I had been looking forward to seeing Counterparts again since a few months ago. I've seen them plenty of times (at least 7 or 8 times), but after not seeing them for 3 or 4 months, I started to get a little anxious. Tonight they played a hometown show in Hamilton, Ontario at The Underground with support from Obey the Brave, Prophets, and Abide.
The opening band, Abide, started their set with a very lengthy breakdown intro in hopes of getting the crowd moving. The majority of their set actually turned out to be just one big breakdown and a lot of the songs sounded very similar. Another thing to note is the clean vocals were kind of sloppy. After a few songs, I was becoming bored and just wanted their set to end and the show to move forward. I had never listened to any of their recorded stuff before the show. Because of that, I had an open mind going into the show. However, they didn't really impress me (or their hometown crowd) very much.
The second band to play was Prophets - also hailing from Hamilton. Right from the get go, this band brought it. They were melodic, catchy, and heavy all that same time. They played a few songs off their debut EP called In the Grips of Conflict, as well as a few new songs from their upcoming album, The Youth, which they will begin recording at the end of April. My favourite part about Prophets' set was that they sounded great and they all looked like they were having an amazing time. I liked their performance so much that as I write this review, I'm listening to their EP. Make sure to check out this band if you're a fan of melodic hardcore.
Next up was Obey the Brave. If you are unaware, Obey the Brave features ex-members of Despised Icon and Blind Witness. While they did display some influences from their previous bands, let it be known that Obey the Brave is not a deathcore band. From the songs that they played, it sounds like they're aiming for more of a metalcore/melodic hardcore sound, similar to something like The Ghost Inside. Although no one in the crowd knew any of the songs except Live and Learn, their performance was impressive and got the crowd moving plenty of times during their massive breakdowns. Be on the lookout for their upcoming album/EP titled "Ups and Downs".
The headlining band, Counterparts, was the third hometown group to play. After a lengthy setup due to Brendan's (vocalist) microphone not working as well as it should have, they opened with the first track off "The Current Will Carry Us", The Disconnect. Then, they played Only Anchors, Thank God, I Am No One, and (You Think You're) John Fucking Locke. After those songs, Counterparts played Isolation, The Constant, and Jumping Ship. Like the majority of the times that I've seen them, their encore song was Sturdy Wings, and why wouldn't they play Sturdy Wings to finish off their set? It's the perfect way to end a set and an even better way to end a night. There was a crowd of about 150-200 people and at least half of the fans screamed along "THIS IS WHERE I BELONG! THIS IS WHERE WE BELONG!", while half of those people jumped up on stage for a huge pile on.
Despite the sub-par opening band, the rest of the bands were all incredible. I couldn't have asked for a better finish to a pretty good day.
Links: Abide - Prophets - Obey the Brave - Counterparts