On April 26th, 2019, Architects opened up their largest North American Tour at the House of Blues Anaheim California.
They kicked off their first stop with openers Thy Art Is Murder and While She Sleeps on their first Sold Out show of the tour. This tour is the definition of dreams coming true and breaking stereotype barriers that we all face in the heavy metal community.
Architects have been around for more than ten years but have only recently exploded in the music scene circa 2013 here in the states. They first formed in 2004 by twin brothers Dan and Tom Searle. Rest In Peace Tom Searle. While Tom is no longer with us, his legacy continues. Architects are a British band with members Dan Searle, Alex Dean, Sam Carter, Adam Christianson, and Josh Middleton. They are known to put on a stellar shows for fans and they didn't disappoint here in the states. We wish we got to see their pyro show but with how small the venue was, the fire marshals clearly said no.
First opener of the night was While She Sleeps. They didn't let the first night jitters get to them at all. They performed their hearts out and the crowd returned the favor by opening up one of the coolest pits I have ever seen that ended up launching fifteen people at once into the air to ride the crowd. Needless to say, security had their hands full all night.
Shout out to the House of Blues security. They didn't drop a single crowd surfer all night and made sure all the photographers in the show were protected and able to do their jobs.
The energy in the room was raw and real. I've never seen so many fans show up this early for a show at the House of Blues. Before my team and I walked into the show, fans were already outside lined up around the entire complex. There was at least five hundred people lined up hours before the show. I personally love when fans show up early because they fuel the openers to perform even better.
While She Sleeps was truly amazing. They didn't stand still. They ran all over the stage and kept the audience engaged during every second of their set. While She Sleeps is an English Metal Core band that formed shortly after Architects did in 2006. Throughout the night they thanked Architects for bringing them out and rewarded the crowd in guitar picks and set lists, which is always fun for the crowd.
Lead singer Lawrence Taylor killed the night with his screams and growls. Despite having throat surgery in 2013, you could never tell. His vocals were clean and he didn't miss a beat or note. They were so good that I honestly wish they came on after Thy Art Is Murder. Their energy and sound matched more with Architects over Thy Art Is Murder.
Thy Art Is Murder is one band I never thought I’d see live, let alone get to shoot on film. It was truly the perfect lineup for this tour. Thy Art Is Murder is a Deathcore band that formed in 2006 in Sydney Australia. They had many tricks up their sleeve and goodies for the crowd. From guitar picks to new music never performed live. They kept the crowd moshing and wanting more.
Lead singer Chris McMahon teased the crowd while the band tuned and got ready to perform "Fur and Claw" off their record Holy War. This has never been performed live, so you know fans were ready to get crazy.
The mosh pit began to grow scary and roared as fans pushed and shoved to the beat. The entire venue at this point was unmovable and fans were having to get creative for an eye view. The room was hot and sweaty and fans didn't mind as they cheered and screamed along with Chris McMahon.
Just shortly before this tour kicked off, drummer Lee Stanton left the band and was quickly replaced by Jesse Beahler. Jesse Beahler killed the show. He played wonderfully and to those that don’t know everything about the band, no one could tell. Going back to what I said earlier, I wish they performed first just because of how static feeling they were on stage. They made up for the lack of energy by all the surprises they kept dishing out. They ended the night by performing their new single "Human Target" that came out 16 hours before the show. It was a real treat and left fans out of breath by the end of it. They left the stage thanking their idols and soon after the stage crew whooshed onto the stage for Architects.
Architects had a stellar stage set up. Due to how small the stage is at the House of Blues, they figured out how to make it work by bringing in high rise raisers. They had drummer Dan Searle set up on the top raiser with keyboardist and bassist, Alex Dean. It was slightly disappointing to see how far back they were on stage but there's only so much they can do with a small stage. Alex Dean was forced to the back corner making it hard for fans and photographers to see him, but the sound is what matters.
Lead singer Sam Carter opened the show by telling show goers that LA is one of their favorite places in the world to perform at. They spent an entire week vacationing in LA before the tour officially kicked off.
The set list was fresh and everything the fans wanted to hear. They performed a two hour emotional set for fans with songs, "Death Is Not Defeat", "Modern Misery", "Nihilist", "Deathwish", "Phantom Fear", "Holy Hell", "Royal Beggars", "Gravedigger", "Mortal After All", "Downfall", "Naysayer", "These Colours Don't Run", "A Match Made in Heaven", "Hereafter", "Gone With the Wind", and "Doomsday".
On stage they were missing their band mate Josh Middleton, who will be sitting out this tour temporarily. Josh's wife just had the second baby of the Architects family! Congratulations to the Middleton family! Guitar tech Martin Evans replaced him for the tour and did a phenomenal job on stage.
The show was full of emotions and kept running with the punches. Sam would do the occasional speech leaving audience members teary eyed or smiling in excitement. You never know what Sam will throw your way.
Sam came out to speak about Male Suicide and how it's one of the leading causes in male death in today's society. He encouraged fans of all ages to seek help in friends, family, and professional services. Sam spoke up about his depression and how he's been on antidepressants for years and has been seeking help in therapy. He asked for the crowd to not applaud him and to listen to his word he's trying to get out. He wanted everyone to know that there's nothing wrong with seeking help and that it doesn't make you less of a person for getting help. The crowd stood still and listened to his beautiful words.
Sam spoke to fans about how it's an honor to be in Tom’s band performing Tom’s music still. It's not easy losing a band member, especially when they've become a second family. Fans understood and Sam took a minute alone in the back to get himself together before the encore. As he came back to the mic he talked about how they've been a band for over ten years and that the last time they were at the House of Blues, they had a crowd half the size of the sold out crowd. I never felt so proud to be attending a show until now.
Sam Carter is a true performer and is phenomenal. His vocals sound spot on live. His transitions from calm notes to screams are beautifully done. He didn’t crack once on stage and kept up with the energy. He shared heartwarming moments with Adam Christianson on stage. Adam Christianson killed it on the guitar. He played beautifully and jumped around his side of the stage with a few guitar kicks.
The whole set was beautiful. Despite there being no fire, they killed it with the light show. They had this beautiful backdrop that casted down a huge full moon for everyone to see. Its presence beaming down on all of us really set the mood. As the night came to an end, Sam thanked everyone for supporting them. In his words he said, “Thank you for spending your hard earned money and coming out to support us. It means the world to us. The last time we were here, no one knew who we were. Now we're standing in a room that is full and sold out. We've been around for more than ten years and were so fucking happy to be here.”
They finished off with a fake encore and the fans rejoiced together and partied in the parking lot. Fans became friends and played Architects in the parking garage after sharing food and drinks. As a band, you know you're doing something right when fans leave making friends with one another and still continue the night in honor of the band.
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Nikkie Marie for ©ZRockR Magazine, All Rights Reserved