It’s always a bittersweet moment when a band is on their farewell tour; on one hand it offers a chance to celebrate everything that they’d offered in their career, no matter how long it has been, and on the other there’s the ever-present reminder that this is some of their final moments with you, the fan.
Welsh post-hardcore/melodic hardcore troupe Casey amassed quite the dedicated and die-hard following very quickly when they emerged a few years ago, seeing the release of two emotional and pain-driven full-lengths, and now culminating in a final run across the UK, titled ‘It’s Time For Us To Bury Our Love’.
Opening the Manchester date of their scheduled funeral procession are newcomers Amorla , who snuggle somewhere between some old school Senses Fail and Alexisonfire, and the screams of frontman Angus Roberton (ex-Elephantis) has a Being As An Ocean quality to it. Admittedly, songs like ‘Sail Alone’ show some potential, but there’s still room for the band to grow and come into their own yet.
Some bad luck has befallen Acres  tonight, with vocalist Ben Lumber falling ill and being unable to perform. With such short notice, the South Coast outfit aren’t able to draft in a suitable replacement in time, but they press on regardless, instead opting to give a purely instrumental set that guitarist Alex Freeman describes as “hopefully the first and last time.”
Thankfully, even on a purely instrumental level, Acres offer enough depth and ethereal yet destructive musicianship that even when stripped entirely of vocals there’s captivating qualities.
Gatherers  are the only non-British act on the bill this evening, making their way over to the UK from New Jersey, and it looks like they’ve had a spot of misfortune too. Rich Weinberger mentions at one point that he’s suffering from a case of laryngitis, much like Ben Lumber of Acres, but thankfully Weinberger‘s isn’t severe enough to stop him from performing.
Songs like the band’s latest single ‘Sick, Sad Heart’ and ‘Lambs To The Chapel’ get a little choppy in the mix, but their impassioned delivery is definitely something that cannot be ignored. Still, it’s pretty evident that most people here tonight are just eager for the headlining act.
Indeed, as soon as Casey  make their long-awaited appearance, and through their 15-song long set, it’s not only obvious how much emotional outpouring and heart wrenching cuts they’ve amassed during their career, but also how devoted the fanbase they’ve acquired has become. The one-two opening of ‘Making Weight’ and ‘Phosphenes’ set the scene for the evening, and by the time we dive into ‘Fluorescents’ there’s already been several fans pouncing from the stage to the crowd before them.
It’s not long before this behaviour leaves frontman Tom Weaver having to ask the crowd to be mindful, having not only knocked about guitarist/vocalist Toby Evans‘ stand on several occasions, but also knocking Weaver‘s microphone into his face a couple of times too. He encourages people to continue, but to do so with more consideration of their surroundings.
‘Happy’ and ‘Haze’ offer a bit more of a forceful bite to proceedings, Weaver‘s voice is overpowered by that of the crowd during the more sombre and stripped-down ‘Teeth’, and a pit opens up for ‘Bloom’, seeing both sides of the Rebellion floor overlap each other in a wave of limbs and bodies.
By the time we reach the penultimate number ‘Hell’, it comes as a stark reminder that this is almost the end; it’s almost the final shovel of dirt on the grave that Casey have invited us to join them in casting on the body of their work, and by the time we reach closer ‘Little Bird’, with the room being consumed by everyone roaring back “Our hearts lay on the bedroom floor / One was mine, but both were yours”, the burial is over.
Still, the ironic thing about the name of this tour is that evidently the love for Casey will never be buried. In fact, to paraphrase their lyrics, that love has made a museum of them.
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.