The Watch The Divide Tour stopped at The Empire Control Room & Garage in Austin, TX on April 25th. Supporting acts included Banks Arcade, Thornhill, and Holding Absence. As a Dallas native, this tour was more than worth the drive.
First up was the Australian group Banks Arcade. As fans still filed into the garage, vocalist Joshua O’Donnell and company took the stage and ripped straight into their set. The group brings a very cool blend of metalcore and electronic vibes. A perfect opener on this tour with a varied sound that left its mark. Their energy and sound had the crowd very much engaged from start to finish pleasing both avid fans as well as making new ones.
Next up, Thornhill. I as well as a huge majority of The Empire Garage attendees were greatly looking forward to this set. Despite past setbacks with this group hitting the US soil traveling from Australia they made it today. They kicked off their set with ‘Views From the Sun’ off their ever-popular The Dark Pool album. The Austin crowd kicked into overdrive almost immediately matching the band's energy. Vocalist Jacob Charlton has an insane stage presence that is enthralling to watch. Highlights from this set for me were ‘Arkangel’, ‘Lily & the Moon’, ‘Where We Go When We Die’ & ‘Casanova’. It’s not every day you get to catch an international band in your backyard, and I am not surprised to say Thornhill made their time in Austin memorable for all.
UK’s own Holding Absence was up next. With the lights low the intro track ‘Awake’ signaled the band building up entrance to ‘Celebration Song’. Frontman Lucas Woodland welcomed the crowd as he belted the track's intro while standing on the front riser. I have been fortunate enough to catch these guys play a few times but their energy in Austin was a step above. The crowd went wild attempting to match the group's pace and energy. Every track in the setlist is great and I loved hearing their new single ‘A Crooked Melody’ live. I will never get tired of seeing Holding Absence live. Ever.
It was time for the reason of the night. The Plot In You took the stage under the cover of darkness and blasted off with ‘Divide’. Bodies immediately started making their way toward the barricade as fans went crazy. Extra security and any able house hands were called in to help catch surfing fans. Frontman Landon Tewers would give them a break to greet the Austin crowd and thank the previous acts. Niceties aside the group went right back to an amazing mix of tracks new and old. Plenty of circle pits and raging was found amid the 15-track setlist. Highlights included ‘Left Behind’, ‘NOT JUST BREATHING’, ‘THE ONE YOU LOVED’ and ‘DISPOSABLE FIX’. The group could hardly exit the stage after ‘DISPOSABLE FIX’ before the mass crowd was chanting for an encore. The track we all knew was coming – ‘FEEL NOTHING’. Austin mustered up all the voices they had left to scream along the last chorus.
As the crowd exited the venue murmurs of what an amazing show could be heard among nearly all. This Tour is absolutely incredible and worth any amount of driving to see. If you have the chance to catch it near you – do it!