Thursday/Converge/Touche Amore/Lewd Acts

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Thursday, May 6, 2010

Converge is one of those bands that always seems to be in the road. Although they hail from Boston and manage to release new albums every couple of years, you can usually catch them in your area at least once a year (if not more). For their latest stop in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. region Converge brought along Thursday as their special guests as well as Touche Amore and Lewd Acts. Those who made it out on a Tuesday night were likely were glad that they did as all four bands put on great performances.

Lewd Acts is signed to Deathwish Inc. which is Jacob Bannon’s record label, so it wasn’t that surprising that Converge brought them along. While I hadn’t heard that much of the band’s music before, they ended up being a very good opening act and were able to get the crowd into their material fairly quickly. The best way to describe Lewd Acts is as a mixture of Converge style hardcore with a few more traditional punk influences and some occasional experimentation. Although the vocals were a little hard to hear at times the group had a ton of energy and are definitely worth looking into if you’re a hardcore/punk fan as they have some familiar elements but don’t sound exactly like everyone else out there. It is also worth mentioning that these guys really seem to give it their all even when they are doing a half hour opening slot, and that really says a lot.

Touche Amore is a band that I hadn’t heard yet, but I’ve been seeing a lot of people raving about them in recent months and also have seen that they are working on a split with La Dispute. Seeing as I absolutely love La Dispute I was hoping Touche Amore would be another noteworthy screamo act, and after watching their live performance I am happy to report that they are. The group takes the basic style that many of the screamo/post hardcore bands had in the 90’s and makes it even more intense. Their vocalist said in between several of the songs that he was starting to lose his voice, but when he started screaming at the top of his lungs it certainly didn’t seem as though this was the case. The one thing that bothers me is how the band’s songs are often only a minute or minute and a half in length, as sometimes it felt like a song would be building up to something and then just end. However, this really wasn’t that big of an issue and I still walked away from the band’s set very impressed.

As Thursday was technically the special guest for four shows on this tour Converge was the next band to play, but they were still given quite a bit of time for their set. This was my third time seeing the band perform live, and it was the first time that I had seen them since Axe to Fall had been released. As I expected, Converge picked some of their more prominent off of Axe to Fall to perform, which included the title track as well as “Dark Horse.” If you’ve never seen the group live before, expect some crazy mosh pits and plenty of crowd interaction as fans go absolutely nuts when the band starts playing and Jacob Bannon gives them plenty of time to scream out lyrics. Compared to many of the other groups out there, Converge has a level of energy and intensity that is hard to match and every time that I’ve seen them they have always topped their previous performance. Overall, this was one of those performances that I just didn’t want to end and if you’re a fan of the band you owe it to yourself to see them in person at some point in time.

I can’t claim to be the biggest fan of Thursday, but I will admit that I really enjoyed their newest full length effort Common Existence because it was heavier and more experimental than their earlier work. However, I must say that their live setting may have made me appreciate their entire body of work much more than before. The group’s performance was mostly split between songs from Common Existence and ones from their first two albums and they were able to do them all justice. While vocalist Geoff Rickly can get a little too whiny for my taste at times, he sounds great in a live setting and always has the crowd chanting back every word. The instrumentals are extremely tight, and you can expect all of their songs to match up to their album counterparts. As I mentioned earlier, Thursday was only playing five dates on this tour and Rickly mentioned between one of the songs that they would be heading into the studio to record a new album in the near future. So although this may have been one of the only times to see the band right now, rest assured that they’ll be back on the road once their new album is complete (and if you’re into post hardcore definitely consider checking them out when they do).

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