November, oh november… what a tricky month you are! Christmas is right at the corner but not just yet, it’s getting cold and you’d rather stay in with a cup of tea, a warm blanket and some rom-com than go out. Yet, November always finds its way to get you out for some cool gigs, right? We know the feeling! It’s not even 7pm on a Sunday and we were facing two options: either let the Sunday blues kick in and send us to bed before midnight or go out and enjoy some cool rock show with a bunch of friends. We obviously chose option two. And it would have been silly to miss out one this one, really.
That night La Boule Noire welcomed Being As An Ocean alongside Burning Down Alaska, Capsize and Casey. Although the line-up looked pretty ace we never thought it’d be this cool. Casey had the hard task of opening the night and as we walked in, the room was already pretty filled. The atmosphere sounded like everybody was here to have a good night before starting off the week. The minute we got in we could tell people were here from the start, to see every single band. Which confirmed us in the idea that it’d be a great show once again. We’ve never been disappointed watching these bands separately, so why would we now that they’re sharing the same line up?
What needs to be stated is the ‘good vibes all around’ sort of feeling that was floating in the air. Being As An Ocean was surely headlining the show but it’s important to underline the quality of all the other bands on this tour. Each band brought its own vibe and in a small venue like this, you get in the mood easily. Casey started and although they couldn’t play long, they managed to show the quality of their songs, giving us a nice performance and overview of their talent. The drumming of Max Nicolai was remarkable and the band’s presence onstage was interesting to watch. We quickly noticed they fully fitted in the line-up. Tom Weaver, the singer with a fragile yet strong voice, had its own attitude onstage, as if he was caught in the music, transcended by it. It gave a remarkable performance despite the shortness of the set. Casey however showcased some tracks off their recent and outstanding record ‘Love Is Not Enough’ such as Ceremony and – as on the album – Michael McGough (Being As An Ocean) even performed with them. Ryan Knowles of Capsize filled in for the band and it seemed like he really fitted well with the band. All this led to the Britons leaving the stage on a high note, in applause, and definitely conquered Paris.
Capsize followed and the energy level went up even more. Frontman Daniel Wand didn’t hesitate one second to move around and jump in to join the crowd. The band opened with ‘XX (sew my eyes)’ a track off their latest release, “A Reintroduction : The Essence Of All That Surrounds Me”, and the crowd immediately followed the leads and sang along on the chorus parts. Whether it was songs off previous records or new ones, the crowd was there getting intense. The singer claimed it loud and clear, towards the end of the set, he wanted chaos in the room.
It was Capsize’s third time in Paris and we surely hope they’ll be back soon. Throughout the set, the room never stopped moving and after playing their oldest song I’ll Take A Blame, then The Angst in My Veins off their 2014 release, the band ended with Tear Me Apart and its powerful guitar intro and intensity, before the screams kick in. Among all the times we’ve seen the band play in Europe it was probably one of their coolest performances with the best reaction from the crowd. And each song in, we kept thinking to ourselves how we’d been missing the band and how good it always feels like to catch them perform.
One more band to go before the headliners and it was now time for Burning Down Alaska. Just like the others before them, the German band did a great job. By then, the crowd was all warmed up and the band’s sound fitted well before the headliners. Burning Down Alaska is a more recent band that started their career in 2012 and only have an EP to date. Therefore, the band started with their newest release, Blossom; which is rather a smart choice for an introduction as it quickly sets the mood, catches everyone’s attention and most definitely showcases pretty well the band’s current essence. The band then played songs off ‘Values&Virtues’ among which we had the pleasure of hearing Phantoms, Brighter Days and Savior. The band also dedicated a brand new song to Being As Ocean before ending with Monuments. It confirms us they are a band we’ll keep seeing as they have a lot to offer musically. In fact, Burning Down Alaska is a band that has incredibly grown since their last headline tour in March. Adding Kassim Auale as a clear voice really is a good choice and important to underline as it made the band progress fast and in a very interesting way technically but also as far as their performances go. Throughout the set the band kept the energy going with melody songs well balanced with the screams, and songs that got the crowd to jump. Indeed, the crowd was very receptive and what we noticed was the great cohesion and complementary energy between the two singers that gives them something unique.
Once Burning Down Alaska left the stage, the crowd was fully ready for the final set as Being As An Ocean was about to start. The band offered a nice setlist well balanced between the old tracks and the newest ones, starting with OK and Dissolve, but also adding Dear G-D, The Hardest Part Is Forgetting… or L’exquisite Douleur to it. The band as a headliner wrapped up all we felt throughout the gig; a feeling of belonging to the scene. They have that ability of gathering people through music, with songs always so powerful with meaningful lyrics and a mix between Joel Quartuccio’s screams and Michael McGough’s clear voice, which adds a lot of emotions, and a particular feeling to each song. That feeling is even stronger when the band plays live, with the singer always spending most of the set among the crowd creating a unique connection with the fans.
“I don’t care where you come from, i don’t care what you look like, i don’t care who you pray to, we’re one family. We are human”, tells us Joel. “I hope if you leave tonight feeling one thing, it’s love.”
This Loneliness Won’t Be The Death Of Me was the perfect end to an amazing night, with Joel Quartuccio addressing the words to the crowd, as if he was talking directly to us. And that’s what makes us love Being As An Ocean a bit more each time. After 9 songs it was now time to end the night and go home.
In a nutshell, what we’ll remember is that everyone that night brought its little spark making it a precious night and turning it into a much needed night out, just like that, thanks to the power of music. And in a small Paris venue, that night we warmed up our little hearts and left the troubles behind.