On February 3rd, 2024, post-hardcore band Holding Absence brought their “Noble Art of Self Destruction” tour to the Masquerade Hell in Atlanta, Georgia with support from Acres, Capstan, and Casey. Each band complimented each other well, while bringing something new to the table with each set. The room, which was packed full of people, was constantly in motion as people danced and jumped to their favorite songs.
Opening the show was Acres, an alternative band from Portsmouth, England. Something that immediately caught my attention about them was their combination of powerful vocals with melodic chords. It was a great introduction to the different genres of music we’d be seeing throughout the night, and Acres knocked their performance out of the park. The crowd headbanged to several of the songs, and halfway through the set, a mosh pit opened up. When vocalist Ben Lumber shouted, “Atlanta, let me see your hands!” the entire crowd clapped along with enthusiasm.
A touching part of their set occurred when Ben discussed the struggles the band went through to make it on the tour. Since they had issues getting their visas approved, this was only their second performance, as they’d just arrived in the United States a couple of days ago. Despite this, they played as if they’d been performing cohesively for weeks.
1). Burning Throne
2). Into Flames
3). A Different Shade Of Misery
4). Hold On
5). My Everything
7). Lonely World
Next to the stage was a crowd favorite. The audience went wild as post-hardcore band Capstan took the stage, and immediately they began to sing along. Capstan’s performance was filled with all kinds of movement and energy as guitarists Joseph Mabry and Harrison Bormann constantly ran back and forth across the stage. Likewise, bassist Andrew “Boz” Bozymowski enraptured the crowd with his spins and dance moves.
At one point, Andrew jokingly told the crowd that if he could dance this much at 280 pounds, then they could too. The audience must have taken his request to heart because the room’s motion picked up as even more people moshed and headbanged. Additionally, we saw the first of many crowdsurfers during their set.
Capstan closed with their song “Wax Poetic,” much to the crowd’s delight. Nearly every person in the room sang along at the top of their lungs. The collective echo of voices was hauntingly beautiful, as it showcased how connected we all are at these shows. When the song finished and the band left the stage, the crowd was ready for more, chanting “one more song” for several minutes.
Just as Capstan had been popular with the crowd, so too was Casey, a rock band from South Wales in the United Kingdom. Before they’d even taken the stage, the crowd was shouting their name and cheering for vocalist Tom Weaver, who’d been absent from recent shows due to illness. The crowd’s excitement was palpable as the five band members took their places on a darkened stage, only soft instrumentals playing in the background. Their dramatic entrance was one to remember as the lights turned on and they leaped into their first song, “Puncture Wounds to Heaven.”
Casey’s music had a soothing sound to it, and even though it wasn’t as heavy as the first two bands, it was bold, and it kept the audience engaged. Tom Weaver’s vocals especially have to be commended. He’d told the crowd he was still recovering from his illness, but even so, his voice was strong and he hit all of the notes. If he ever needed an extra moment to breathe or take a drink during a song, the crowd would shout their encouragement to the singer.
The entire band put on a captivating performance that was both heartbreaking and healing. Their songs contain some sad messages, but listening to their music live also felt cathartic, and by the time their set was over, it was impossible not to smile.
1). Puncture Wounds To Heaven
2). Great Grief
Closing out the night was Holding Absence, on their first North American headlining tour. They began their set with the perfect opener, “Celebration Song,” off their album “The Greatest Mistake of My Life.” The energy in the room increased drastically from both the crowd’s excitement and the band’s animated movements. Vocalist Lucas Woodland captivated the audience with jumps, spins, and kicks as he performed each song. Despite playing a full 12-song set list with zero breaks, his energy never diminished. Drummer Ashley Green was just as animated as he played a powerful attack on the drums, while guitarist Scott Carey and bassist Benjamin Elliot bounded about the stage.
This tour was promoting their newest album, “The Noble Art of Self Destruction,” which was released in August of last year, and something fun I noticed was the outfits the band wore. Each member had on blue and white clothing that was decorated with gold flecks, which directly relates to the album art. I haven’t seen this done much before, but it was something I enjoyed.
Seeing Holding Absence live is always a joy and something I can’t recommend enough. This was my third time seeing them, but the first as a headliner, and it was just as captivating as I thought it would be. All four members are mesmerizing performers, and their friendly interactions with the crowd always enhance an already fantastic experience.
All four bands put on entertaining and energetic performances that had the crowd enthused the entire night. This is definitely a concert I won’t soon forget, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have seen it.