With four bands that can fill up a room, and move mountains with the energy they create, New York City was in for a treat at the Marlin Room of Webster Hall this past Monday.
Co-headlining for this tour are the leaders of the soul punk movement, letlive. and the UK’s mathcore/metalcore champions Architects. Support comes from the alternative rock band I The Mighty and progressive metalcore band Glass Cloud, creating a very well rounded lineup. Almost hilariously, in the upstairs grand ballroom region of Webster Hall was the radio friendly songwriter James Blunt – known for his hit song “You’re Beautiful.” To say the look of fans at Webster Hall for him and the show in the Marlin Room was a bit different, would be a massive understatement. But I can’t imagine those who were there for Blunt had nearly as much fun…
Probably the lightest band on the bill was the first opener, I The Mighty. Knowing their work was cut out for them, ITM quickly kicked things off with a fast one, “Failures.” While the crowd was relatively docile for a majority of their set, front man Brent Walsh called for movement more and more, the crowd finally began to move and groove alongside the the band. One thing I noticed was that they seemed to start a minute or two early, but when they got further into their set, it became apparent why they did – for the first time on this tour, they played the song “Four Letter Words,” squeezing a 6th song in to their usual 5 song set.
Towards the end of their short set, Brent tossed his guitar to whom I think was a guitar tech for the tour, and sang without the restrictions of a mic stand. With more and more energy coming out with every final note, Brent dove into the crowd, crowd surfing for nearly a full minute before being helped back on to the stage. Needless to say, every one seemed a bit surprised with how well ITM kicked things off.
I The Mighty:
Up next was the progressive metalcore band Glass Cloud. Fronted by vocalist Jerry Roush (who’s been in such bands as Sky Eats Airplane and Of Mice & Men), the last time I saw them live was with The Chariot for that band’s final New York City show ever. From that show, I could tell Glass Cloud already had a steady NYC fan base, and many of those fans returned for this showing.
Jerry often says he prefers shows without a barrier, because he wants to be right up in the kids faces, sweating and screaming right along side them. During this performance, he showed just why he loves it by often standing right at the very edge, nearly stepping on hands and fingers that grabbed the stage.
A little teasing of the main riff from Pantera’s “Walk” had fists in the air – and disappointed boos when the riff playing stopped. Jerry jokingly said, “That song is so old that most of you probably don’t even know who that’s by… So here’s one from us you probably do know… If He Dies, He Dies.“. A strong performance from a rather unique band.
How does one simply summarize letlive. live?
It’s not easy… because there are essentially zero dull moments once letlive. takes the stage. With vocalist/front man/ball of unstable energy Jason Aalon Butler at the helm of the post hardcore band, anything is possible. And their performance at The Marlin Room was certainly unpredictable.
At one point even, Jason ran to one side of the stage, then the other, and then ran up and off the wall, performing a back flip mid song. During the middle of “Muther“, as the song slowed down to a halt before the final outro, massive chants of “let live, let live!” filled the room. Emotionally proud, Jason could only reply before continuing the song, “These aren’t tears on my face, I’m just sweating a bunch.”
Lots of people used to say it was all Jason carrying the band, but honestly, the rest of the band really carries their weight when it comes to putting their all into a performance – especially guitarist Jeff Sahyoun. Many times during letlive’s set, when Jeff wasn’t trying to belt out some backing vocals, he was pounding away at a separate snare drum, spinning around the stage, and even tossing his guitar around. Even new drummer Lional Robinson, who joined the band temporarily during their Warped Tour 2013 run, played a pounding drum solo towards the end of Casino Columbus.
I could likely go on and on about how the crowd sang along to nearly every lyric, cheered any time Jason did something unique, and moshed while dancing their hearts out, but I feel almost like that would be spoiling the surprise. The fact of the matter is that if you see letlive. is playing nearby, you MUST go see them. It is not just a show, but an experience – and without the addition of any lights or gimmicks. Just raw musical energy and human emotion.
After being blown away again by letlive., I felt like things could not get any better.
Well guess what? It did.
Architects were last in the USA a few months ago with Protest the Hero, but were forced to drop off the tour early due to exhaustion – disappointing for me as they dropped off before their New York City date. Luckily, with their new album (Lost Forever // Lost Together) now released, and their batteries fully charged, they were ready to make up for those missed days.
Opening with the first song of the new album, Gravedigger, vocalist Sam Carter, brothers Tom and Dan Searle, and bassist Alex Dean quickly got to work with their jumping and energy intensive playing.
As a fan of the band and the new album, I couldn’t help but sing along to their second song of the night, the djenty C.A.N.C.E.R. I was not alone with my singing either, as many other fans joined in with Sam as he screamed and sang out.
This particular performance was extra special, as it had a few unique guest spots. First up was letlive’s own Jason Butler – who joined the band on stage for the later half of “Follow the Water.”. A massive hug between the two front men showed the true friendship of the co-headlining bands of this tour.
Another guest spot came from Drew York of the Long Island based band Stray from the Path. Stray just finished up 3 months in Europe with Architects, and it was more than noticeable on stage how a friendship between these bands had been built. During the bridge of “Early Grave“, Sam started to sing parts of Stray’s “False Flag” which Drew answered with the lyrics to “Early Grave“. Needless to say, as many of Stray’s fans were there as well, the crowd went insane for this bit of teamwork.
These are four fantastic bands that not only put on great performances, but have a great synergy both musically and personally. Really though, as of this review, there are still a good chunk of days left of this tour – so what are you waiting for, click here and check it out for yourself!!