TVD Live Shots: La Dispute with Empath
and Touché Amoré at
the 9:30 Club, 11/24

La Dispute brought its post hardcore punk to Washington, DC on 11/24 with an appearance at the 9:30 Club. Philadelphia noise rock band Empath and Los Angeles post-hardcore punks Touché Amoré were along for support.

La Dispute is touring in support of its their well-received fourth album Panorama, the first release with Epitaph Records. The current lineup is vocalist Jordan Dreyer, drummer Brad Vander Lugt, guitarist Chad Morgan-Sterenberg, guitarist Corey Stroffolino, and bass guitarist Adam Vass. Getting great reviews from outlets like Pitchfork, the music blends melodic tones with finely constructed stories that touch on death and life. I was not entirely sure what to expect from this band, with the dim lights and salt lamps on stage; however, the show was extremely energetic and Dreyer possesses the ability to convey deep emotion through fine vocal execution.

It’s worth noting that La Dispute often works with charitable organizations. In addition, early in the set, Dreyer stopped to state the band supports a safe environment for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or race. A quick search reveals that the band makes their catalog of music available free each Christmas, asking only that fans make donations to organizations of their own choosing. It’s always refreshing to see bands use their position to support positivity and charity.

The night kicked off with Philadelphia noise punk darlings Empath, described by Rolling Stone as being much of a “cosmic jazz combo as a screaming punk band”. Empath (Catherine Elicson, Garrett Koloski, Emily Shanahan, and Randall Coon) are promoting their debut LP, Active Listening: Night in Earth, described as fierce and cacophonous. It’s clear, in performance, this is a band not interested in fitting into a neat category.

Batting second was post hardcore band Touché Amoré (Jeremy Bolm, Clayton Stevens, Nick Steinhardt, Tyler Kirby, and Elliot Babin). Ever smiling vocalist Bolm wasted no time, striding left and right across the stage as if getting limbered up before launching into an extremely energetic set. It was clear the band had an overwhelming connection to the crowd, who in turn, felt a deep connection to the songs and lyrics. This was underscored when Bolm leapt across the photo pit to stand against the barrier so he could look into the eyes of fans as they sang lyrics to him.

La Dispute continues to tour through mid-December, wrapping things up in Los Angeles on the 13th at the Belasco Theater. A must see for any post-hardcore fan.

EMPATH

TOUCHÉ AMORÉ

LA DISPUTE SET LIST
View From Our Bedroom Window
The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit
Footsteps at the Pond
Hudsonville, MI 1956
Fulton Street II
How I Feel
Why It Scares Me
Rhodonite and Grief
Anxiety Panorama
For Mayor in Splitsville
All Our Bruised Bodies and the Whole Heart Shrinks
There You Are (Hiding Place)

ENCORE
The Last Lost Continent
You Ascendant

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