The toughest question about this gig was – on a Monday ?! I guess, back then when Thomas, Maik and I ordered the tickets for Converge in July, we also added the tickets for October because the combination of Deafheaven and Touché Amoré seemed absolutely nice. Maik as well as I had not seen either of the bands until that date – Thomas seems to have seen every band I ever knew a few hundred times. As mentioned above – it was quite hard to fit this evening into a regular day at work, because we all had to drive from Bochum / Gelsenkirchen to Cologne and back – which is quite a thing on a Monday. Originally, we planned to join Thomas when he finished work and drive in one car – but we failed right from the beginning and ended up driving with two cars ( Thomas – Maik + Roman) and Thomas arrived about 1.5h earlier – only to make sure that he is able to see Portrayal of Guilt (that devotion!).
Just moments before Thomas started off (an hour before us), we realized that on that same date there was also gonna be a Pixies concert and another concert in a location nearby (both pretty sold-out). Thus, it is probably quite easy to anticipate traffic and parking situation. Nevertheless, everyone of us made it there in time and we ( I ) were even able to grab a beer before entering the location. When having entered, we met with Thomas and he immediately told us that he bought several shirts from the merch table (not handing in a picture for a merch update on IG!). Before Portrayal of Guilt beginned, the location remained quite calm and there were not too many people to fill the entire hall. The first thing that drew my attention was the security line between stage and front row – which definitely is a minus on a Hardcore show (when speaking of Touché Amoré). Stuff like that always constructs a less intimate vibe on a concert.
At about 8pm sharp, Portrayal of Guilt began with their set (this is one of the points where it becomes clear that we are in Germany). Up to this point, I had not yet heard any Portrayal of Guilt track, but I knew that Thomas was pretty much into them and Steven (who visited the same tour one day later in Munich) told me to definitely make sure to see them on that day. And they were absolutely right. The mixture of dissonant sounds, the Post-Black Metal vibe and the incredibly on-point vocals I was able to hear were pretty convincing. The show felt like a thunderstorm at some points due to the thrashing drums. I have to admit that I need to listen into their music after having seen them live.
It took some more time for Deafheaven to enter the stage but eventually they opened their show with their latest track “Black Brick” that caused quite a stir when it was released. The sound was absolutely on-point throughout the entire show. As far as I got to know, Thomas (who was quite keen on seeing Deafheaven) enjoyed the whole show. To me, however, there was not enough Sunbather. I personally cannot connect with the successors of that album – although I am able to admit musical finesse on these records – which was why I predominantly came to hear the track “Sunbather”. Eventually, I was a bit disappointed that they did not play my absolute favorite. Nevertheless it was still worth seeing Deafheaven play their set live.
After Deafheaven had left the stage it was for the headliner to enter stage and I – although I quite frequently do not long for the headliner on shows – was waiting desperately for Touché Amoré to begin. As soon as they entered, it was possible to feel the energy on stage. They opened up with “And now it’s happening in mine” and it was amazing – and directly followed by “Honest Sleep.” When those final words “I’ll count the hours – Having just one wish – If I’m doing fine – There’s no point to this” came up, Jeremy (Vocals) climbed away from the security line and came right into the middle of the audience – repeatedly shouting these words – and the crowd (me included) went nuts. The beginning of the set consisted of playing the entire “…To The Beat Of A Dead Horse” from front to back since the show took place during the tenth anniversary of the album. After having heard this amazing album in its entirety on stage – even more bangers filled the evening. Right after the final track of the album, “Just Exist” continued the show and the crowd went crazy. Several songs from their latest album followed – together with songs from the remaining releases. When Jeremy reached the middle part of the final track of the show “Rapture” – then followed by several encores – he again came to the audience and everyone was in screaming “like a wave – like a rapture – someone you love is gone” and the energy among the fans was overwhelming. After having left and come back on stage, Touché Amoré finished the set with “Method Act” – the track I wanted to hear so bad – and “~”. I was able to hear every goddamn track I wanted to hear. At some point I thought that I was getting older and losing interest in getting involved in first row – but thanks Touché Amoré for proving me wrong – remaining at any other spot than the front would have felt wrong to me.
After having seen Touché Amoré I have to say that most probably this has been the show of the year – and it was on a motherfuckin’ Monday. Although we all had to get back to work on Tuesday – no one gave a shit about the time and the whole evening was great – especially the headliner this time.
Fun Fact – I got in when singing along with Touché Amoré so bad that I lost my voice for several days after that show – nevertheless totally worth it.