The Hotelier @ Stereo, Glasgow – 21/01/17

With the release of 2014’s fantastic sophomore record Home, Like NoPlace Is There, Massachusetts emo quartet The Hotelier cemented their place as one of the stand out bands of the emo revival scene which has taken alternative music by storm over the past 4 years. Tonight they returned to Glasgow to play a sold out show in the basement of vegan café Stereo to promote their most recent record Goodness.

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Opening up the show were New York trio Crying who certainly have a unique sound among the bands signed to Run for Cover records, sounding somewhere between Interpol and CHVRCHES with a lot of influence being taken from electronic music. At first this seems to perplex the crowd but after a few songs the almost dancey nature of the band’s music seems to really get the crowd up for a dance. You often get a lot of bands who stick to a very safe 90s emo influenced sound at these kind of shows but it’s refreshing to see a band like Crying take such a different sound and pull it off this well.

After a short break the room begins to truly feel packed as the Hotelier prepare to take to the stage, the anticipating in the room is clear for all to feel. The band come out and open up tonight’s set on Two Deliverances which is one of the more quiet songs from Goodness and feels a bit awkward as an opener to their set. However the quartet quickly remedy this by ploughing on with fan favourites The Scope of All of This Rebuilding and Your Deep Rust which with their anthemic nature get the whole crowd moving and singing back every word. 

The material from Goodness sounds very atmospheric live and the songs do an excellent job of building from basic drum bears and guitar parts to sound massive by the time the songs finish, though sadly it doesn’t seem to connect with all the audience as well as the older material which is perhaps understandable given how much of a more challenging record it can be. Although as much as I enjoyed hearing the new songs live it is always the songs from Home which most of the crowd was eager to hear, and when the band ripped into An Introduction to the Album the crowd singing back “OPEN THE CURTAINS” was deafening.  

As a live act the Hotelier excel with their songs which are often huge anthems which really manage to connect with the audience, they don’t need to do anything flashy to woo a crowd when the songs sound this huge. Both instrumentally and vocally the band sound as good live as they do on record and on tonight’s evidence it’s clear to see why the Hotelier are considered one of the best bands of the emo-revival movement, offering an interesting diverse array of emo that both engages and challenges their audience, even if some of the bands newer material seems to challenge the audience at their shows a lot more than older material. If their next record can combine the progressive nature of goodness with the anthems of Home they could be onto something truly special.

7/10

Cameron Law – @Deadend_Friend 

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