Author and Photographer: Ian Urquhart
Before lines started to accumulate, everyone knew this show would be special. Special in a sense that the amount of passion pouring off the stage could very well overtake the volume pumping out of the speakers. Gathered at the Worcester Palladium on February 18th, 2018, were three, talented and emotionally driven bands. Bands who spoke about the overwhelming sadness being felt by those spread across the globe. War. Bloodshed. Self-centered politicians. Death. Loss. Greif. You name it. But one thing was certain, music brought everyone together on this evening.
Counterparts were first to bring the angst to the limelight. As a general rule of thumb, you do not want to get on Counterparts’ bad side. They will write a song about you. They will orchestrate a breakdown about you. They will let the crowd know how much you hurt them in order to awaken the beasts within them. There was so much passion being exuberated by every member of this band throughout the entire set. Guitar flips by Blake Hardman (guitarist) and chord whips from Brendan Murphy (lead vocalist) were key to Counterparts’ performance. Showcasing their most recent album You’re Not You Anymore (2017), “Thieves” sent the pit into a frenzy. So much technicality was found in this track. It truly displayed the talent in this group.
Plain and simple, a Stick To Your Guns show is an energetic, exciting and pulse pounding experience (just watch out for the ridiculous amount of crowd-surfers potentially kicking you in the face). One could assume that this band spends more time in the air than standing on stage. Chris Rawson (guitarist) and Jesse Barnett (lead vocals) have famously been known to get their jump on while rocking. Although Stick To Your Guns played many crowd favorites such as “Amber” off of The Hope Division (2010) and “Against Them All” off of Diamond (2012), they had a stronger message to convey. Jesse passionately addressed the Worcester crowd to speak about human values. About how these values make you unique and unlike anyone else. How this concept is much more accepting to those who don’t fit in or feel as if they will never fit in. To remember that no matter what you do in life, you only have one to live. This monologue transitioned beautifully into “We Still Believe” off of Diamond (2012). Bands such as Stick To Your Guns do the metal community justice. They provide a moral compass that many choose to follow. Be yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Stay metal.
It’s hard to back up such a powerful and emotional performance given by Stick To Your Guns. However, this is why Architects, Stick To Your Guns and Counterparts tour together. They all have stories to tell and messages to pass forward. This is exactly what Architects achieved.
Loss and grief rarely disappear. People begin to accept their altered reality in a positive and beneficial way. This is done in order to continue on their paths in life to achieve happiness. One could assume this is what Dan Searle (drummer) and the rest of Architects do every day to make their late guitarist proud – Tom Searle. Tom passed away in August of 2016 due to cancer. The record All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (2016) was said to be dedicated to Tom and the rest of Tom’s family. This heavy weight traveled to the Palladium while Architects took the stage. Fans showed their support to the band with Tom Searle posters and chants. Nevertheless, the show must go on. Architects showed incredible precision in every song they performed. Timing was spot on. Not a note was missed. Sam Carter (vocalist) took a few moments to express his deep appreciation for all those who have stuck with Architects through everything that has transpired. Sam spoke about the last time they played at the Palladium and how, maybe, there were 50 people. They played in front of over one thousand fans on this evening.
Their most recent single Doomsday (2017) seemed to offer a sense of acceptance to all the fans who expressed grief for Tom alongside Architects. Other songs such as “Gone With The Wind, A Match Made in Heaven and Memeto Mori,” off of All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us (2017) also carried a message to show how special Tom was (and is) to this band. How his music is still living and carrying on. This performance was much more than lights, sound and instruments. In a way, any Architects concert is a tribute to anyone who has lost a loved one or dear friend. How it’s possible to push forward when the tide is against you.
This evening was special and most likely meant a lot to many people. Tom would have been proud.
Until next time.
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