February 13th, 2017 – The room is packed when Touche Amore hit the tiny stage and it looks like the audience is already losing it as Flowers and You starts playing…
‘Stage Four’ – which the band was presenting on this tour – is without any doubt one of best alternative albums released last year and we were thrilled to be able to hear some of it live. Introducing tracks such as the beautiful Rapture or Water Damage brought the right balance to the performance, that obviously included several songs mostly off Touché’s two previous records ‘Is Survived By’ and ‘Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me’. In fact, the band’s new level of intricacy through more delicate melodies and even actual singing turned the performance into a journey through various stages of emotions. I personally hadn’t seen Touché Amoré in years, the experience was therefore beyond crushing, since I had apparently forgotten how touching and exhilarating watching this band perform can get.
The number of people who not only showed up but also actively participated to the show (worth noticing in Paris) only confirmed how Touché Amoré create music that speaks to people. If Jeremy Bolm historically used their music to channel his experience with anxiety or depression, it only seems fair that many others could find in those cathartic numbers some sense of comfort. Something relatable, which allows individuals to let themselves go. See for instance Art Official and Just Exist…
‘Stage Four’, however, is slightly different in the way that we’re now tackling the difficult situation of grief, as it’s (almost) entirely the result of Bolm losing a parent. Luckily, despite not being as agressive as their older predecessors, these new tracks provoked in the room equally intense reactions, thanks to all their blossoming melodies (Benediction!)
although it has to be said that Jeremy’s clean singing wasn’t completely in tune, yet, this new side of Touché Amoré’s music brought comfort inside the room, largely illustrated by beautiful smiles on the band member’s (tired) faces. Mid-set, after a quick glance at the room, I couldn’t help but notice the crowd was quite different from the usual (it’s a very small scene here) and definitely diverse. But as everyone blended well, it didn’t feel weird. So that was it, Touché Amoré are one of these rare post hardcore bands that still manage to gather people of different ages, backgrounds and what not to share moments as intense as this gig. ‘Stage Four’, with its wider listenability factor has probably brought even more people to the bandwagon, which is great for them, for us and for punk.
This communion between the LA band and their overly excited yet respectful listeners peaked when Honest Sleep kicked in.
I’m losing sleep /I’m losing friends /I’ve got a love hate love /With the city I’m in,
resonated like the most anthemic of all anthems between the tiny walls of the venue, where everyone shouted those lyrics like there was no tomorrow. Moments later, Touché Amoré played one last song, Non Fiction adding one last pinch of delicacy that we all happily took home with us on that fine Monday night.
Touche Amoré’s triumphant return to Paris and France will hopefully open new doors for them in this territory, because we need them to keep spreading the love as far as possible.
Touché Amoré – ‘Stage Four’,
out now via Epitaph Records