Defeater's show at Sheffield's Corporation marked the return of the band to British shores since the release of widely praised latest album, Letters Home.
It had been previously announced on the band's Facebook page that lead singer Derek Archambult had been suffering with hip problems, along with a polite message asking fans to be careful when getting on stage. This meant it came as no surprise when Derek seemed confined to one space all night, relying on his mic stand - something that seems almost alien for a band as active as Defeater.
This, however, wasn't where the band went wrong. Kicking off with opener "Bastards" from Letters Home, everything seemed in full swing, if not a tad quiet. But it quickly became apparently that there seemed to be a strange atmosphere in the room, almost as if the band didn't want to be there.
Usual crowd pleasers "Warm Blood Rush" and "Dear Father" received hands in the air and screaming back from the crowd, yet seemed flat and lifeless with the entire band only moving back and forth slightly.
By this point, the band had moved into slower territory, where they stayed for the remainder of the night. This included "Rabbit Foot" which sounded more energised than the prior songs, but the fullness and subtlety of the recorded track didn't translate too well in the live setting.
Derek then switched to his acoustic guitar for token performance of "I Don't Mind" to which the crowd reacted as expected - by far the loudest singalong of the night. After playing shows with Alcoa in the UK, maybe he was more in that mindset, which a full-band folk oriented "But Breathing" seemed to reinforce.
The band aired "The Red, White and Blues" and "A Wound and Scar" from well-loved EP Lost Ground which both felt sluggish and tired before moving back to newer tracks "No Savior" and "No Shame" which had more power behind them. It seemed to show of the band's desire to move away from the older "classics." It felt like a band trying to reinvent themselves.
Closer "Bled Out" was performed with the most energy and emotion of the night. A nice addition which could have been a great main set closer, but after they left the stage without saying a word, it quickly became apparent that the band weren't returning for an encore. Ending a night which saw no "Cowardice", no communication with the crowd and no energy, it seems Defeater were caught on a rare off-night.
Warm Blood Rush
The Red, White & Blues
I Don't Mind