Live Review: Our Last Night @ Melkweg, Amsterdam – 4.11.15

Words: Ruben van der Horst & Ianthe van Hengel / Pictures: Ruben van der Horst

After their world tour this spring, this band decided they hadn’t seen enough of the world yet. For those who missed their performance on the 26th of May in Eindhoven’s Dynamo, and for those who were dreaming of seeing this American post-hardcore quartet again, the night had come at last. Our Last Night started the European leg of their Younger Dreams Tour last month. Younger Dreams was released on the 16th of June, a self-produced record which was received very positively by their growing following. For the whole tour, UK pop-punk band Crooks and the guys in Palisades from New Jersey supported Our Last Night. On Wednesday (4 November), all three bands took to Amsterdam’s Melkweg.

It was up to Crooks to open the evening in Melkweg’s Oude Zaal, warming up the audience for a few hours of pits. Their opening included vocalist Josh and drummer Jack both greeting the crowd with some erratic and wandering sounds, slowly building up to generic pop-punk melodies as the other members (Alex, Oli and Jacob) joined the stage. Thanks to this grand introduction, their drummer Jack really made set scene for their performance. Lead singer Josh stated that expressively moving around would be rather difficult due to their small performance space. In their full-black clothing with oversized shirts, Crooks played songs which combined pop-punk and melodic hardcore, keeping the crowd energized with a variation of upbeat riffs and dreamy interludes. Their popular track A Few Peaceful Days, from debut album Are We All the Same Distance Apart, came across after the first wave of music, fuelling the crowd with the first mosh pits of the night. With an aggressive closing to their set, the hatted, white-socked vocalist stressed their appreciation for Amsterdam and said they’d return soon.

After a short break, Palisades was ready for their turn to move the awakened audience. An empty stage and blue lights held the crowd in suspense as a slow electronic build-up filled the room. An unwitting audience member would be fooled by Palisades’ sound as they opened with heavy mechanical drops involving hip-hop licks. Needless to say, moshpits weren’t an exception during a series of their energetic heavy songs, showing us what ‘electronicore’ is all about. With a slight playful grin drummer Aaron Rosa launched their signature song High and Low, which was evident by the majority of the crowd jumping and dancing their guts away. The statement “JUMP, JUMP” wasn’t neglected by vocalist Louis Miceli, and it was answered by a returning gesture which bubbled up to a powerful climax. This energy was maintained as one lucky crowd surfer was carried on stage and experienced a brief role as part of the band. After this bonding scene, the band closed their set with their heavier side and left the crowd ready and pumped for Our Last Night.

The stage was left empty with only a row of blue intriguing lights. Continuous strokes of Younger Dreams’ opener Prisoners aligned with continuous beams of bright light. This signalled the entrance of Our Last Night’s four members. After this powerful intro, the band continued with a number of tracks which varied between older and recent records, such as Fate, A World Divided and Living Now. The striking resemblance between twin brothers Trevor and Matthew Wentworth resulted in a unique way of completing each other’s voices. It was a difficult task to place a specific member in a specific place, because they all flew through each other’s zone. As they were moving on stage, the crowd moved along with them, leaving themselves no time to catch their breath.

Halfway through their set lead vocalist Trevor Wentworth was handed an acoustic guitar which, after some technical difficulty, produced a warm welcome to their love song White Tiger. This was evident by smiling faces of the vast amount of couples now holding each other and screaming along the words, “there’s no place that I’d rather be” and “you’re my white tiger”. This mood was pierced by two subsequently heavier songs, including a cover of Katy Perry’s Dark Horse, acknowledged by sweaty hardcore fans being raised in the air. Wentworth held onto his well trusted acoustic guitar as their song about companionship and trust, Falling Away, kicked off. Just before the first chords were struck, directions were given to embrace one another through the comforting lyrics “if I’m falling away, don’t let me go”. A few other tracks from 2013 EP Oak Island were presented to the audience, resulting in an enthusiastic response of moshpits and passionate sing-a-longs. Closing song Home, aligned with the bands’ message that their shows in Amsterdam make them feel at home, was considered an ideal exit. After a few exciting minutes involving chants of “we want more!” and rapidly increased clapping, the band returned once more for an encore. Following their post-hardcore cover of Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive, their signature song closed the whole set. “Full of despair, inside a darkness” were the first touching words which indicated the last minutes of the evening. Sunrise was greeted by a sea of lighters and phone torches by the audience, leaving the Wentworth twins’ voices most vulnerable. “You can make it to the sunrise” echoed through the venue, sang loudest by the notably oldest Our Last Night fans, expressively showing their devotion amongst a horde of equally adoring teenagers. Along with the sound of distancing guitar melodies, the band bowed and announced the end of their most impressive concert in the Netherlands yet.

Our Last Night’s appearance in the Melkweg has definitely proven their rising popularity. This being their third performance ever in the Netherlands signifies their growing popularity and appeal for a larger fan base.