Live Review: Stray From The Path, Capsize, Obey The Brave & Renounced @ Camden Underworld 05/10/2017!

It’s a sold out show at Camden’s The Underworld tonight and despite the early doors at 18:00 there is a queue down the road by 17:30, such is the love for Stray From The Path. Reading’s Renounced [4] kick off tonight’s proceedings to a gradually filling venue for the opening night of the European leg of the “Death Is Only Real” tour, though there is plenty of love for them with spin kickers in the audience. Their twin guitar attack is well versed with the lead work evenly shared between their players as they plough through most of their 2016 album “Theories of Despair” to great effect and the use of spoken word sections rather than clean vocals is an interesting take on the genre.

There has been no official announcement, but as with the “Mad Season” video, Montreal’s Obey The Brave [3] take the stage as a four piece down a guitarist – social media still lists them as five piece so hopefully it’s just temporary. Straight from the off it’s clear that the band are jet lagged and suffering technical issues. A muddy guitar sound means that some if not all of the lead guitar work is lost in the mix. While vocalist Alex Erian has added his own clean vocals to his noted anvil heavy uncleans to add depth to the bands hardcore sound, it’s the gang vocals from the other three members of the band that stand out. A lot of the new songs have Woah’s thrown in and material from their debut album “Young Blood” stand out in stark contrast to the newer material simply because it’s heavier. The band kick off with “Full Circle” and close with “Get Real” and everything in between is full of bass drops and breakdowns. The problem is Obey The Brave have a sound which requires them to be performing at 110% and for obvious reasons, they just aren’t tonight.

After a 20 minute delay due, again due to technical issues with guitars that sees Stray From The Path’s guitarist Tom Williams on stage to help out, Capsize [4] finally get started. The Southern Californian post-hardcore crew are also down a member, this time hitting the stage with no bassist. August single “Cold Shoulder” goes down well and stage diving gets the venue’s security team’s attention. Capsize live show by contrast to Obey The Brave’s is full of frenetic energy and frontman Daniel Wand’s requests for chaos from the crowd reciprocated by the band. Every song from the band is at 100 mph with no let up and the Camden crowd lap it up.

By the time tonight’s headliners Stray From The Path [5] take the stage, Camden Underworld is packed and has become a sweat box. The opening chimes of “Only Death Is Real” act as an intro before the band burst into “The Opening Move”, “The Loudest In The Room” and “Outbreak”. Crowd movement is plentiful from the off and every song is a sing along without any prompting from frontman Drew York. The band deliver a masterclass in performance and by the time Drew York slows the set up to spend a couple of minutes talking about racism, the audience are eating out of the palm of his hand. Tonight’s set is a mixture of songs from “Only Death Is Real” and “Subliminal Criminals” with a couple of nods at “Anonymous”, most notably “Badge & A Bullet” which is accompanied by stage diving and fans on the stage screaming along. Drew York makes a point of introducing British Drummer Craig Reynolds, who’s parents and wife are in the audience tonight. Closing their set by an encore of the single “Only Death Is Real”, Stray From The Path are in the form of their lives and the crowd love every second.

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