LIVE: Glassjaw, Loathe @ The Forum

By Adam Rosario

If you’re a fan of almost any sub genre of Rock music, your favourite band’s favourite band is probably Glassjaw. So many bands have some aspects of Glassjaw’s sound within them somewhere; letlive. and Every Time I Die to name just two. An uncompromising hardcore outfit, Glassjaw have become world renowned for their live shows, and they’ve stopped off in Kentish Town for two shows at the Forum to play their first two records in full over both nights. We were there to see the masterpiece ‘Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence’. 

First up, Liverpool’s Loathe opened proceedings and show why they were picked to support. Their blend of atmospheric metal caters to the fans of Glassjaw with ease, mixing shoegaze with brutal riffs. Frontman Kareem France is the focal point, drawing eyes and keeping attention firmly on him, able to drift between guttural screams and his clean singing at will. They smash their way through nine songs, including ‘Gored’, ‘New Faces In The Dark’, and ‘Two Way Mirror’ before ‘White Hot’ closes. Loathe are a band on the rise and look to be the next big name in the British metal scene. 

Glassjaw take to the stage, bathed in red light and launch straight into ‘Pretty Lush’ with frontman Daryl Palumbo opening his lungs wide, allowing his soaring vocals to penetrate the wall of cheers and voices throughout the venue as the crowd scream back the lyrics to the chorus. The biggest reaction of the night goes to ‘Siberian Kiss’ which sees the Forum explode into a frenzy of pits, Palumbo conducting the chaos in front of him with ease. 

‘When One Eight Becomes Two Zeros’ rumbled through the speakers, and highlight the bands playing prowess, with Justin Beck playing his guitar so heavily, it’s a surprise it didn’t break in his hands. ‘Her Middle Name Was Boom’ starts in melancholic fashion before exploding into an outrageous chorus, Palumbo directing the audience with a beaming grin on his face. The atmosphere throughout the night is one of joy and that’s led by the band themselves, all looking happy to be on stage with one another. ‘Piano’ is followed by ‘Babe’, showing off both sides of the band, moving from the soundscape shoegaze straight into a hardcore punk song, inciting more pits again. 

The colossal ‘Motel of the White Locust’ concludes the main set, before Glassjaw return to play their ‘Our Colour Green’ EP in full as well. ‘All Good Junkies Go To Heaven’ allows Beck to show off his technical guitar playing again, whilst Palumbo riles the crowd into a frenzy. These songs were considered B-Sides by the band, but they easily stand up against the first album and the fan reaction agrees. Glassjaw end the night with the ferocious ‘You Think You’re (John F**king Lennon)’ laying waste to the venue and expelling any last energy the crowd have. 

Bands playing albums in full is always a highlight for fans, getting to hear songs that sometimes have never been played live, and when bands as good as Glassjaw announce these shows, they are must see events. ‘Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence’ is a legendary record, and has been a major influence on the scene we all love today. Without Glassjaw, so many bands wouldn’t have been born, whether it’s a direct influence or a sub influence, this band’s fingerprints are all over the rock scene, and it’s time they’re given their deserving credit. Glassjaw don’t write sub-par songs or play bad sets, they are simply one of the best to ever do it.