The Backstage O’Sullivans has already seen its share of good gigs since the season started. And what’s always nice is to witness how much a genre can gather people in a small place. Even more when four different bands play that same venue, in one particular night. Indeed metalcore was celebrated in a unique way that night with the metal and deathcore bands Hellions, The Acacia Strain, Volumes and Northlane, all coming from overseas to play for us, in what seemed to be a pretty hot and crowded room.
The Australians in Hellions had the honour of opening the night and most importantly the pit. It was a Saturday but the Parisians didn’t seem at first to be in the mood to sing loud and mosh hard, representing their scene. Hellions prepared the fans playing new songs off « Indian Summer », their new album that came out a few months ago. It was their first European tour and we could tell the band was happy to come over and play our city. In fact, Hellions started in 2013 and easily presented themselves as one of the promising Australian bands in the metalcore scene. Since the band had never came over, a few fans were happy to check them out for the first time, while the most curious audience members came closer to the stage and see what this was all about. With their opening performance it’s pretty clear that we will hear from them soon enough, and European fans will follow as we surely have a thing for Aussie bands in that scene. Hellions mainly played songs off its latest album but added The Penultimate Year and 22 off their 2013 debut album as well. It was a short 20min set that prepared us for the rest of the night but long enough to make us want to check out more. They left a room that was slowly but surely getting warmed up for the rest of the evening.
Later on it was time for the Americans from the deathcore band The Acacia Strain to get onstage and “fuck shit up”. With a heavier sound the venue instantly warmed up and the night reached another level. With seven studio albums as well as two split albums, and despite different changes of line-up, the band had its fan base represented at the Backstage O’ Sullivans. The band hadn’t come over since September 2014 when they did a European tour to support the release of their latest album “Coma Witch” though the band has kept touring in America. The band is currently said to be writing and recording an eighth album, which will please most of the fans there that night. The Acacia Strain played songs off its most recent albums including tracks off “Coma Witch”, “The Most Known Unknown” and its successful 2008 & 2010 billboard albums “Continent” and “Wormwood”, ending their set of 7 songs with “Whoa! Shut It Up!” and leaving a sweaty stage to Volumes.
The L.A guys arrived jumping around and determined to keep the energy high and wanting even more pushing the fans to their limit. To be honest the more it went, the more the crowd was responsive and moshed harder. Volumes was climbing everywhere in this tiny venue, looking for an interaction with the fans and trying to be as close to them as possible. They played songs off their two albums including The Mixture, Erased, Edge of The Earth, Vahle and Wormholes giving fans an overview of what they can do, playing to the new and old fans. The energy was palpable on both sides and the band even carried a French flag around, since they were super stoked to play “motherfucking Paris, France” as the two singers kept repeating. The band, which formed in 2009 is one of the well-known bands of that night, and a recurrent name in America with a sound using “bouncy » guitar riffs, well-driven breakdowns and two lead vocalists. The band even appeared on the Punk goes Pop 6 album last year covering Drake’s Hold On, We’re Going Home and is now working on the follow up to their 2014 success «No Sleep », which is due in 2016.
The US metalcore band had recently played Paris back in March and it’s with exciting news that Volumes came back this time, giving its whole onstage, playing with the crowd and setting the place on fire. Despite a very on point and energetic set, the band still took the temperature mid-set before playing a slower/melodic song, preparing the room to sing loud. Volumes kept teasing the crowd; even claiming it wasn’t ready for the headliner band. There was a good chemistry between the two vocalists, which was good to notice, as one of the original screamers couldn’t make it on tour. The awesome Michael Lessard of The Contortionist stepped in and replaced him doing an absolute killer job. All in all the duo of vocalists were completing each other and kept the energy high all along doing a great job as support band right before Northlane.
As you can imagine, it was already a sweaty evening out in the French capital, when Northlane stepped on that stage. Last time we saw the band, they were opening that big venue we like to call ‘the Circus’ (aka Le Cabaret Sauvage) in front of a packed venue, after Carnifex and right before the co headliners Heaven Shall Burn and their fellow citizens in Parkway Drive. It was a very special night for Northlane and the band surely gathered some new fans then. That night was so much fun, we knew for sure that when the band would come back, we wouldn’t miss it. Having them over with such good bands, and as headliners was even better!
If you are a faithful Plug-In reader, you know we carry Northlane in our hearts. If not, well now you know. We’ve always appreciated Northlane’s live performances and we always thought that these Aussies had a lot of potential, knowing their craft and simply handling everything like pros, no matter what challenges they had to face. A few months back we were telling you about that gig where we officially met Marcus Bridge, new singer of the band and introduced Northlane as a breakout act in the metal/hardcore scene after a remarkable performance on the Heaven Shall Burn/ Parkway Drive European Tour. With new material and a first European/UK headlining tour last October, it was without a doubt a gig we were highly expecting, especially when the band had to cancel their Graspop and Southside festival appearances due to Marcus’ illness (and were truly missed). It was both surprising and extremely satisfying to see Northlane face such a crowded venue when we’ve always seen them as opening acts, although it was on various great tours with Architects, for instance. Actually, the fact that the band was joined on tour by such different bands, which could have been weird, made it even more fun and enjoyable for us, fans of this scene and seeing so many fans gathered to watch their set proved us right and confirmed the band’s potential.
It was a tour to support the release of their fourth album « Node » out in July 2015 and released under Unified/Rise Records so the band kicked off their set with Obelisk, Leech, Rot and Soma, four new songs before following with the famous Quantum Flux off « Singularity ». It was honestly a good mix between « Node » and « Singularity » getting the fans into the new tracks but also playing a few old ones including Dispossession off their album « Discoveries ». The band mostly played songs off their last two albums but as the fans liked what they put out recently and since Northlane still played their older tunes, it felt like everybody was happy and ready to end the night in the best way. Northlane even came back for an encore to play their classic Masquerade which satisfied new and older fans of the band. Northlane didn’t disappoint and neither did the crowd, which was still super stoked, energetic although people had been moshing around for over 2 hours and singing back.
The band had an easy connection with its fans and Marcus showed he owned the place. All throughout their set it was loud and heavy with smoke and light effects; a first for such a small venue like the Backstage.
In a nutshell, we were proud to take part in such a good night driven by such eclectic bands and we weren’t disappointed at all. We’ve seen the band grow musically, making music with passion and taking their sound to a new step but mostly evolving from support of great tours all over the world to a European headline tour. And we’re sure it’s only the beginning for Northlane. So that’s why it was important and exciting for us to take part in that evening putting on lights good and promising bands of the metalcore scene and most importantly to join the singing fans. As a matter of fact, every band did and absolute great job playing that evening and the fact that they were different in their own style despite belonging to the same genre was in a way, very unusual. There were bands we knew well, others we had heard a few songs of but all in all the union of fans that night and the diversity offered by the bands made it an enjoyable night and a real success for Northlane and its supports and also for the fans of the scene.
Words : Roxy S.