Rock fans were in for a treat when Hands Like Houses performed at the Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake St.) and brought several other bands along for the ride.
Hands Like Houses is a band from Australia that released its fourth studio album “Anon.” earlier this fall.
Openers Arlington, The Faim, Devour the Day and Emarosa each took the stage ahead of Hands Like Houses to energize the audience.
The small stage was sometimes cluttered with equipment, but most of the bands found ways to move around easily.
Arlington, an alternative rock band from California, was up first playing songs from its only album “A Walk From Jackson County.”
The Faim, an Australian rock band, continued the momentum. Although The Faim’s set was cut short from an issue with one of the microphones, the band made the most of each moment on stage.
Lead singer Josh Raven got on the stage’s barricade to belt out “Saints of the Sinners” closer to the audience.
Devour the Day, a rock band from Memphis, Tennessee, had the most hardcore elements in its set with aggressive guitar riffs and lyrics which were screamed more than sung.
Emarosa, a rock band from Kentucky, was the last opener. The group, led by Bradley Walden, was welcomed by a screaming crowd. Walden went into the audience to sing multiple times, and at one point, he had one of his guitarists play while sitting on his shoulders.
Although the openers’ performances lasted about three hours, the pacing was quick with prompt set changes. Emarosa’s set yielded the most intense energy from the audience, and Hands Like Houses quickly picked it up.
Hands Like Houses started its set with “New Romantics” and “Colourblind” from its third album, “Dissonants” (2016). Although the band was touring off a new album, most of its set featured familiar hits from previous albums.
The band’s music had influences of more hardcore groups with aggressive singing-screaming vocals and fast-paced riffs. However, the songs didn’t sound too heavy with lead singer Trenton Woodley’s crisp vocals.
Hands Like Houses’ movement was dynamic from the start. Band members jumped and thrashed around the stage, taking turns hopping up on smaller platforms and sometimes on the speakers themselves. Flashing lights compounded on the band’s energy, and many audience members fed off it.
Some crowd members were especially eager and crowd surfed despite the venue’s policy against it. One woman almost fell onto the scrum of photographers near the beginning of the band’s set.
Audiences who came specifically for Hands Like Houses might not have liked the show’s strong focus on the openers; however, having so many openers let audiences discover several new artists.
Hands Like Houses and each of its openers are available on streaming platforms including Apple Music and Spotify.