Four bands on a school night is unheard of these days, but that’s exactly what was served up at the Triffid on Wednesday night as California’s Touche Amore kicked off their Australian tour.
Unfortunately, I missed opening band King of Hearts but arrived in time to catch the last three songs from Sydney’s Endless Heights, with their ambient style of moody, atmospheric rock going over well with the Wednesday night crowd.
‘Teach You How to Leave’ and ‘Drain’ showcased the potential of these guys and judging from the reaction from the early crowd I should have arrived just a little earlier myself.
The first thing that struck me about Turnover was the bright orange shirt worn by the drummer, but the natives from Virginia Beach, Virginia, quickly set about turning the focus to their music with a tight set of easy listening soft rock. Vocalist Austin Getz has a captivating voice with their tales of disenchanted youth striking a chord with their many fans in the crowd. Some of the guitar tones pulled out by both guitarists were eclectic and in a strange way comforting, with Austin’s brother Casey on drums quickly proving he was more than just a shining beacon of colour up the back.
The band was nothing flashy; more like good, solid, honest rock but was a bit too Dawson’s Creekish for my tastes.
From the moment Elliot Babin‘s kick drum pierced the silence it was clear that Touche Amore were going to up the ante significantly and that’s exactly what they did launching into a ferocious rendition of ‘Flowers and You’ and ‘New Halloween’ in quick succession before I even had time to mutter WTF.
Vocalist Jeremy Bolm, diminutive in stature and meek in speaking voice exploded like a madman as soon as the microphone approached his lips and the way he paced the stage with venom in his eyes was the sign of a man on a mission. He refused to stand idle at any juncture – even in between songs – and his passion and obvious dedication to his music was as infectious as it was captivating.
The crowd sang along with gusto in every song, with ‘Just Exist’, ‘Rapture’ and ‘DNA’ all sending sections of the crowd into overdrive.
The timing and tempo changes in ‘Art’ and ‘Displacement’ showcased the versatility and talent within the band and the sparingly used clean and dirty backup vocals only served to punctuate the set, not overload it.
Set closers and older songs ‘Method Act’ and ‘Honest’ drained the last bit of energy out of the appreciative fans and despite the set being barely more than fifty minutes long, Touche Amore powered through 18 songs of snarling fury that dripped with intent and barked with vigor.
The sight of audience members crowd surfing towards the microphone to help sing ‘Method Act’ was perhaps one of the finest displays of adulation I have seen at a performance, topped only maybe by Bolm leaping into the pit to sing the last verse of ‘Honest’ with his fans but without a microphone. He said during the set that “eclectic tours are the best tours because you get a bit of everything” but that is the only part of the evening I disagreed with.
Without disrespect to the supporting bands, a performance like this from Touche Amore deserves an equally chaotic lead in, but then perhaps if they did the crowd would be too worn out to enjoy the main event.
Photography by Ken Ken