One of the best ways to start of a hot, sold out Friday at Jera on Air is by watching American hardcore quintet Touché Amoré’s set. Apparently a lot of people were looking forward to this performance, having braved the heat and the comforts of their festival tents
Playing a festival set can be a challenge for most bands, because of time limitations: the average Jera On Air time slot doesn’t exceed the one hour mark. But the forty minutes scheduled for Touché Amoré showed to be no problem at all. Being able to pull from a repertoire of songs that usually last one to two minutes, the band managed to fit a full fifteen songs into their set.
The opening songs from their latest full-length record Stage Four, like ‘Flowers and You’ and ‘Rapture’ are met with enthusiasm from the crowd that does not seem to give a single damn about the temperature and level of dust in the mosh pit. Older songs, like ‘And Now It’s Happening in Mine’ and ‘Uppers/Downers’ do not seem to have lost any of their power over time. The set is a seamless combination of old and new material, with the addition of a new song called ‘Green’.
Having been around since 2007, Touché Amoré have quite quickly become one of the leading bands in the emotionally loaded American post-hardcore movement. One of the reasons of their success is the immaculate performance of singer Jeremy Bolm, who changes into a completely different persona when on stage. At first a normal, slightly shy and introvert looking man, he changes into a powerhouse with vocals that never fail to deliver during live performances.
A second reason is the intelligent and powerful lyrics to their songs, resulting in the emotional and slightly heartbreaking last album Stage Four. The songs on the album describe the medical rollercoaster Bolm saw his mum suffer from due to cancer. Touché Amoré have always been an incredibly eloquent band, but whereas most bands fail to translate this to the live circuit, this California five-piece has no trouble getting the crowd moving without failing to deliver the message that they want to send. And that message seems to be: Touché Amoré are one of the most exciting and unique bands in the alternative music scene right now and their live performance is one to look forward to on every lineup.