La Dispute and Touché Amoré disrupt Paper Tiger

SAN ANTONIO – Chaotic cohesion is the phrase I would use to describe a live show when La Dispute and Touché Amoré join forces for a tour.

Two of the biggest post-hardcore acts of this decade toured together alongside openers Empath in San Antonio.

It’s not easy to describe La Dispute’s and Touché Amoré’s sound but if I were to give you a brief synopsis of their work it would be this — leaders of culturally diverse lyrics, mixed with passion and raw intensity of first-hand experiences, embodied and perfectly paired with their band. Unified emotion.

Opening up for both acts were Philadelphia based noise rockers, Empath. Their sound is very unique and almost a stark contrast to La Dispute and Touché. It was my first time seeing Empath live but they had the crowd in a whipping frenzy.

There was a gentleman with curly hair just spazzing out, he was just living in the moment and enjoying the show and no phone in hand.

I appreciated the fact, that this was a common theme throughout the night. As the performances went on, not a single phone was up. Guests were enjoying the live performances. Something that isn’t very common nowadays as someone is always trying to get the best photo for their Instagram or best video for Twitter.

But I digress. Touché Amoré was back in the Alamo City. They stopped by last in 2016. “This is one of the best venues in the country,” said lead singer Jeremy Bolm.

It was a nice callback to when they played Paper Tiger years ago. A funny and quick story is when I walked to the restroom and saw Jeremy standing by the entrance and I asked for a quick photo and he obliged. Cool dude.

Seeing their performance tonight displayed just how much they had grown as a band. The fans were packed to the back of the bar area. Passionate fans sang along as Bolm looked excitedly into the crowd. You could feel all of his lyrics resonating and the band was a near-perfect combination of power and passion.

La Dispute lead singer Jordan Dreyer rushed to the stage in a surprise appearance to perform Touché Amoré’s hit “I’ll Get My Just Deserve.” That song is just a great song and a very easy indicator of how cohesive both Bolm and Dreyer are when they are on stage together.

Their vocal synchronicity alongside their unmatched and unique lyrics draw you in. They balance each other out really well and their antics on stage are similar.

Although Dreyer had a mic issue at the start, Bolm loudly sang into his mic, “Turn his f*****g mic on!” Dreyer’s mic was not working at the start of their song but it was quickly resolved and they were both in unison performing their song together.

Shortly after, both Dreyer and Bolm embraced on stage. Definitely a highlight of the night. Two of the best post-hardcore bands sharing the stage together for a very special tour. Those in attendance were in for a special treat.

La Dispute went on stage next and delivered a solid performance that was complementary to Touché’s. Dreyer is very active on stage and dances, moves around, moves into the crowd, and gets you involved with each song.

“It’s so f*****g good to be back and to be in this room with all of you,” Dreyer proclaimed.

I remember the first time I had heard La Dispute, sometime back at the start of the decade in 2010. I was living with my ex-girlfriend at the time and a friend of mine had shared an iTunes playlist which featured them. I was instantly hooked. They were a fresh mixture of spoken word with hard-hitting lyrics and emotion.

Hearing them perform live instantly took me back to those times. Dreyer’s vocals and the band sound as they do in their recordings. Almost 2020, and both bands are packing a heavier punch.

La Dispute performed “The Most Beautiful Bitter Fruit” off their album Wildlife and the crowd got intense quick. It is one of my favorite tracks of theirs. I geeked out a little bit but that’s OK. Getting to see both La Dispute and Touché was a nice lead to the end of 2019.

Looking around at the crowd as La Dispute performed, it was clear, post-hardcore was alive and well and the guests were in a trance. As I mentioned before, not many phones were out and it was a nice thing to see with no distraction. I took some pictures and videos for this story but as I got the shots I needed I put my phone away and enjoyed the show.

A highlight of 2019.

This article was originally featured on News 4 San Antonio.