Defeater put on a truly brilliant show on the fourth night of their European Tour at Sheffield’s Corporation. Alongside support from ‘Goodtime Boys’, ‘More Than Life’ and the outstanding ‘Caspian’, the five piece from Boston, Massachusetts blew the rapturous crowd away with their performance on an unforgettable night.
Hailing from the United States, hardcore punk band ‘Defeater’ are rapidly becoming more and more popular since their formation in 2008. To date they have released three albums, the most recent of which, “Letters Home”, was released in July of last year. They are a concept band with their albums attempting to tell one overarching story of an American family in the years following the Second World War. The five piece, consisting of Derek Archambault (vocals), Jay Maas (guitar, backing vocals), Jake Woodruff (guitar), Mike Poulin (bass) and Joe Longobardi (drums), were on night four of a European tour that sees them play all across the continent.
The opening support acts of the night were UK bands ‘Goodtime Boys’ and ‘More Than Life’. Both played very energetic half an hour sets with ‘More Than Life’ vocalist James Matthews doing a particularly excellent job of whipping the crowd up in to a frenzy with an incredibly passionate performance, which saw him mobbed by adoring fans at the barrier on numerous occasions.
‘Caspian’ were the main support act of the evening, who played a truly breathtaking set of entirely instrumental rock. Accompanied by some magnificent lighting and sound effects, the American five piece left the packed-out crowd in awe with this musical experience. The penultimate song saw an incredible build up of sound brought to a stop in an instant, before front man Phillip Jamieson thanked the crowd announced they would end the set with a “slower one.” The final song was again superb, building from almost silence to an explosion of noise as all five band members ended up leaving their instruments to play various types of drums. It was like nothing I had ever seen before and I would highly recommend witnessing it if you get the opportunity to do so.
After much anticipation it was finally time for the main act of the night – Defeater. They performed songs from each of their albums, bursting on to the stage with hit song “Bastards” which had most of the lively Sheffield crowd singing along to the chorus. The energy in the room was incredible as they played through the opening few tracks, including “Dear Father” and “Rabbit Foot”.
Following “A Wound and Scar”, the show was temporarily slowed down as lead singer Derek Archambault was left alone on stage. His solo acoustic rendition of “I Don’t Mind”, from their second album, was simply beautiful, showing the range of their talents and really highlighting the quality of the lyrics written by the band. The other band members quickly returned to the stage to accompany Archambault in his acoustic performance of “But Breathing”.
“No Saviour” and “No Shame” were performed superbly back to back, seemingly rolling into one, before the penultimate song of the show – “Empty Glass.” An amazing evening was brought to a conclusion with “Bled Out” – the final track from the latest album ‘Letters Home’. The six and a half minute track was the perfect way to close the show, repeating the chorus from the opening song “Bastards.”
It had been a fantastic night in the Steel City. All four of the bands were excellent, with Caspian’s epic instrumental rock set being particularly memorable. However, it was the main event that really stole the show. Defeater’s energy on stage was admirable and with a huge range of styles, from acoustic to hardcore, the band offer something for a range of music lovers.
Setlist: Bastards//Warm Blood Rush//Dear Father//The Red, White and Blues//Rabbit Foot//A Wound and Scar//I Don’t Mind//But Breathing//No Saviour//No Shame//Empty Glass//Bled Out