Live review: Touche Amore, Deafheaven and Portrayal of Guilt at Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands, September 26th, 2019

Everyone who attended this evening already heard Touche Amore’s vocalist Jeremy Bolm saying it on stage: this was a tour they already wanted to do for quite some time, but didn’t happen earlier because of different schedules, the co-headline tour with Deafheaven. This evening that tour landed in the venue of Patronaat in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Portrayal of Guilt is the support act.

A few moments before Portrayal of Guilt is going to kick off this evening, the venue is already quite crowded. As soon as this three-piece starts their show there is a lot of energy coming off of the stage, especially coming from guitarist/vocalist Matt King’s very filthy vocals. His vocals are mostly consisting of filthy shouting), but at some moments there are also some grunts and a bit cleaner vocals to be heard. Instrumentally Portrayal of Guilt delivers heavy parts, that are sounding quite chaotic, as well as some more quiet parts. In addition to the fact that they deliver heavier as well as more quiet parts, Portrayal of Guilt’s music also includes some surprising twists and postponements. In between their songs there are loud and brutal noise-parts to be heard. Drummer James Beveridge has some problems with his bassdrum during this show, which fortunately has not much effect on this show, in which his powerful drums are still standing out very much. During this set it also becomes clear that it is going to be a good evening in terms of the lights by looking at the nice, chaotic, very fitting lightshow during this set. The music is nice, the lightshow is nice, but what’s happening on stage is quite static. Of course, that’s also due to the facts that Matt King not only plays the guitar but also has to be near a microphone for his vocals, because Portrayal of Guilt is only consisting of three members and one of them being the drummer.

Then it’s time for Deafheaven, who’s blackgaze show needs a bit of adjusting to coming from Portrayal of Guilt’s noisy hardcore punk. However, Deafheaven surely knows how to deliver an awesome show and they do so in very well-done way. That makes that adjusting takes less time than you would probably expect. Especially vocalist George Clarke shows to be a true stage animal. He shows a lot of energy with his many movements, in which it stands out that he seems to follow an extra rhythm with his headbanging inside the instruments’ rhythm, which fits perfectly and looks very nice and intense. He seems to be completely in his element on stage. In addition to that he also delivers his vocals in a very powerful way, including regularly penetrating looks towards the audience. Unfortunately his vocals are, at some moments, a bit softer in the mix than fitting, but that isn’t holding back Deafheaven from delivering a very nice show. Deafheaven also delivers heavier parts as well as dreamier, atmospheric parts, sometimes including very nice usage of only guitarist Shiv Mehra, who is standing on the left side of the stage, playing over the speakers on the left or only guitarist Kerry McCoy, who is standing on the right side of the stage, playing over the speakers on the right. Just as during Portrayal of Guilt’s show, the lightshow during Deafheaven’s show is also very nice and fitting, now in a more dreamy, atmospheric way.

After Deafheaven’s nice show, it is up to tonight’s headliner to enter the stage: Touche Amore. During this show Touche Amore is playing their debut …To the Beat of a Dead Horse in its entirety. However, this album’s length is only a bit more than 18 minutes, so beside that they play a lot more. This was my first time seeing Touche Amore live, just as that being the case for Deafheaven and Portrayal of Guilt by the way, but hopefully it won’t be the last time. Wow, what a show! As soon as the band enters the stage a lot of energy is unleashed upon the audience, just as there is a lot of energy being unleashed within the band members as soon as they start their show, especially within frontman Jeremy Bolm. This is only boosting the audience’s energy, that is getting another boost when Jeremy, including microphone, jumps off of the stage into the audience to go crazy altogether. A big moshpit is constantly moving and is throwing itself against the stage each time Jeremy is bending and pointing his microphone towards the audience. It’s clear that the audience is getting the craziest during this show, in the aforementioned moshpit as well as with shouting and clapping along.

This was a very awesome evening with three very nice shows for sure, with in my opinion Touche Amore’s show being the strongest and most convincing show of tonight.

You can read an earlier live review of Deafheaven here.

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