Photos and words by Joe Calixto
October 19, 2010, I went to go see one of my favorite bands of all time, Envy, at the Troubadour. And who opened the show you might ask? Yup, you guessed it right. La Dispute and Touche Amore. I was already very familiar with TA at that point, but it was my first time seeing La Dispute. This was shortly after the two put out that banger of a split.
Through the years, both bands took over the world of screamo/post-hardcore and became a household name in the scene along with bands like Pianos Become The Teeth and Make Do And Mend (the four bands were also dubbed “the wave”).
Both bands have also have played a few shows together here and there, including Touche’s 1000th show, but haven’t toured with each other since 2011. (I think.)
Fast-forward to November 2019; the two bands set out on a month-long excursion across the United States, taking with them Philadelphia’s very own Empath.
On December 13, the tour finally ended in Los Angeles at the Belasco Theater in Downtown. For those who follow the posts I do in here, you’d know that I absolutely love this fucking venue, so it was a must to shoot!
Even before the opener, the venue was quickly filling up, so a lot of people got the witness noise-punk at its finest. I’ve never heard of Empath before, and I definitely dug them. A must-see band for sure.
After a quick switcheroo, the hometown boys took the stage. I’ve photographed so many Touche shows since moving to the U.S. that I’ve lost count, but it’s always a good time seeing friends absolutely kill it in Los Angeles. They didn’t waste any time playing an assortment of songs from every TA era, including their new single, “Deflector.” I highly suggest seeing Touche play Los Angeles at least once in your life cuz it’s perfect!
Finally, La Dispute took the center stage one, last time for this run, and the energy this band brings is just something else. The band had a very pleasing stage set-up that totally matched the tunes, and let’s not forget the incredible, visual art that their bass player, Adam Vass, brought to the stage. May it be 2010 or 2019, La Dispute always gives out that raw emotion to their fans.
I feel like this tour will be considered one of the best tours to hit the U.S. in 2019 for many, and I can’t blame ’em. You put two powerhouses like Touche Amore and La Dispute together and send them off on the road, and you can just expect something amazing.
“I watched my skin walk out the door, I did not say goodbye.”