Archive play at Heaven
A 20-song set is generous by any artist’s standards, but to experience one from Archive became more of a chore than one would expect. The diverse and gifted musicians that make up the group did indeed entertain and impress the crowd that came out to see the electronic rockers. With songs ranging from grunge, punk and even hard rock blues, there was definitely something for everyone’s tastes. However, the two main issues that became apparent during their whole performance, was the unnecessary length of almost all the songs and the very predictable starts and stops.
Having most songs averaging out at about five minutes in length, the essence of the songs was totally lost in translation. Some had farcical intros and extended solos, parodying a heavy metal concert, whilst others would suddenly stop, before kicking back in at a poor attempt to shock the audience.
The worst parts were when the band left the stage, twice, only to consequently return and perform more songs than expected, coming as a foreseen surprise as well as an inconvenience.
This isn’t to say that the whole event was a disappointment, as the sound levels were good; the visuals added another layer to the music and the band members excelled in both enthusiasm and technical ability.
Some of the most memorable highlights of the gig were when the singers would harmonise with each other pretty much flawlessly. The percussion was perfect, with odd time signatures being executed smoothly. As for other effects, before the band came out, a set of bells began to play, preparing the fans for a night of glorious wonderment.
The lights were prevalent throughout the show and were set up to be in time with the music. Not only did this keep everyone focused on the stage, but also provided a medium through which the meaning of a song could be interpreted visually.
The most appropriate way to sum up the gig is that if Archive had used the time more appropriately to play fewer songs with greater quality then they would really have something.
Photos: Adam Imiolo
Watch the music video for track Hatchet here