British metalcore band Architects brought a raucous, well-orchestrated, cohesive performance to Vancouver this week.
I went in with little knowledge of the band but left hoping they come back soon. They earned a fan in me.
Opening the night was American hardcore punk outfit Stick To Your Guns, another group that I was unfamiliar with. I’d like to apologize to my metalcore-loving friends, I’m out of the loop on these bands. Their lead vocalist, Jesse Barnett, was an unstoppable force. He grabbed the crowd by the reigns and willed them to his desire. Within the first song, things became intense. The audience was thrashing about, screaming the lyrics back at the fast-paced bevvy of musicians before them. As a photographer, I was right between the two factions for the first three songs, soaking it all in. I was amazed.
Barnett may be the frontman but the entire band is charismatic, completely unafraid of the spotlight. They cycled through their individual moments to showcase themselves for the attendees.
They were fantastic and I will need to spend some time getting to know their catalogue, with a pumping fist in one hand and a cold pint in the other.
It seemed like the wait between opening act and headliner took forever. I was lost in conversation with my fellow concert goers but I heard a few of the mob become restless.
The lights were extinguished and the band ran on to the stage. That was it, if Stick To Your Guns were a nine out of ten, then this headlining set from start to finish was a twelve.
The band was in constant motion, no one stood still for even a moment.
Sam Carter, on lead vocals, pushes his voice so incredibly hard but maintains complete control. He does that thing, like Tim McIlrath of Rise Against, where he opens his mouth and pushes his voice so hard that his teeth and gums and tongue all protrude from his face, like a predator defending its territory against a rival. I just couldn’t stop watching him, for approximately ten straight minutes I just stared. I was captivated.
After I broke that tractor beam gaze from the vocalist, I spent some time just observing the other musicians. Guitar riffs, head banging, bass slapping, spastic drumming, and pure unadulterated intensity, and to top it off each member was so well orchestrated. Every movement one made was followed by a reactive movement from a bandmate. They worked as one unit and cycled around the stage seamlessly and effortlessly, to a degree, I mean they are hardcore musicians, not ballerinas.
The venue grew hotter and hotter from all those active bodies. The air became thick and familiar, a mixture of sweat, beer, and weed.
Crowd surfing musical maniacs rolled around on the outstretched hands of their peers.
The band kept increasing the intensity of their set. Somehow they were squeezing blood from a rock. I wondered how they could keep adding more but they did.
Finally, the crescendo of it all was “Gone With The Wind“, a particularly brutal track from their 2016 album All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. It was the peak of the event, and it was the final song of the night. I was left blown away.
After the band left the stage and the crowd began to filter out, I was left stupefied by what I had just seen.
Holy fuck! Architects are one savage band.
I think I’m in love.
A Match Made in Heaven
Dead Man Talking
The Devil Is Near
These Colours Don’t Run
Gone With the Wind