Architects headlined the Doomsday Tour with Stick To Your Guns and Counterparts at The Fonda Wednesday night.
The first words I heard as I sat down in the photo pit were, "I didn’t know you were into psychedelics.” There was an uncomfortable pause before a girl said, “I meant portobello.” While this made me chuckle to myself, I didn't know that the night would be filled with more uncomfortable silence.
Counterparts kickstarted the night with their heavy breakdowns and metalcore/punk music. The crowd was insanely hyped up for Stick To Your Guns and Architects. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a band amp up the crowd this much. If I didn’t have camera gear on me, I would have rushed into the pit. There were many circle pits at The Fonda that evening. Not those weak, everyone is tired from the work week, circle pits you see at festivals. This was Wednesday. These were packed, swirling, writhing circle pits. It was glorious.
Things stepped up a notch as Stick To Your Guns put on a killer performance. The awesome circle pits transformed into mosh pits and crowd surfing. The energy in the room was palpable as the hardcore punk band played four songs off their 2012 record Diamond and three songs off their 2017 record True View. Vocalist Jesse Barnett gave positive and uplifting speeches in between songs, giving the band a break from all of the awesome jumping and running around they were doing on stage.
Members of the bands Volumes, The Word Alive, Fit For A King, and Beartooth were all in attendance of the show, excited to see Architects perform next. The seemingly mandatory song "Chop Suey" played over the loudspeakers for the crowd causing everyone to join in singing. The lights dimmed and the crowd began changing "AR-CHI-TECTS AR-CHI-TECTS." The ambient track lying beneath the chanting gave me a clue as to which song they were going to play first. It was "A Match Made In Heaven" and the crowd went ballistic. From there, the set went as planned until Architects played the song "Gravity." Near the end of the song, all of the musicians randomly stopped playing. We all stood there confused as Sam (vocals) said, "we've just lost power to the stage." A very uncomfortable silence drew over the crowd like a wet blanket as Sam filled the silence by talking about California, life and the band. After a few minutes, the show continued as normal as Architects played “Phantom Fear.” It took a second for the crowd to get back into the music before the music slowly died. "We've lost power again," Sam declared. The silence persisted and Sam kept talking and apologizing for the technical difficulties. He explained that the power to their in-ear monitors cut out and they couldn't hear each other play. Then he said something which caused made me rather anxious. He said something in the realm of, "we're going to try to keep playing but if this continues, we're going to have to stop playing songs." They started playing "The Devil Is Near" but were cut off again. The whole band stormed off stage and Sam asked for patience as they tried to fix the problem. The house lights came up and the moshing stopped. The pit was still there in the middle of the crowd, but no one was moving. It was a sad sight for a metal head to see. Dan Searle hopped on stage after a few moments and began talking to the crowd in an effort to keep them in the building. I'm pretty sure no one left because all we wanted was to see Architects play their set uninterrupted. Surprisingly, we did. The rest of the band hopped up on stage and began playing "These Colors Don't Run." At the time we didn't know that the rest of the set would continue as planned, so the feeling of worry was visceral. After finally completing a song, the tension eased. As Architects played "Gravedigger" the concert went back to being whirlwind of energy and killer music.
I found that the awkward silences between the songs gave me new appreciation for the music when it finally came back on. The end of the set was spectacular. They played "Doomsday" and then an encore of "Nihilist" and "Gone With The Wind" which was a near perfect ending to their set. The crowd seemed to forget about the show's issues as they sang, moshed, and cheered through the night.