LIVE: The Fall Of Troy / Rolo Tomassi / Chon @ The Electric Ballroom, London

By Dave Bull

2015 has seen The Fall Of Troy come back to the fore. They have exercised their demons, done away with their management and are doing Post-Hardcore D.I.Y. style. The nearly sold out Electric Ballroom buzzed with anticipation from the get-go, but not before two other performances from suitable headliners in their own rights.

Chon were everything you want from an opening act, and then some. Despite being solely instrumental, they nearly, nearly managed, if not for a truly immense and insane TFOT performance, to steal the show. The venue was full up as shouts of ‘Chon, Chon, Chon’ rang out amongst the masses. Their sound was just phenomenal, the oozing warm sounds almost orgasmic.

The true beauty lay in the sheer musicianship and ability of them as artists, the intricate, mathy and jazzy beats sending shivers down everyone’s spines. Mario Camarena’s tap ability is second to none and bassist Drew Pelisek looked every bit like the cat that got the cream, beaming from ear to ear, declaring “thanks for being part of the coolest thing in my life”. ‘Story’ and ‘Book’ were highlights but really the whole show was fantastic, and if you were there, you’ll get it, and if you weren’t, make a note to check out Chon next time they’re here.

Rolo Tomassi: Genre defying, tireless workers and remarkably underground, despite turning the heads of fans, labels and the media. Recently released ‘Grievances’ was the main album on show tonight, released through Mike Patton’s Ipecac. The new album is epic in all proportions, it is loud, big, cinematic, beautiful and totally unique. Tonight’s performance was less spectacular than usual and the vocals of Eva Spence seemed to be strangely off piste, more than likely down to a poor mic setup.

Despite this it was still still a pleasure to witness the onstage carnage and aural delights that Rolo offer. Spence is every bit the lead and pulls it off splendidly, despite some quite pathetic and derogatory shouts from boozed up idiot males in the crowd. ‘Opalescent’ was every bit as orchestral and all encompassing as it is through headphones and highlights the bands wonderful progression.

And so the stage was set for The Fall Of Troy, hot off their recent Hevy ‘Doppelgänger’ in full set, the crowd impatient and broiling. The band produce one of the best sets of the year; their hiatus seemingly re-fulled and recharged them to inter stellar proportions. The crowd, sweaty and turbulent, like a swollen river, smiles and limbs all to be seen when the house lights occasionally go up.

Let’s not forget they are a three piece. This historically being frowned upon for producing less sound. Let’s stop there, this simply is not true. Thomas Erak is one of the best guitarists of the modern age. His ability to play seamless runs, ridiculous pinched harmonics and glorious solos, whilst singing, and having a rather large mop of hair in front of his face is quite something. You could have quite easily spent the hour staring at his fretboard, the speed, agility and accuracy akin to the atomic clock.

‘F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X’ blew the roof from the Ballroom as Tim Ward, bassist and apparent stunt man jumped from the lighting rigging and everyone else just went berserk. Erak announced a new album was to be made and they played a newbie, ‘Suckomatic’ although the name might change, as might the lyrics, the song stinging with the bite of a venomous snake. The glorious almost child like vocals of Erak providing the necessary style that have made TFOT so popular.

To shouts of ‘The Fall Of Chon’, akin to Trojan Horse with Horse The Band, Fall Of Troy and Chon, or the ‘Fall Of Troy Collective’ as Erak labelled it saw several members of Chon join them on stage, the added layers mesmeric, giving it a wonderful and seemingly impossible fuller sound.

‘Act One, Scene One’ was sublime, lifting the audience from their feet. The fast and furious guitar licks of Erak leading into the screams and an extended interlude period, where the crowd sang back ‘I’m telling you the truth, I swear’ until no one, no one at all could doubt that this was the performance to be at, and that the re-birth of TFOT is nothing but superb. Hats off them for putting on the tour and picking the support acts, they know what people like and they delivered in full vigor. Long may TFOT continue to deliver such astounding live performances.