Touché Amoré + Deafheaven @ AB Box, Brussels, Belgium

Words: Miljan Milekić

I honestly think that Jeremy Bolm is probably the only person in the world who can yell the song in the 1000+ people cap room without the freaking microphone, and still be heard by every one of them. It’s been six years since I last saw them, and the progress they’ve made as a band is incredible. And by any means, the show Touché Amoré delivered in Brussels was on the next level. From the very beginning to the very end, the band showed how much they’ve grown in their career, and why they are still one of the best hardcore and post-hardcore bands around.

I do kinda miss the days of seeing them in small and sweaty rooms of Dürer Kert in Budapest or Močvara in Zagreb, but at this point, it would be too selfish and self-centric to wish for those times to come back. However, the show did bring a fair share of nostalgia. The first part of their show was in its entirety dedicated to the tenth anniversary of their debut album ‘…To the Beat of a Dead Horse,’ which was played front to back. It’s amazing to see how important and fresh this album sounds a decade after its release, and how songs like ‘Honest Sleep,’ ‘Cadence,’ or ‘Adieux’ still cause mayhem in the crowd.

In the other part of their set, Touché Amoré delivered the selection of songs from their other records, making this show even crazier. Showing how good and diverse their back catalog is, they carefully combined older stuff with some newer material even including the brand new single ‘Deflector,’ taken from their upcoming new album expected sometime next year. With songs such as ‘Amends,’ ‘Pathfinder,’ ‘Palm Dreams,’ ‘Rapture,’ or ‘Just Exist,’ they just can’t go wrong. With ‘Parting the Sea…’ being especially close to my heart, I was especially mind-blown with powerful renditions of ‘Home Away From Here,’ and a strong finish with ‘~.’

On the other hand, I always had a problem listening to Deafheaven. While black metal was never my thing, I love a million post-something bands, and the San Francisco band was always somewhere in between. While I couldn’t call myself a fan, I do respect them and their work. Live, however, it is a totally different thing. The five-piece delivered a strong, emotional set, at moments offering a hypnotic experience. Although they managed to pack only six songs into their hour-long set, I don’t think any of the fans left home disappointed. The band is at the top level, clearly enjoyed being on the stage, and showed why the hype around them is justified. Speaking of hype, there is quite a bit of it around show-openers Portrayal Of Guilt, but as we sadly missed their set, more about them some other time.

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