The nights are getting darker and the leaves are tumbling from the trees so it must mean it’s time for the annual fall tour season. Each year The Amity Affliction ditch the Australian summer and dig out their winter coats as they spend time in Europe and the UK towards the end of the year. TAA’s new album Misery was a surprise listen for some of their hardcore followers, but high off some quality reviews and songs to match they are showcasing some new material tonight at The Church in Leeds.
First band of the evening are fellow Australians Endless Heights. Vocalist Joel Martorana is almost Jesus-like with long flowing locks under the backdrop of the stained-glass window that depicts a religious scene. Their music perfectly suitable for tonight’s crowd, a mix of melodies with sludgy bass and distorted guitar perfect for head banging. Drain was a set highlight; the catchy chorus and middle 8 super memorable and the echoe-y guitar added to ethereal ambience of the evening.
It would be difficult to speak about Dream State without highlighting how exceptional their vocalist CJ is. Storming the stage at about 5 foot 4, she immediately makes an impact. Her screams and vocal melodies are on point and the super tight band back her up well. It takes just two songs for her to jump into the crowd to fire them up for the evening, even if they began the set a little tepid towards the band. In This Hell is a huge tune- the jarring guitar soars around the renovated Church, the almost whispered bridge builds to piercing screams that the Leeds crowd can’t help but have a bop to. Closer White Lies is a huge banger that the majority of the crowd are singing along to by the end and as customary for a Dream State show, CJ is crowd surfing by the end of the track. It’s safe to say they won’t be forgotten after this tour and there are only bigger and better things to come for this band.
The Plot in You have an almost cult following in the UK and quite a few of their hardcore fans have turned out tonight in Leeds to see their faves take to the stage. Their performance is emotionally charged with vocalist Landon Tewers spending the majority of his stage time with his eyes closed- totally immersed in the music. Take Me Away is one of the highlights of the set, the spiralling screams crossed with the soft melodic undertones is a beautiful listen and the complimentary rhythm section and lead guitar make for a real standout track of the entire evening.
Amity’s opener Drag The Lake from new album Misery sets the tone for the evening; get ready for tunes full of big choruses and even bigger riffs. Having just released a new album it was obvious the setlist was going to be full of the recently released tracks, however, it was a real treat to hear the title track from their 2012 album Chasing Ghosts. Big hitters This Could Be Heartbreak and Shine On are fan favourites and go down super well which brings the first audience crowd surfers over the barricades.
D.I.E is one of the heavier tracks from Amity’s new album and goes down super well; it proves that no matter if bands lose some fans through their musical evolution, the hardcore passionate ones will stick around and fall in love with their new material. Open Letter and The Weigh Down supply the head bangs and singalongs whilst it’s newer track Holier Than Heaven that is a real highlight. HTH is almost a sermon from the words of Joel Birch in the renovated church space and his performance in this song is captivating and emotional. Bassist and vocalist Ahren Stringer is evidentally having a party during the track Feels Like I’m Dying; you can’t help but dance to the infectious funky electronics that musically wrap around the chorus and it’s a pleasure to hear vocalist Joel Birch’s clean singing on the verse of this track.
Returning to the stage post encore to Ivy (Doomsday) the Leeds crowd know the end is nigh and give the band all they’ve got with circle pits and crowdsurfers a plenty. But it’s obviously the bands biggest hit Pittsburgh that is the wildest tune of the evening.
It’s always great when a band shows evolution yet keeps their core fanbase strong. The Amity Affliction are one of the best hardcore bands right now and we’re hoping they’ll be back on British shores for summer festival season 2019 when they might be able to leave their big coats and scarves at home.