Manchester's Moho Live was the venue for this hotly anticipated show which saw a number of unique but similar minded bands take to the stage.
Departures opened the night with their melody-infused hardcore to a modest but receptive crowd. The Scottish band have grown in stature lately and are just another example of the burgeoning UK scene at present (The Cold Harbour, Landscapes, Foxxes). The best track they played came from their new EP and they're definitely one to watch for the future.
Next up was Seahaven, a band I was looking forward to almost as much as the headline act. Their sound is something of a throwback to 90s emo, reminiscent of bands like Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate and Texas is the Reason, with DIY-sounding instrumentation, beautiful clean vocals and evocative lyrics. The first half of their set was taken from their full-length whilst the second half was taken from their EP. It all sounded incredible.
The third act of the night was Pianos Become the Teeth. I'd only listened to a couple of their tracks prior to the show and didn't really get what they were about. Seeing them live, however, I understood. Their music is something of a cross between Explosions in the Sky and Defeater. They take the post-rock band's atmospheric guitars and crisp, powerful drums and mix it with faster hardcore sections. They play with a lot of passion and the unorthodox song structures make them even more interesting. I went home as a convert.
Balance & Composure closed out the night with an excellent performance. They opened with a new take on the opening track to their album, Void. This was followed by a song I didn't actually recognise. It was a slightly off-beat opening to the set but I grew into it when they played More to Me, my personal favourite by them. The remainder of the set comprised of other crowd pleasers, from Quake to Stonehands and I Tore You Apart In My Head. The sound setup could have been better; sadly the vocals didn't come through too clearly but this did little to dampen what was a fantastic set.
There were only a few UK dates on this tour but it will definitely be a memorable one for hardcore fans who enjoy the softer side of music.