It might have been one of the first days that really felt like fall in Boston, but for those who ventured to The Sinclair for the Touché Amoré show Sunday night (October 1), it felt like summer would never end. The Los Angeles post-hardcore stalwarts brought some of their best material to the packed Cambridge club, and their two touring openers, Gouge Away and Single Mothers, showed up with enough energy to keep the crowd moving well into the night.
After a rousing opening performance from Florida hardcore punk outfit Gouge Away, Single Mothers took the stage with the charisma of a headlining band and captivated the audience for the entirety of their set. Between the spirited delivery and wild gesticulation of frontman Drew Thomson and the band’s tight execution of hits like “Winter Coats” and “Leash,” the Ontario four-piece’s brand of melodic punk set the stage perfectly for the night’s headliners.
And then came Touché Amoré. Neither the band nor the crowd wasted any time. It seemed as though a pit had already formed by the time the band members picked up their instruments and launched into “Displacement” mere seconds later. After that, the onslaught continued for four more songs before they even stopped to catch their breath.
“I know we have a barrier tonight, but you guys are making it feel like we don’t,” Touché Amoré Jeremy Bolm told the crowd, peering out with a big grin on his face.
And he was right. There was no telling where the crowd ended and the stage began. Even from the balcony it was difficult to notice the row of bouncers standing on the floor in the small space they had cordoned off in front of the stage, waiting to grab any crowd surfers that strayed too close. This happened constantly, as the most rabid fans would find a way to squirm and twist their way up to the front without fail, but somehow Bolm managed to acknowledge every single one and watch them scream and pump their fists along with him while he delivered his lines.
All in all, Touché Amoré managed to squeeze 23 songs into an hour-long set, representing a catalog that dates back to 2009. Since then, Bolm has dealt with depression, anxiety, toxic relationships, and the loss of his mother to cancer in 2014. These aspects of his life figure heavily into the band’s work, especially on their most recent album Stage Four, which Bolm wrote as a way to process his grief. This is not lighthearted music. But somehow, whether it was due to the cathartic fervor of the pit or Touché Amoré’s tireless, impassioned performance, when the lights came on at the end of those 23 songs, there was a smile on every face.