Live Review: Casey - The Dome, London 11/05/2019
Since their inception in 2016, Casey have only ever existed as a form of therapy for themselves. They have never craved a fanbase, they’ve never been in it for fame and they have never tried to tailor their music to what they believe people want.
In essence, they have done everything for themselves and most, if not all, of the lyrics are wrote from vocalist Tom Weaver’s, personal experiences. Themes mostly focus around depression, relationships and Weaver’s illnesses that he has suffered with over the years. With the upfront honesty of their music, many have found themselves lost within the lyrics, relating heavily to recurring themes throughout both albums they have released. Whilst every band has its fanbase, Casey have found themselves a unique and loving audience that have all come together through tragedy and pain in their lives. Now, after 3 years, the band have decided to draw to a close as they no longer feel the same emotions they did whilst creating the music they have held close to them. On their final European tour, we caught them at their last two shows in London which came as in two parts: Love Is Not Enough and Where I Go When I Am Sleeping.
Joining them as supports comes post-hardcore band Acres, and American melodic-hardcore band Gatherers. During night one, we saw Gatherers as the initial support for the night for their first London show, and during night two, the crowd saw Acres switch around for the first support of the night. Both bands held huge amounts of energy so it’s no wonder they switched time slots each night as they both stay on the same level of talent as one another.
Having released a single just a few weeks prior, Gatherers came to the stage with a burst of life in them and tonnes of energy that made them work perfectly during the varying support slots. They were well received by the crowd, and after talking to several people in the crowd, many hadn’t heard them before but commented that they were sure to be listening to them after their performances both nights. Band members really made good use of the stage and Rich Weinberger makes an excellent front man for the band by interacting with the crowd and making them feel more involved.
Similar comments can be said for Acres who delivered equal amounts of energy despite the lead vocalist suffering through laryngitis through the tour. There would be no telling there was any illnesses at all with how wonderfully they delivered their music to the sold out 500 cap room. Playing songs such as the recently released ‘Talking In Your Sleep’, which was released the same day as Gatherer’s latest single, the audience responded well to the introduction of these new tracks as well as to past classics which many hardcore fans sang each and every word to.
As Casey graced the stage for their final performances in our capital city, the mood of the room changed. Everyone quietened down as the band slowly came on stage, and as soon as the first songs started, the audience erupted. Throughout the whole tour, the band have played a mix of songs each night, but in London, they decided to make things a little more special. They split their performances into Act One, and Act Two. During the first night, the band played the entirety of their first album ‘Love Is Not Enough’, with a short interval and some of their single releases as as addition. Night two hosted their second and final album release ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’, alongside other single releases again. Both albums hold different meanings to different people. Whilst Tom Weaver notes that LINE is written about his past relationship, and WIGWIAS is written about his struggle with his illnesses, people have allowed some of their songs to adapt a new meaning in their lives.
The beauty of Casey’s music is that it is worded in such a way that it is sometimes almost non-specific, and it becomes more metaphorical and poetic in some senses. This allows listeners to interpret certain songs in their own ways, and many have used their lyrics to deal with poor mental health issues and have found solace in the music.
Overall, Casey came to a beautiful yet sad end. It is clear that they will be missed by many, but their music will live on and people will continue to relate to the deep and honest lyrics. Everything was so well thought out for these performances, from the stage design to the setlist, to the bands willingness to meet as many people during and after the show as possible before their final departure.
As night two came to an end, Tom Weaver gave a few words summarising what the band has meant to him. He noted that without his band members, he doesn’t know whether or not he would’ve made it this far in his life. Writing music acted as therapy for the vocalist, and also helped him build a supportive community of friends around him. Without this band, he stated that he wouldn’t have met the people he knows today who have helped him out of an incredibly dark place in his life. Whilst Love Is Not Enough is about his ex girlfriend who he had little contact with at the time, they are now really close friends and share no animosity between them. Where I Go When I Am Sleeping features lyrics about his girlfriend at the time, who has now has no contact with. The point of all this is to show that life is fluid. Things change, and situations improve no matter how impossible that may feel at the time.
The main message we came away with from the night was hope, and to keep hope inside of all of us.
Words and photography by Hayley Fearnley