A Day To Remember

support Architects + Your Demise
author BL date 12/03/10 venue Forum, London, UK

Fresh (or about as much as I can be) from seeing UnderOATH the night before, I stayed in London overnight just so that I'd save myself of coming back up to London from Southampton to catch A Day To Remember finally perform headliner at a decent sizable venue with support from Architects, both of whom were my top of my top five for last year in music. But personal feelings aside I was looking forward to seeing how all three bands on the bill tonight would fare in comparison to my last meetings with them. Having conducted a fairly light hearted and down to earth interview with some of the dudes from A Day To Remember earlier left with me high spirits, bring on the show.

Your Demise

My last memory of seeing Your Demise was quite a fond one when they supported Misery Signals back in September of last year. At that point it was a smaller venue and for the most part their energetic performance and fist pumping music went hand in hand with the surroundings. This did mean I had a bit of doubt if they would be able to replicate that on the Forum's far bigger stage. Vocalist Ed McRae was able to rally some forefront crowd members to move around a bit but most people were content just standing and watching. And while Ed was as energetic as ever and gave a pretty convincing performance, the rest of band was mostly non-descript in comparison. This wasn't helped at all by some dodgy mixing which caused the guitars to be so loud they drowned everything out, including themselves. It was hard for me to pick out the songs other than a few of their more well known singles. Disappointingly this all means I was left waiting for the set to end and the next to begin.

Architects

Similarly to Your Demise, my last encounter with Architects was a thoroughly enjoyable one. The now packed venue was brimming with excitement after Your Demise left and the noise from the crowd was threatening to deafen. As the band finally took to the stage and begun their set, it was immediately obvious how much more class Architects brought to the table. The sound in huge contrast to Your Demise couldn't have been better as well, the acoustics resonating just at the right volume to give a real pummeling feel to the technically visceral, downtuned dual guitar attack, while also keeping the chilling tapped lead guitars crystal clear even all the way to the back of the venue.

Sam Carter lead the assault well with his trademark strained screams and desperation filled clean vocals during all the big choruses from the opening song "In Elegance" right through to the anthemic and expected closer "Follow The Water", however the surprise inclusion of their softest track "Hollow Crown" was something I took as a real treat considering it was not played at all the last time I saw them at their headlining show on the Never Say Die tour last year. The dynamics of the song itself on record translated perfectly to a live setting, the crowd simply in awe as the shimmering lead guitars pierced the quiet, brooding and emotive singing from Sam. Finally when the song erupted into it's final crescendo I could not help but just be in total admiration of witnessing one hell of a memorable performance, and almost wishing the band finished their short but sweet set at that point - it was that good.

8

Setlist:

01. In Elegance

02. We're All Alone

03. Numbers Count For Nothing

04. Dethroned

05. Early Grave

06. Hollow Crown

07. Follow The Water

A Day To Remember

I had plenty of time to anticipate what would be yet again my second time seeing a band tonight. But this time I was sure it would be different, since A Day To Remember were only the main support last I saw them. While back then I thought the venue was maybe too big for them to really get the most out of, I had accepted by now that their meteoric rise to popularity means I will probably never get to see them up and close and personal in a more intimate setting. So instead of having doubts about if I would see a repeat of their last fairly mediocre outing I instead kept them at bay and just focused on picking up as much from this show as possible. One thing for sure was that Architects had done much better than they did being main support, and would be difficult to follow up.

Once the band eventually got onstage after the crowd chanted the start to "The Downfall Of Us All" repeatedly, they rewarded us by not even starting with that song, but instead went for four songs from their sophomore record "For Those Who Have Heart" instead. Not only did this throw off my expectations from the go (in a good way) but also got the crowd stirred for action quite well since these songs are quiet fast (especially the opener "Fast Forward To 2012"). The "Homesick" tracks though were received just as well and the band must have been surprised at the response, with lead singer Jeremy McKinnon even stopping to talk to the crowd about how they started playing in England at some shitty small bar venue and now are selling out headling shows in venues of over a thousand or two capacity in the period of around two years. It must mean something if the crowd sing the songs louder than the band play it themselves.

Sound and performance wise, everything was slick and polished. Like Architects before them I could hear all the parts of the songs, Jeremy sang and screamed competently enough for me to not notice any major sign of wear on his vocals, and the band ensured to keep our attention by constantly moving around and just for fun, utilised their trademark synchronised headbanging and jog moves (which I still find hilarious to watch). Speaking of which, while some of you may think it's all a little silly if you do stuff like that, perhaps it was (there was even paper streamers fired out at the end that covered the whole place), but I was there to have a great time and it was about as apparent as it gets that the band and pretty much everybody else was also having a great time. I even got to hear my favourite song ("You Should Have Killed Me..") by them finally which really glossed up a thoroughly enjoyable set (they even threw in their cover of The Fray's "Over My Head" to my surprise). And though A Day To Remember weren't better than Architects on the night, they didn't do any worse either. I couldn't really have asked for much more.

8

Setlist:

01. Fast Forward To 2012

02. Speak Of The Devil

03. A Shot In The Dark

04. The Danger In Starting A Fire

05. My Life For Hire

06. Over My Head (Cable Car) (The Fray cover)

07. Mr. Highway's Thinking About The End

08. Welcome To The Family

09. Have Faith In Me

10. Homesick

11. You Should Have Killed Me When You Had the Chance

12. Heartless

13. I'm Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?

--Encore--

14. The Downfall Of Us All

15. The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle

All photos by Benji Walker, and from the Portsmouth show because my phone wasn't good enough.

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