Show review: Converge and Torche at The Echoplex

Crap. I arrived at The Echoplex at 9:15, just as Nails was breaking down. That’s too early, right? Man, I really wanted to see them. Kvelertak, too.

But I did get to see Torche for the first time since they toured with Boris, and the Florida band’s brand of sludgy pop gets better and better. For Halloween, they should totally be the powerful yet skilled post-Gretzy Oilers with Paul Coffey on bass, Mess on guitar, and Grant Fuhr on lead guitar and vocals. Can’t quite identify who the drummer would be, but possibly a Charlie Huddy type holding it down. The band balances bone-crushing mega riffs and lightning-fast and nimble fingers to meld the heaviest of grooves with the catchiest of melodies. What a bitchin’ live band. If the stage lighting was better I would have taken a lot more pics, but sometimes it’s nice to just rock out in front, anyway.

While Torche moves the listener with the heaviest but most melodic metal possible, Converge simply try to kill fans with their highly technical and vicious brand of hardcore. Perhaps it’s like musical chemo, where they want to wipe you out with the goal of leaving you pure. The great new album, All We Love We Leave Behind, is full of angry thrash riffs and animalistic vocals powered by d-beat, blast beats, and whatever it takes to shake your conscience and your leg hair. And the more-than-20-year-old band sings doesn’t just sing about the toll of soldiering on in the hardcore scene, they feel it. The band talked a little bit about almost dying in a van crash during this tour…

Onstage, the band rocks like hell and singer Jacob Bannon is continually stalking, crouching, jumping, and stirring up the crowd while also keeping the front row nervous with his inhuman glares. From the get-go, “Concubine” off the band’s turning-point Jane Doe LP, the set ripped nonstop with about a minute break before the two-song encore. And right after it ended, Bannon perched on the edge of the stage to hang out with the crowd. Good dude!

There’s still about two weeks left on the Converge and Torche tour, which goes through the South and heads back up the East Coast to a sorta hometown show for the headliner in Cambridge. Catch them if you can–and don’t miss Kvelertak or Nails like I did.