Published on February 3rd, 2019 | by Gareth Allen0
Architects Glasgow 02 Academy
Architects are a metal band with a deservedly growing reputation and fanbase, who have come through a lot and emerged even stronger musically. They came to play Glasgow, with a great supporting line up, that demonstrated the respect they have for their fans.
Polaris from Australia opened up the show with a blistering metal core sound that tore up the stage from the outset. Impassioned vocals and some dynamic ensemble playing had an energising impact on the audience. Vocalist Jamie Hails after thanking Architects for making their dreams come true by putting them on the tour, called out “let’s break down this building“, as Polaris literally drove the next song through the audience, with waves of sound crashing out from the stage. The call out for a wall of death was answered without hesitation by the Glasgow crowd ….though it wasn’t for the faint hearted!
Beartooth have an infectious, grunge like, crunchy metal sound, that saw on the opening number, Glasgow’s very own iconic ‘pit troll’ make an appearance! Vocalist Caleb Shomo immediately captured the audience, leading a chant of “here we, here we, here we fucking go”.
When Beartooth hit a groove, it’s like a metal maelstrom, that you either give into, or get out of the way. One of their massive riffs felt to be literally coming up through the O2 Academy floor! Drummer Connor Denis got a short spot to himself, and displayed a jazz like sensibility, with the various rhythmic accents he effortlessly pulled off, as he went round his kit. The band then went into a new song that had a fantastic rolling guitar rhythm, resonant of the great Lamb of God.
Caleb remarked to the audience that “…you always have a safe space at these shows”. A real testament to the spirit of metal.
Architects came on to stark white lighting shooting out from the stage. Opening with ‘Death Is Not Defeat’ the sound was immense, soulful and completely immersive. Just stunning!
‘Modern Misery’ had an amazing film backdrop of a big cat and human running in unison. It spoke to the power of Architects music, imbued as it is with raw and unmediated emotion. At times the band create an intense sheets of sound experience that just seems to envelop everyone in the audience.
The crowd seemed to know every word of ‘Royal Beggars’, and were like a full-on soulful choir accompanying the band. The more gentle mid-song section was quite beautiful and shimmering, leading into a pulverising conclusion to the song.
At one point between songs, the audience broke into spontaneous applause, and it was as if a wave of affection rolled over the band. Vocalist Sam Carter smiled, and told the Glasgow crowd, “It is so incredible to still be here, and see this room completely full“. Architects then went into ‘Downfall‘, as on the screen, forlorn figures were depicted walking through a wintery graveyard. Sam’s vocal was so anguished, and the bands playing angular and rhythmic, like a jazz band that had gone over to the dark side.
‘Naysayer’ is run through with blast beats in the intro section, and is a fantastic head banging opus, that saw the audience really let go, and the crowd surfing start in earnest. It has an anthemic quality, that seems to effortlessly connect band and audience as one.
‘These Colours Don’t Run’ unveils the band covered in purple lighting, as drummer Dan Searle hits his kit with the most amazing energy, and sense of the bands dynamic heart, which even the flames flying from the stage can’t compete with! The song is scythed dynamically by a breakdown of intense walls of electronic sound.
‘A Match Made in Heaven’ saw four fans close to this reviewer, put their arms around each other, in celebration of the band and the wonderful music emanating from the stage. In a very poignant moment, a tribute is made to guitarist and songwriter Tom Searle, as a heart with the initials TS appears on the screen behind the band, to the applause of the audience, who were also chanting Tom. The band touchingly applauded the fans.
Near the end of the concert, Sam talks to the audience like old friends, telling them that Scotland is a special place in all of the band’s hearts…”thank you for being you“. He goes on to say that the reason the band are still a band, and the album ‘Holy Hell’ happened, “is the man standing behind me Dan“. Sam also shares with the audience, that he saw a fan crowd surfing whose hat was falling off, and a security person put it back on, before bringing the fan over the barrier safely…”make some noise for every member of security“.
‘Doomsday’ from ‘Holy Hell’ is the final encore, and see’s the audience jumping up and down as one, and singing their hearts out.
Quite simply, an emotional, exhilarating, and musically spot on performance from a great band. Thank you Architects.
Photographs by Lewis Allen