Hands Like Houses, Emarosa, Devour The Day, & The Faim
The Magic Stick – Detroit, MI – 11.20.2018
Photographer: Robert Sherman
Returning to the United States for the first time since the release of their fourth studio album Anon. through Hopeless Records, Australian rock band Hands Like Houses brought the heat to Detroit on a chilly Wednesday night with a set comprised of tracks from all four of their records.
Hands Like Houses started their set out with two absolute classics in “New Romantics,” and “Colourblind” before transitioning into new song “Monster”.
Far from home, and playing in front of fewer people than they probably anticipated, the Aussie’s still put on one of the best performances that I have experienced this year. Despite the room being less than half full, they shredded through their 14-song set, having perhaps more fun than any headlining band that has sold out the same venue.
The passion behind each song is clearly evident in Hands Like Houses performances, and the quality of the songs being played was impeccable. Of the hour-long set, new tracks “Overthinking,” “Bad Dream,” and “Tilt” were pleasant surprises throughout the night.
“A Tale of Outer Suburbia,” “Introduced Species,” and “No Parallels” from their second album Unimagine made their appearances, aging like a fine wine. The inclusion of these songs in the set was a surprise to me, and made me oddly retrospective, and pleased that these tracks were still being enjoyed.
Unfortunately, no songs from their debut album Ground Dweller made the cut for this tour, which was unlucky, but understandable. The band just quite frankly does not completely sound like they did 2012, softening up just a little bit.
Providing direct support on the tour is Emarosa, who before the announcement of this run had been laying pretty dormant after the completion of the 131 record cycle. We know now that singer Bradley Walden was contemplating finishing the band after the cycle, but changed his mind to record upcoming record Club Peach, his third with the band after replacing Jonny Craig.
I’ve had some pretty tough criticism of Walden’s performances with Emarosa in the past, citing his constant use of climbing on, jumping on, jumping off of, and hanging off of objects rather than utilizing his incredible singing voice, for a lack of enjoying the band live.
In Detroit, Walden only climbed on his guitarists shoulders once to walk through the crowd, but other than that, he just sang his songs. While this may be boring to other people, for someone who actually enjoys his art, and his singing voice, this was a very welcomed change of pace.
Pure highlights of the Emarosa set was their new track “Givin’ Up”. You could tell just by looking that the stage that the band thoroughly enjoys playing their new songs to a higher degree than anything off of Versus and 131. The reason behind this is perhaps the bands change of sound to a more pop-rock vibe rather than post-hardcore, a transition a long time coming for Emarosa.
Memphis natives Devour the Day released their third album Signals earlier this fall. Their set included “Faithless” among others off of the album. They did include songs from their previous work including “Respect” and “You and Not Me.”
Fellow Aussie’s The Faim were a little change of pace for the bill but brought forth immense energy nonetheless. This is the bands first U.S. tour, receiving a warm welcome from the Detroit community. Their set included debut single “Saints of the Sinners” that was written with Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy).
The Faim may be just starting off, but they are definitely a band to keep your eyes on. Their vibrant sound and incredible personality on stage is something that I am eager to hear more of.
Opening the night was Arlington (not pictured).