Firstly a few words about the venue. I would not have chosen SSE Wembley as a great music venue. It’s vast and hanger like with insufficient toilets for the number of people and the bars and food are not great.
In current times everyone has to go through a metal detector to get in and I did notice on the way out that access is severely restricted, again I assume for security reasons.
But on the positive side it didn’t actually take long to get in to the standing area and the sound quality is actually very good but on the headliners set in some ways that album quality did make it sound a little lifeless.
Arrived at 7.30 and missed the second support “Polaris” from Australia so first band I saw were “Beartooth”. They had a good following in the hall and are hard-core post punk with a little bit of humour added in. They did a reasonable rendition of Ramones Blitzkrieg Bop on the album “Aggressive” (their second LP) and did a good job of warming the crowd, despite the cavernous venue.
Band changes were also reasonably efficient and “Architects” hit the stage about 9.15. I saw these guys’ couple of years back at Brixton O2, so they have clearly expanded their following since then (although there were empty seats). They had just released “All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us” and were touring shortly after the death of guitarist Tom Searle, one of the founding members, who died from skin cancer.
The Brighton based band clearly have a loyal following, this being their biggest headline to date, and possibly an unusual occurrence for a band of this musical genre.
Current album “Holy Hell” released in 2018 is inevitably a little bit more melodic as compared to the full on nihilism of “All our Gods…” The punters around me seemed to feel they played the better tracks from the new album with some older stuff such as “Naysayer” and “Gravedigger” and “Nihilist”. As is probably inevitable they featured the latest album heavily (See set list below)
They had a big light show to accompany the set and some serious pyrotechnics. Despite being about of a third of the way back in the standing area the heat was immediate and intense so it must have been singed eyebrows at the front.
- Death Is Not Defeat
- Modern Misery
- Broken Cross
- Holy Hell
- Royal Beggars
- Mortal After All
- These Colours Don’t Run
- A Match Made in Heaven
- A Wasted Hymn
- Memento Mori
(Middle Section Only)
- Gone With the Wind