birmingham. Interestingly, it had been exactly one year since the band had last played Birmingham. Though the show was not completely sold out, unlike most of the other dates on the tour, the turnout was fantastic, with fans queuing down the street before the gig.
Canadian melodic hardcore band Counterparts [8/10] kicked the night off. As is often the case with the first opener, the sound mix for their set wasn’t very good. Still, the band put on an energetic show. Some of the audience was clearly already familiar with Counterparts and sang along to their songs.
The energy really stepped up a notch when the next band, Blessthefall [10/10], came on stage. By this time, the main room of the Institute was almost completely full. They opened with ‘You Wear a Crown But You’re No King,’ and the crowd automatically went wild. The band had fantastic energy throughout their set and the audience responded by singing and moshing along. Their set featured mostly songs from their most recent album, Hollow Bodies (2013). At a venue as big as the Institute, bands’ crowd interaction is normally limited to a bit of chat between songs, but this was not the case with Blessthefall; frontman Beau Bokan climbed off the stage to hold the microphone up to members of the crowd.
The tone of the evening changed a bit when Every Time I Die [7/10] came onstage. It might have been that Blessthefall were a hard act to follow, but Every Time I Die seemed to be lacking the crazy live energy they’re known for having. Having been around for quite a while, they had a large back-catalog to draw from. So, it was nice to see that they played songs from quite a few of their albums, with only slightly more material from their most recent release, From Parts Unknown (2014). Unfortunately, just as the band was about to play the last song of their set, guitarist Jordan Buckley leaned over the edge of the stage and threw up on one of the security guards.
After quite a long wait, Architects [10/10] finally took the stage. They launched right into their set with ‘Broken Cross,’ complete with pillars of smoke that shot up at the breakdowns. The crowd was wild throughout the entirety of their set, with lots of people crowdsurfing. Frontman Sam Carter displayed almost inhuman energy, moving all over the stage whilst delivering the vocals with raw force. When they played ‘Follow The Water,’ Brendan Murphy from Counterparts joined them on stage. They closed with ‘These Colours Don’t Run,’ before coming back on stage for a two-song encore of ‘The Distant Blue’ and ‘Gravedigger.’ During ‘The Distant Blue,’ fake snow showered down on the audience and reflected in the disco ball, transforming the Institute into a magical winter world.
When Architects had played the Institute a year prior, their set had been a much more even mix of songs from Daybreaker (2012) and Lost Forever // Lost Together (2014), the latter of which had just been released. This time, the set was much more heavily weighted with songs off the newer album, perhaps because the band figured fans have now had the time to familiarize themselves with the new songs. In fact, they played all but one song off Lost Forever // Lost Together. As the new album was noticeably heavier than their earlier material, this made for a more energetic and rowdy live show. Overall, the show was absolutely fantastic. While having four bands so stylistically different could have been disastrous, it only made the night more interesting and energetic.
Architects will be headlining Slam Dunk Festival from the 23rd to the 25th of May along with You Me At Six, Taking Back Sunday and more.