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New York City Shows Holding Absence the Love for Their Special Valentines Day Performance on Their First North American Headlining Tour

The Welsh quartet celebrates the release of their most recent album “The Noble Art Of Self Destruction” on their first full North American headlining tour with support from Casey, Capstan, and Acres at The Gramercy Theatre.

While most people would be having a romantic dinner on Valentine's Day in New York City, a couple of hundred people made their way to The Gramercy Theatre on this below-freezing Wednesday night to catch the first of four talented bands taking the stage. That first band was Acres. Acres is a post-hardcore band from Portsmouth, United Kingdom consisting of vocalist Ben Lumber, guitarist Alex Freeman, bassist Jack Rogers , and drummer Konnor Bracher-Walsh. Acres are currently signed to Solid State Records and burst onto the scene back in 2019 with their album ”Lonely World”.

A crowd of people came out early for Acres's first performance in NYC. This tour is the first time Acres is playing North America, but unfortunately, they missed a good chunk of shows at the start of the tour due to visa issues. Acres harness the power of melody while combining it with heavy riffs and breakdowns that bring the dark and dreary emotion behind the lyrics to life. Acres played 5 songs off their album “Burning Throne” which was released in March of 2023. Many fans knew the words to these songs as this album was a pivotal point in the career of Acres. The album was written in seclusion during the pandemic about what represented where they wanted to end up.

Lumber during the set called for the crowd to open the pit when they played “Nothing” which features Garrett Russell, the vocalist of Texas metalcore band Silent Planet. Lumber nailed the harsh screams and rolled into gorgeous cleans as Freeman led the breakdown. The pit had heavy action during that song and their whole set was filled with the crowd singing back as you can not help but sing along to the smooth inviting melody of Acres. Acres also played the new single “A Different Shade Of Misery” which was released in January. The crowd already knew the song front to back and the band thanked the crowd for their warm greeting to NYC. Acres made their mark on NYC and made plenty of new fans that night. Our next act comes from down south with their heavy melodic performance.

Keep Up With Acres: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Stepping up to the plate was Capstan. Capstan is an American post-hardcore band from Orlando, Florida, and consists of vocalist Anthony DeMario, guitarist Harrison Borman and Joseph Marby, Bassist Andrew Bozymowski , and drummer Scott Fisher. Capstan is currently signed to Fearless Records and they were originally formed in 2012. Capstan fabricates a genre-bending fusion with aspects of post-hardcore, progressive metal, metalcore, and even pop punk. This eccentric style of music has caught the attention of many as they have toured with bands such as Silverstein, Trash Boat, and In Her Own Words. Capstan announced their next studio album called “The Mosaic” along with the latest single “Misery Scene” on February 9th. “The Mosaic” is set to release on May 24th via Fearless Records.

Capstan opened their set with “Bete Noire” which is the lead single off their next album. This song brings together every aspect Capstan has been known for. “Bete Noire” criticizes an oppressive broken system that praises greed and exploitation of the ordinary person. Marby stole the show for this song as he showed his talents with innovative riffs and solos and crushed the breakdown with blood-curdling screams. The breakdown had everyone in the crowd banging their heads. Marby let loose a jaw-dropping “blegh” on their next song “shades of us” which came off the 2021 album “SEPARATE”

Capstan flaunted their talents on the heavier side, but now they will show us the side of them that gets people jumping and singing along. Capstan played a more pop punk style song called “take my breath away // noose”. DeMario dedicated this song to anyone who has experienced a toxic relationship. Capstan made a dark depressing song about stabbing each other in the back into an upbeat, happy-sounding pop-punk anthem with groovy baselines tossed in by Bozymowski. The crowd couldn't help but follow their lead by jumping around and singing along to the catchy chorus. Capstan ended their set with “Wax Poetic” which is off the 2016 EP “Cultural Divide”. A song about abandonment and the emotions following, had DeMario visibly showing his emotion on stage as he screamed his heart out to end the set. Capstan had the whole room moving and it was only the second set of the night. The next band comes from overseas and will keep the room moving. 

Keep Up With Capstan: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Next up was Casey. Casey is described as a post-hardcore or emo band that comes from South Wales. The band is currently signed to Hassle Records and consists of vocalist Tom Weaver, lead guitarist Liam Torrance, rhythm guitarist Toby Evans, Bassist Adam Smith, and drummer Max Nicolai. Casey has cited influences from bands such as Motion City Soundtrack, Converge, and Funeral For A Friend. Casey was the mainstay in the scene after touring with many big metal artists until their breakup in 2018. The band returned on December 1st, 2022 with a formal announcement and tour dates in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. Casey is fresh off their recent album “How To Disappear” which was released this past January. 

