February 20, 2018 Architects Excite Philadelphia, PA 2-16-18 w/ Stick To Your Guns & Counterparts
On an unseasonably warm evening, post Valentine’s Day, Pennsylvania fans lined busy South Street in Philadelphia to get a chance to see Architects, Stick To Your Guns, and Counterparts. The Doomsday Tour brought a sold-out crowd to the Theatre of the Living Arts on Friday, February 16, 2018 and mayhem indeed ensued!
Located in Philly’s upscale Society Hill neighborhood, the Theatre of the Living Arts (lovingly known as simply the TLA) is a small-scale, 1,000 capacity venue that is well-known to Pennsylvania’s rabid music-loving population. On Friday, February 16th, 2018, the TLA played host to the Doomsday Tour and a sold-out crowd that were passionate for their Architects. Waiting in line to enter the venue, the talk was fervent: the fans were elated to be gifted a chance to see Architects, Stick To Your Guns and Counterparts in Philadelphia. In regards to the headliners, one fan even ecstatically proclaimed: “This is the dream set list, man!”
Starting off the evening was Canadian Hardcore outfit Counterparts, who some may have seen on last summer’s Vans Warped Tour. Formed in 2007, the boys have five discs to their credit, ranging from their 2010 debut, Prophets, to their most recent, 2017’s superb You’re Not You Anymore. The quintet – Vocalist Brendan Murphy, Guitarists Adrian Lee and Blake Hardman, Bassist Tyler Williams, and Drummer Kyle Brownlee – were first to the stage and ready to prove that Canadians know how to throw it down.
After the musical introduction of “Walk Away Slowly,” their impressive, high octane set exploded into the kiss-off of “Bouquet,” off You’re Not You Anymore. Without pausing, they continued the assault with the jackhammering “Stranger,” massive “Haunt Me,” and the absolutely killer (no filler) “No Servant of Mine.”
Sweating buckets for his sonic fury, Murphy – clad in an awesome, slashed It Dies Today tee – then led his troops into “Witness,” off 2013’s The Difference Between Hell and Home, the pained “Swim Beneath My Skin,” and the full-throttle sing-along of “A Memory Misread.” Throughout the band’s entire set, fans were crowd-surfing in the droves to the likes of the raging “Thieves,” assaulting “Choke,” and, well, every song the boys offered up! Their unfortunately abbreviated set as the evening’s openers ended with “The Disconnect.” Proving that they can destroy a club stage, Counterparts put on a superbly slaughtering set that is guaranteed to have gained them quite a few new Philly fans!
Next to the stage would be the Hardcore motivational mavens in Stick To Your Guns. Hailing from sunny Orange County, California, these guys got their start back in 2003 and have been releasing sage wisdom on CD ever since. Their six releases range from their 2005’s debut, For What It’s Worth, to October 2017’s fantastic True View, each chock full of insightful, inspiring Hardcore. Ready to bring that keen insight to Philly, Jesse Barnett (vocals), Chris Rawson (guitar), Josh James (guitar), Andrew Rose (bass), and George Schmitz (drums) took the TLA stage by storm.
Exploding into an unquenchable inferno, Stick To Your Guns blasted into the anthemic ode to the Hardcore scene, “Married to the Noise.” Wasting not a drop of blood, they continued with anthem for the faceless “Nobody,” off 2015’s Disobedient, and the stomper “Empty Heads,” off the band’s symbolic 2012 offering, Diamond. Continuing to inspire crowd-surfers to rage, their explosive set moved into the infectious “Cave Canem,” the inspiring promise of “We Still Believe,” and the emotionally raw “Delinelle.”
Dripping sweat everywhere, the boys offered up the old-school stomper “Such Pain,” before pausing for a moment. Barnett, known for his inspiring speeches and candid ramblings that provide some kind of hope, took a moment to greet the crowd, thank Counterparts (whose tee he was proudly sporting) and headliners Architects. Then all bets were off! Providing insight into our modern world, Barnett offered up a speech about perspective and how, as a society, we have entirely lost our respect for one another; we are no longer even trying to hear one another out, we’re merely creating more noise and chaos. Putting politics aside and ignoring any party lines, we have to take the time to re-learn how to respect one another’s differences, to hear each other out, and to respect what everyone has to say even if we do not agree with it. Respect, in truth, does go a long way to repairing rifts!
