The Massachusetts band have crossed the pond to play a rip roaring set at London’s Dome stage (25th Jan). As the lights dimmed and the four greasiest band members you’ve possibly ever seen took to the stage, the anticipation within the crowd became stratospheric. Within the first few seconds of the opening track ‘An Introduction To The Album’, every hand was in the air, every lung was expelling lyrics and one man was already crushing all those underneath him.
The Hotelier seemed to have cultivated the loudest fans in music, (the beliebers may finally have some competition) if the lead singer Chris Hoffman ever needed vocal rest, then all he would need to do is stick the microphone towards the crowd and allow them to belt every lyric with more passion than your average opera singer. It’s intense. Fortunately for the sold out crowd however, Hoffman did in fact use his vocals. Interestingly though for an emo/punk band they are very controlled vocals. The singer glides through each song with a distinct ease, only allowing room for brief moments of crazed power to seep through.
The insurgent guitars, keep the pace of the show high, allowing for a near constant attack of hooks and bursts of raw carnage to pierce every ear in the building. Highlights ‘Piano Player’ and ‘Soft Animal’ really benefitted from this more refined style. This style even elevated the clunkier sound of their older hits such as ‘Life in Drag’.
When they released their second album ‘Home, Like Noplace Is There’, they were distinctively emo, in fact many journalists believed The Hotelier to be one of the leading bands in the emo revival, yet with their most recent LP ‘Goodness’ there is a certain joy, or at least a level of coping that they seem to exude. This almost ‘joyous’ feeling has begun creeping into their live performances. The Hotelier are refusing to be pigeonholed by both the critics and their fans and it’s this refusal that keep the band interesting and fresh. It’s not just pop stars who need to reinvent themselves to maintain interest, a fact that many four piece bands often forget.
The Hotelier are a forced to be reckoned with, they have a hugely loyal fan base and the live chops to warrant their fans loyalty. They continue to push their sound and much like the quality of their albums, they only seem to be improving with every tour. If this trend continues, you’d be a fool to miss them next time.
Words by Jordan Emery