This is a significant show for Architects, their biggest to date. Alexandra Palace is a huge venue, able to hold over 10,000 people. Alongside While She Sleeps, the melodic hardcore mob have managed to sell it out. If that doesn’t make you proud to be a metal fan, I don’t know what will.
That being said, Ally Pally might be rich in heritage but it’s a pain the ass to get into. The 30 plus minutes it takes to get in means a fair few fans may have missed the start of While She Sleeps.
It’s frustrating as increases security sees a huge queue still in place over an hour after doors have opened. Even then when inside the venue, a poorly thought-out ‘one door only’ in & out of the main hall sees everyone grind to a halt again. After waiting 10-15 minutes to just get into the hall, to then see venue staff suddenly open more doors really make you question the organisation.
All the annoying waits aside, the main hall of Alexandra Palace is massive. Even sold out there is plenty of room to move about & get a beer. The stage is huge & even if you’re right at the back the sound is decent. That being said, While She Sleeps feel a bit lost up there.
After an exciting intro, Sleeps hit the stage to a deafening roar. One that suggests they could one day play this venue as headliners. Should they have come out with a more explosive start then the title track off their latest album, You Are We? Probably but once it gets going it doesn’t matter. The tracks off You Are We sound absolutely huge live in particular a stunning rendition of Hurricane.
That being said, the setlist is short (8 tracks) and the likes of Four Walls fall a little flat. Possibly because a lot of While She Sleeps’ tunes seem tailor made for smaller, more intense venues.
That problem doesn’t affect Architects though. This is a band meant for big stages & huge crowds. The light show, the fire that bursts from the front of the stage but most importantly the tracks, Architects are a revelation. No matter if it’s tracks like Naysayer, Gravity or Doomsday, each song punches with the weight of a thousand punches.
There is a certain amount of emotion attached to this show. Architects have been through a hell of a lot over the last few years & when they take time to reflect on that, it’s a genuinely ‘lump in the throat’ moment. A guitar issue gives frontman Sam Carter time to really express himself on stage & it feels so sincere.
Their set flies by in a hail of hardcore, melodic metalcore. Highlights include a raging rendition of These Colours Don’t Run and Gravedigger.
This might have been Architects biggest show to date but they don’t let the hugeness get to them, they seem so at ease & it leaves you confident that this is not a one-off.
Architects & While She Sleeps at Alexandra Palace, London (03/02/18)