On this cold wednesday, we are meeting up in Aarschot, at Jc De Klinker, for a night of heavy music that will help us to warm up a bit. After releasing ‘Late the ocean Take Me’, the aussis of The Amity Affliction were back in Europe and brought along some friends in The Plot In You, Heart In Hand and Napoleon.
When we arrived at the venue, the room was already packed and the first band, Napoleon, was getting on stage.
A lack of commitment from the crowd kept the band pushing and pushing further, delivering a strong performance. We were especially amazed by the strong drum play, that managed to make us forget some technical problems the band was facing (we couldn’t hear the backing vocals for instance). Overall, we could see that everyone was enjoying themselves while Alex Feggi and his bandmates were sweating to offer a great performance. So this band probably still have to make a name for itself but we have no doubt that they are onto greater things in the near future and will gather more fans with their next releases.
Not long after, Heart In Hand made their entrance on stage. Immediately, the numerous fans in the room made their way to the front and yelled the lyrics in the microphone that frontman Charlie Holmes was handing to them. In a small amount of time, people finally got rid of their sluggishness, the energy increased and reached some interesting levels. Having recently released an album ‘A Beautiful White’, this british melodic hardcore band have proved once again that they’re here to stay and will improve with every release. Heart In Hand always impresses and we always wonder how they manage to surprise us and please like this. But let’s be honest, Charlie is a perfect frontman, he knows how to draw people in, and this band just knows its way around a stage. Let’s not forget the powerful backing vocals Ollie displayed. I think it’s safe to say that Belgium always knows how to welcome the band, as they probably have one of the strongest fanbase here. Heart In Hand completely succeeded in their role of an opening band to warm people up for what was coming next.
Next up on stage were the american metal core band The Plot In You. Back in Europe after a year and half, the band seemed thrilled to reconnect with some of their fans abroad. And the feeling was mutual, as some people were going hard in the pit, especially on songs like Miscarriage or Premeditated taken from their first record. Even though The Plot In You plays a slightly different genre of music from the rest of the lineup, they managed to keep the crowd’s attention with heavier riffs and much more break downs. With the whispered lyrics and the choir background lyrics, the set had a darker vibe, which made the band stand out in a certain way (it might also have been kind of overwhelming from time to time, making things a bit monotonous). Furthermore, it felt like the set lacking of this little madness that Heart In Hand had set moments before. The second to last song was dedicated to their bus driver, and not in a usual way : ‘I hate him, I want him to not exist anymore’, says frontman Landon Towers (must be the german one that we heard of from a lot of bands). Jokes aside, the band walked out the stage after performing one last song Fiction Religion.
It was almost ten o’clock in this cosy/familial venue, and things were starting to heat up, everyone was on pins and needles. When the first notes of Pittsburgh resounded, we heard a lot of screaming and the crowd went utterly wild. It was amazing to witness such a commitment and there is no doubt that The Amity Affliction have gained a lot of fans and recognition in Europe since the last time they were here (as the frontman points out by asking who was there when they had just 20 people in front of them in Belgium). It’s easy to understand why many people love this band, they have a refreshing sound, probably due to Ahren Stringer’s beautiful clear voice, that contrasts really well with Joel Birch’s raging vocals. As the name of this tour reveals, The Amity Affliction are out here to support their latest release ‘Let The Ocean Take Me’, from which they performed many titles, like Lost & Fading or The Weigh Down. Of course to make sure everyone is satisfied, they brought back old memories with titles like Youngbloods or Chasing Ghosts. The craziness in the room peaked when the band performed one of the crowd’s favorites, Open Letter. After playing Don’t lean on me, the australians left the stage and didn’t come back even though the whole room was asking for more.
Well, in a few words, we had a lovely night watching all these bands perform, especially in front of such dedicated fans.