Words By: Christina Marchioni
It may have been a cold and windy evening on April 4th in London Ontario, but Counterparts definitely brought the heat to Rum Runners. Counterparts, accompanied by Knocked Loose, Gideon, Expire and special guests Vice Ring, were welcomed by a large crowd that filled the venue.
All five bands played an energetic and powerful set which reflected in the crowds involvement with stage dives and crowd surfing. As Brendan Murphy, the vocalist of Counterparts mentioned, this was the best show they’ve played in London so far.
The London-based band Vice Ring started the show. They kicked it off with their song “Rot” which prompted a good response from the crowd, getting them moving around (exactly what the openers are supposed to do – get the crowd pumped for the upcoming bands). Their third song “Gods Gift” had some pretty awesome guitar riffs and was probably my favorite song from the set. All the songs flowed nicely into the next and the sound was evenly mixed so you could hear the vocals without them being too overpowering against the rest of the band. They ended their set with a song titled “Dead Last” which reminded be a bit of the former London band called Deserter (anyone at the show would’ve recognized some of Vice Rings’ members were actually previously in Deserter).
The second band Knocked Loose entered the stage to warm up the crowd for the following bands. This was their first time in London and with all their breakdowns I think it’s safe to assume that they left a pretty good impression on the crowd.
Next up was Gideon. These guys haven’t had the best of luck on this tour. In late March their van was broken into and they lost all their merch money, guarantees as well as personal belongings, passports, etc. Shortly after that incident the van was involved in an accident (everyone was okay!). Fall. Get Up. Repeat. I admire that despite everything, the dudes in Gideon don’t give up, and it was really incredible to see the music scene in London come together and support them. Gideon played a strong intro at the beginning of their set. With a good combination of both low and clean vocals and an energetic stage performance, the front of the venue was moving all over the place.
Following up Gideon was Expire. I found their instruments to be a little loud and overpowering at the beginning of their set. They has some pretty good energy on the stage and tried to get some circle pits going within the crowd. One thing I did admire was they stopped during the end of their last song as a fight was breaking out in the crowd. The vocalist, Josh Kelting, told the crowd “It doesn’t matter who you came to see, just stop the b*******!” And I couldn’t agree more. Once that was sorted out the band continued on with their last song and even got some people stage diving!
Last, but certainly not least, the most anticipated band of the evening, Counterparts. I have seen these guys perform in various venues countless times. I always look forward to seeing them live and each time I do, they somehow manage to improve and be better than the last. As soon as the band hit the stage there were people flying all over the place. When the song “Witness” started playing, the crowd kept pushing forward, trying to get closer to the stage to help with vocals and sing along with frontman Brendan Murphy. The energy during their set was incredible. Counterparts always plays with so much passion and emotion and give 110%. Murphy dedicated the song “Ghost” to his grandfather who suffers from Alzheimer’s and kept encouraging the audience to come forward and scream the lyrics back at him. They played some songs off of their earlier albums like ‘The Disconnect‘ (from The Current Will Carry Us) and ‘Compass‘ (from The Difference Between Hell and Home) and of course new songs like ‘Stranger‘, ‘Tragedy‘, ‘Burn‘, ‘Choke‘, and ‘Solance‘ from their latest album ‘Tradgey Will Find Us“. There was unfortunately no encore but Murphy thanked London for the amazing turnout and continued support throughout the years.