Bringing two fan bases of hipsters and hardcore heads into one really isn’t all that difficult. Especially for a band like Touché Amoré, who returned to Australia for an extended tour across the country, in support of their latest record “Stage Four“. Joining them on the Aussie leg were Virginia-based group Turnover, including the local support of Endless Heights and Better Half, during the Corner Hotel show.
Entering the freezing cold band room side of the Corner Hotel, Better Half opened the show, fifteen minutes after doors had open. Delivering a very pop-punk/melodic hardcore crossover, reminiscing the likes of Circa Survive and Funeral For a Friend, Better Half had garnered a pretty intimate collection of Touché Amoré fans within the first few minutes of their set. Vocalist Chris Vernon had been sick prior to the show, but it wasn’t slowing him down from putting his all into his range. Performing a handful of fresh material such as “Reasons to Leave” and “Mourn”, Better Half had received a great response from their audience, within their half hour of spotlight. Though somewhat of a brand new act, Better Half already seem to have it going good for themselves, so far.
With the number of patrons increasing, more people were there to catch Sydney representatives Endless Heights, to give Melbourne a good slice of what they had to offer. Being a slightly more zealous act onstage, their lead vocalist Joel Martorana would do what he could to encourage people to move a little more with him, as Endless Heights executed their range of energetic melodic hardcore tunes. Joel would then announce that they had some fresh material in the works and decided to give the audience a dose of what was to be expected on their next studio recording, which many in the crowd responded to, very well. Personally, Endless Heights aren’t particularly, a band that I could see myself becoming a fan of, but it wasn’t holding me back from being able to enjoy their set from start to finish.
Next up were Turnover, who were no strangers to the Australian crowd, as they had made their first appearance last year, supporting Basement. The group followed a mellower approach, compared to the rest of the lineup. With a friendly and easy-going vibe haunting the Corner Hotel, everyone was able to wind back, but still party to Turnover’s rendition of indie-pop punk. Some treated Turnover as the calm before the storm, especially seeing as the next and final act would be the heaviest of them all. Aside from the difference in genre, Turnover gave those in the Corner Hotel, one hell of a mesmerising performance. In an atmosphere surrounding mostly heavier styles, Turnover earned themselves a great amount of respect from the fans, and garnered some newer ones in the making.
By the time Touché Amoré came on, things were starting to get rowdy, with the band opening with ‘Flowers & You‘, with plenty of patrons in the centre of the room getting excited and singing along with Jeremy Bolm. Jeremy had a hell of a time onstage, engaging with the crowd by screaming in front of their faces, and giving a handful of fans a chance on the mic grabs. Performing a majority of the “Stage Four” record, along with a handful of their previous LPs, Touché Amoré brought the strongest amount of energy and craze to the stage as they could
From beginning to end, Touché Amoré and the fans were orchestrating each other all the way through the process. Sounding almost 100% like the studio records, Touché Amoré’s onstage persona also gave the tracks extra spirit and liveliness, with Jeremy pouring his heart and soul into the mic, and his fellow bandmates ripping it out on the strings and percussion. Probably, the most impeccable moment of their timeslot was during the last song before the encore, where the crowd would scream out the ending lyrics to “Honest Sleep”. Initially, I had anticipated that Touché Amoré were to perform well over an hour’s worth of songs. However, it turned out that they kept it down to fifty minutes, due to a collection of twenty tracks proposed for their setlist. Nonetheless, the essence and excitement from this gig was limitless. A diverse lineup, immaculate performances and well-composed tunes in the flesh, there was not a single thing I could say about the gig that didn’t stand out.