Casey played three songs off their latest album. These songs would be “Puncture Wounds To Heaven”, “I Was Happy When You Died” and the title track “How To Disappear”. Casey had expectations through the roof when they returned and announced the new album. Casey was held to the highest standards after their two smash hits “Where I Go When I Am Sleeping” released in 2018 and “Love Is Not Enough” released in 2016. The band did not back down and created their next biggest hit channeling the sorrows of personal grief and mental health in the writing process. The album is described by many as having a theme of absence and nothingness. Countless people attached themselves to their lyrics as Casey has meant the world to the fans. 

Casey’s performance is filled with melodic, melancholy choruses combined with the heavy emotional screams from Weaver. The crowd opened the pit and was jumping around the whole set as the rest of the band urged them on to keep up the energy. Casey received the best crowd interaction during their closing song “Little Bird” which is off their album “Love Is Not Enough”. Fans of all different genres of rock and metal come together at Casey's shows. That showed with moshing, crowd surfing, and plenty of singing along. For some, it's been years since they've seen Casey take the stage and they got their money's worth. The main event is up next and it wouldn’t be like any other set from this tour.

Keep Up With Casey: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Our headliners are next to take the stage. Coming from Cardiff, Wales was Holding Absence. Holding Absence is a rock band signed to Sharptone Records that currently consists of vocalist Lucas Woodland, guitarist Scott Carey, bassist Benjamin Elliott, and drummer Ashley Green. Holding Absence found inspiration for their band name from the song “Holding Your Absence” by American rock duo Hammock. Holding Absence gained recognition from supporting bands such as The Amity Affliction, Electric Callboy, and Sleeping With Sirens. The tour is in celebration of their latest album release 'The Noble Art Of Self Destruction', which was released in August of 2023. 

Tonight's show had special circumstances. Playing a show on a holiday is always something special as it brings the opportunity for different songs to be played or different ways to put on the show. But that wouldn’t be the sole reason for the show being different. On Monday, February 12th, the band shared on Instagram that they will not be playing the show in Baltimore because Woodland has caught the flu. With uncertainty going into Wednesday morning, the band shared on Instagram that the show will go on as scheduled. The band stated the set would be amended for precautionary measures, but they requested the fans in attendance to be extra loud and bring the energy. Holding Absence got their wish.

The band took the stage and with no hesitation, Woodland screamed “I'm ALIVE” the opening lyric to “Celebration Song” off of the 2021 album “The Greatest Mistake Of My Life”. A lyric that fits the theme of Woodland playing through illness. The crowd was even louder than Woodland as they drowned out the Gramercy Theatre with their singing voices. Holding Absence is known for its upbeat melodic songs labeled mainly as post-hardcore, alternative, or emo. That doesn't stop them from bringing heavy aspects into their songs. In August of 2022, Holding Absence released a 4 track split EP with fellow Sharptone member Alpha Wolf. Alpha Wolf is an Australian metalcore band that's the polar opposite sound of Holding Absence. This contrast gelled perfectly with the track “Aching Longing”. The smooth rock song sung by Woodland turns heavy at the breakdown when Alpha Wolf vocalist Lochie Keogh screams his lungs out on the track complimenting Woodland’s clean vocals. Carey took over Keogh’s role as Carey released brutal screams you wouldn’t expect from him. The pit got riled up with plenty of pushing and shoving that built up a good sweat. 

Holding Absence played hit songs such as “Like A Shadow” off the 2019 self-titled track and “Gravity” a single released in 2020. Woodland was jumping around and kicking the air despite his illness. Woodland stated that the crowd’s energy motivated him to push the limits to the best of his abilities. Green is one of the best drummers in the scene as he is a wizard on the kit. Green is flawless and his energy is infectious to every crowd he plays in front of. He will also toss his stick as high into the air as possible and catch it without skipping a beat. Woodland dedicated the song “Honey Moon” to the whole crowd because it was valentine’s day. “Honey Moon” is a slower song about unbreakable love despite someone passing on into the afterlife. 

Woodland triumphed through the set and felt better as the set went on. The energy was infectious and Woodland felt invincible. The band played “Afterlife” off of “The Greatest Mistake Of My Life” which is their most streamed song on Spotify with over 50 million streams. The crowd somehow got louder and the band let the crowd sing some of the lines. Holding Absence ended the set with “Wilt” off their self-titled album. The crowd sang into the end of the set and a heartfelt thank you was expressed from the band. That would wrap up a special evening with Holding Absence. The tour is about to wrap up with few dates left and then they will head to Europe to support Pierce The Veil on the Jaws Of Life Tour. 

Keep Up With Holding Absence: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

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