With the universal truths of his words hanging heavily throughout the TLA, Barnett and co. returned to their blistering set with the dropkick of “The Sun, The Moon, The Truth: ‘Penance of Self’,” punktastic “Nothing You Can Do to Me,” and the self-aware journey of “Doomed By You.” The gut-punching social commentary of “Through the Chain Link” didn’t stop those from crowd-surfing or trying to get a circle pit going, while “Amber” kept the mayhem going for men and women alike. All good things must sadly come to an end, and so Stick To Your Guns ended their truly killer set with the anthemic sing-along “Against Them All,” leaving behind absolutely no doubts that these Californians know how to put on one truly inspiring yet pummeling performance. Haven’t seen them live yet? Go now!
The TLA swelled from packed to bursting as Architects prepared to take the stage. A Metalcore band out of the UK, they formed in Brighton, England in 2004. They have gone on to release seven full-length offerings, ranging from 2006’s Nightmares to 2016’s All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. Sadly, the young band have already seen tragedy with the untimely passing of Founding Member/Songwriter Tom Searle (Drummer Dan’s twin brother) due to skin cancer in August 2016. Emotionally beaten and battered, Architects have chosen to soldier on in the name of their brother and this, the Doomsday Tour, is their epic promise that nothing will hold them back!
Architects – Vocalist Sam Carter, Guitarists Josh Middleton and Adam Christianson, Bassist Alex Dean, and Drummer Dan Searle – exploded onto the stage bathed in white lights, with the emphatically dedicated crowd elated to have their favorites on that stage! The band began their inferno of a set with explosive “A Match Made in Heaven,” the chant-along of “Downfall,” and grooving stomp of “Naysayer,” off 2014’s Lost Together // Lost Forever. With audience members crowd-surfing up a riot, the quintet continued into the atmospheric crush of “Deathwish” and the heavily questioning lines of “Broken Cross.”
Donning a slashed Cro-Mags tee, Carter was a Tasmanian Devil who moved frenetically across the entirety of the stage, leading his troops into the blistering march of “Dead Man Talking,” the rise and fall of “Gravity,” and the promise that absolutely nothing is sacred, “Phantom Fear.” Pausing to thank the crowd for coming out and commenting on the sold-out numbers packing the TLA, Carter noted that this was the band’s biggest show of this tour until, well, tomorrow. Possibly. Maybe. With an obvious sense of humor, he kept the pummeling Metal coming with horns raised for “The Devil Is Near” and the tragically brutal “C.A.N.C.E.R.”
As the set continued and the temperature inside the venue rose, it was abundantly obvious that Architects are very much beloved on this side of the pond! To keep the energy amped, they pointed fingers at corruption with the angry “These Colours Don’t Run” and followed that up with the jackhammering attack of “Gravedigger.” This, in turn, made way for the band’s mega-popular “Doomsday,” the namesake of the tour and a song that you must stream/download. Of course, what self-respecting band does not provide a proper encore? Architects did not disappoint with the slaughtering “Nihilist” and arguably their most beloved track-to-date, “Gone With The Wind.” Hope might be a prison but this amazing, high energy ending to the set blew the roof (figuratively, thank god) off the TLA!
As of this writing, the Doomsday Tour has just under one month left, as it winds its way Westward Ho through such cities as Detroit, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, with several Canadian dates, as well. If you love blistering Metalcore and Hardcore that inspire sweat and circle pits, crowd-surfing and chaos, you would be a fool to miss this package!
2/20 – Cleveland, OH at Agora Theatre
2/21 – Detroit, MI at St Andrew’s Hall
2/22 – Chicago, IL at House of Blues
2/23 – Milwaukee, WI at The Rave II
2/24 – Minneapolis, MN at First Avenue
2/27 – Edmonton, AB at Union Hall
2/28 – Calgary, AB at The Palace Theatre
3/01 – Vancouver, BC at Vogue Theatre
3/02 – Seattle, WA at The Showbox
3/03 – Portland, OR at Wonder Ballroom
3/06 – San Francisco, CA at The Regency
3/07 – Los Angeles, CA at The Fonda Theatre
3/08 – Anaheim, CA at House of Blues
3/10 – Salt Lake City, UT at Metro Music Hall
3/11 – Denver, Co at Summit Music Hall
3/13 – Dallas, TX at Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill
3/14 – San Antonio, TX at Alamo City Music Hall
3/16 – Atlanta, GA at The Masquerade
Purchase All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us:
Purchase True View:
Purchase You’re Not You Anymore: