LIVE REVIEW: Being As An Ocean @ The Asylum, Birmingham
A bitter wind lashes the faces of those lining up for a night of alternative music at one of Birmingham’s premier alternative venues. The asylum, This evening. Luckily alcohol and three outstanding heavy bands passed by BE LIKE AN OCEAN Wait inside to warm the cockles of the second city’s emo contingent this Thursday night.
First up is the British metalcore act hectares. Their anthemic post-hardcore songs aren’t particularly original, but they translate well to the live setting as the band’s animated performance brings the material to life. Between the songs, frontman ben wood is unassuming and welcoming, which is certainly refreshing to see from a Metalcore frontman.
Next up is the five from Buckinghamshire WHILE EVERYTHING IS DEVELOPED. The balanced combination of metal breakdowns, sing-along choruses and electronic flourishes feels like a perfect match for a BE LIKE AN OCEAN Opening slot, and the crowd’s reaction proves the point.
Their melodic metalcore is a delight, with every leap and scream from the energetic frontwoman Charlie Rolfe win the audience even more for the band. Felt like home is a clear highlight that immediately appeals to every listener in the room with its catchy refrain. The set really gets going with sewing On the inside A punchy track that showcases the perfect blend of catchy vocal lines and down-tuned riffs.
Today’s headliner set is the most coveted type of set: an anniversary set. A decade has passed since the band’s debut LP, Dear DG first made waves in the alternative music world and tonight the quartet treats us to almost the entire record, along with many snippets from their four subsequent albums.
Despite being so closely associated with the emo subgenre, BE LIKE AN OCEAN are actually much harder to categorize, merging elements of post-hardcore, metalcore and, believe it or not, spoken word into a melting pot of alternative genres. The California troupe’s bold fusion of sounds has left them divided, and their refusal to commit to a cohesive sound has undoubtedly cost them a few fans throughout their career.
But through all these experiments BE LIKE AN OCEANThe core fans of have remained loyal to them, and tonight those dedicated few are rewarded with one of the best rock shows of the year. Take the stage with the rousing opener from the debut album Nothing but the power given to themfrontman Joel Quartuccio looks and sounds like the rock star he always was, ruling his congregation with fervor despite the gaps in the crowd.
The band wastes no time increasing the intensity as they move on to what is arguably their biggest hit. Dear GD. This almost achingly honest ballad hits just as hard as it did ten years ago. The poignant lyrics “For the first time in my life…I live for the sake of living, love for the sake of loving”hits even harder after the years of global turmoil we have endured and continue to endure.
The exquisite d’ouleur and This loneliness will not be my death have a similar effect, summoning each body to the barrier for some powerful shouts along. For hardcore fans who like to hear deep album cuts We’ll never be the same again is a treat, while newcomers have plenty to enjoy with five tracks off their softer, electronically-led 2017 album Waiting for the coming morning. Michael McGoughThe clean vocals of shine on these tracks, bringing a different kind of sing-along energy to the action.
As always, the set is included The hardest thing is forgetting the ones you swore you would never forget. As the frontman joins the crowd to embrace his audience, it really feels like he’s surrounded by family. It’s a special moment for the fans in attendance, from a band you can count on giving their all at every performance.
Check out our photo gallery of Birmingham night action by Serena Hill Photography here:
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