The thing with Converge is that they’re reliable. That perhaps doesn’t sound like the most rock ‘n’ roll thing ever but its certainly true. Converge are reliably immediate, intense, emotive, caustic and – despite all those previous adjectives – fun. The band’s support alas didn’t quite hit all those marks.
The Secret are fast and heavy. A Storm of Light are considerably slower and heavy. That’s more or less the best way to sum them up. Neither band were bad but neither band really connected with the audience either, perhaps this is down to Converge fans pretty much just wanting to see Converge. Perhaps its down to the bands just not proving dynamic or exciting enough live. It could very well be both. But at the very least the support passed time at the bar without you feeling the need to go elsewhere. That’s more than be can said of many a show.
Touche Amore on the other hand captured much of the audiences imagination. Given the band’s now trademark ferocious shows that’s not really all that surprising. Within seconds the near floor show that is the Classic Grand stage was overrun with stage divers and enthusiastic fans bellowing along. That the band are still able to maintain their equally short and sharp songs despite this is testament to them. There’s a sense of a real magic surrounding performances like these. It’s like everyone there simultaneously worked out all their demons and had a great time doing so. So long as Touche Amore keep playing like this and writing those kind of songs that wrap themselves tightly around your heart strings there is no danger at all of them losing any kind of ground. It won’t be that long before they’re headlining venues this size.
With all that being said, Converge still absolutely destroy the Classic Grand in a way Touche Amore can only dream to. It’s not simply that Converge are stupendously heavy (which they are) and its not only that we play with equal reckless abandon as they technical proficiency (which they do) – its that they genuinely connect with the crowd. If you’ve spent more time listening to the band than watching them you’d be surprised how jovial and good natured the interaction with the crowd is for a band who sound like…well who sound like Converge. Mind you, when every word to every song of your set is howled back at you full volume from an entire room as they all try and stage dive throughout every song its probably hard to keep a smile off your face. Picking highlights of a set that was flawless would be pointless but some of the band’s newer material from the brilliant ‘All We Love We Leave Behind’ inspired a particularly riotous response. After nearly twenty years most bands should not be able to still be this unbelievably good. In twenty years, very few bands have ever been this good.
Glasgow has not seen a more convincing, emotive, dynamic and fun set all this year. And possibly the year before that. And the one before that. Maybe the one before that as well…
Reviewer: Calum McMillan