THE AMITY AFFLICTION – Let The Ocean Take Me Tour @ Festival Hall, August 2014

My nagging cough was intensifying. Nine hours of putting up with my voice shifting between croaky, nasally and semi-decent, most of which was in self checkouts. A typical Sunday affair of enduring the screams of children from the Playground that seem to echo throughout the entire store, having to fake smile my way through many moments of stupidity from customers. You honestly need a great deal of patience and sanity working in Retail. Internally, I always seem to be putting my hair out especially when today was bedlam.

 

And of course I have to somehow tolerate rudeness for things beyond my control such as the self checkout registers only accept credit cards and eftpos. My apologies for not pulling out the red carpet for you and magically making these machines accept cash. And of course closing the store up was a shambles as per usual with me running around sorting out stock and running them to their departments with customers not giving a rats ass that the store is closing. Yep they’ll always be ever selfish and not care that we have a home to go to and places to be.

 

I actually find the Architects sideshow tomorrow night somewhat strategic as in some ways it separated the true Amity fans from the ones who were going just for the supporting bands. It was hardly surprising to see a lot of people selling up their Amity tickets as soon as that sideshow got announced. It’s not that I’m trying to be disrespect but lineup hierarchy does not automatically mean the headlining band is better than the ones beneath it. Having said that, this is Amity’s tour after all.

 

This band has copped a fair bit of hate over the years, more recently with the negative press involving Ahren Stringer hating on the police and more generally with the band’s albums sounding more and more generic. I take these sentiments with a grain of salt and focus on the fact that I just enjoy the music that this band produces.

 

Outside the venue, I ended up bumping into my good friend Jordy who ended up getting kicked out early over crowdsurfing. I actually felt really bad for him as I know he’s a big Amity fan like myself. Because I didn’t get out of work until after 6.30pm, I ended up missing both DEEZ NUTS and STRAY FROM THE PATH. I wasn’t too devastated about Deez Nuts as I could never really get into his stuff and I remember seeing Stray From The Path play at the Corner Hotel supporting Northlane last year. It would have been good to see them play again tonight but alas it wasn’t meant to be.

 

Between bands, I was trying hard to find some friends in the floor area and eventually ran into quite a few at different times. It’s interesting thinking about the mathematical probability of bumping into people you recognise especially in a crowd that dense but it worked out well for me tonight. It was pretty sweaty even when I arrived around 8-8.30pm (It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes…I am getting so hot, I’m gonna take my clothes off!) and having been to Festival Hall quite a few times in my life (Placebo, Snow Patrol, Coldplay, Oasis), I know for a fact that there’s not air-con installed. But it made the journey home along Spencer Street more bearable.

 

ISSUES (USA)…I only managed to catch the second half of this band’s set but I really dug what I did catch. Lead vocalist Tyler delivers clean vocals with a layered flow and is really captivating. Screams vocals Michael offsets this perfectly with brutal undertones. Musically they have a blend of metalcore breakdowns, nu-metal DJ scratches and melodic samples plus some groove thrown in for good measure.

 

ARCHITECTS (UK)…I remember seeing this band the last time they played in Australia and tonight’s performance was equally as impressive if not better. With post hardcore elements meeting progressive metalcore, these guys really pumped the crowd up and the energy really soared. Vocalist Sam gave some call and response cues to the crowd and the reaction showed how much love for this band there was. He was particularly thankful for the fans and to be back in Australia, reminding us that we’re all important in our own diverse ways.

 

THE AMITY AFFLICTION…once again, these guys managed to pull off another powerhouse performance and stage show to boot. The stage was lit up by three screens depicting abstract images plus appropriately nautical themed animations and several versions of the band’s logo. There was also a series of hydrogen jets going off during particular songs, blasting gas literally to the ceiling. The set played like a retrospective of all their big hits including Anchors, I Hate Hartley, Chasing Ghosts, Open Letter and R.I.P. Bon plus showcased quite a few song off their new album.

 

Considering I’ve seen this band play 4-5 times, I’m beginning to pick up on their formula for set structure including a naturally placed encore. In that sense, I was slightly disappointed as I know what to expect from this band and there’s no real surprises. On the other hand, their stage shows are always entertaining and enthralling. Musically they were fucking tight, though I noticed slight pitch changes in Ahren’s vocals but besides that everyone else went off without a hitch. Overall though, I will always love this band as they inspire hope and positivity amongst their fans and their shows always leave a smile on my face 🙂 

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