To call Architects‘ current Australian tour supporting Bring Me The Horizon an emotional affair would be a huge understatement. The British metalcore act have courageously chosen to go ahead with their Down Under tour dates despite losing guitarist Tom Searle to cancer just last month. In fact, they’re doing it in his honour.
And during the band’s performance at Brisbane’s Riverstage on Friday night, the collective grief of everyone in the room culminated in one incredible, heartbreaking moment.
19-year-old Mel Thompson was watching the band from right near the front of the stage, holding up a big home-made sign that read ‘RIP Tom Searle’.
It was a tribute that ended up moving Tom’s surviving brother and bandmate, Dan Searle, to tears.
“I was watching them and I was watching Dan on drums and he just looked really upset,” Mel tells Music Feeds. “It would have been so weird, it’s only the second show they’ve ever played without [Tom]… And during the second song, Sam [Carter, singer] saw my poster and he pointed, and then I saw Dan – and he sort of had this sad look on his face – and then he smiled when he saw the poster.”
But it wasn’t until the very end of their set that Mel realised just how much her tribute had touched Dan Searle’s heart. Here’s how she explains what went down next:
“They played ‘Gone With The Wind’, which was their last song, and then after they finished they all sort of walked offstage… I saw Dan get up and he threw one of the drumsticks into the crowd – and I thought he was gonna throw the other one – but he kept walking towards me, and then he looked at me, smiled, and then he handed the drumstick to me and then we both – at the same time – sort of just opened our arms and just hugged. And I thought it was just gonna be a quick ‘thank you’ hug, but then he started crying in my arms. We were just there for ages and we were both crying and I tried to say ‘He’s still with us’… but I was crying at the same time.
It was so weird because – I guess – I know him because of his music, but he’s never met me before. And for Dan to have such a connection with someone he hasn’t met before, I guess it just goes to show how much [Architects’] fans mean to them.
And it seems Dan was so moved that he even posted a photo of Mel’s sign on his own personal Instagram account, alongside a message of thanks to all of the band’s Aussie fans (below).
“On behalf of the fans I wanted to show our appreciation that [Architects are] still doing the tour and how we’re all so upset about what happened to Tom,” Mel says on the subject of why she decided to make the sign.
“Before they played their last song, Sam was explaining that – because Tom was such a huge part of the band, he [wrote] most of the music and the lyrics – that they wanted to still tour and show everyone his music and what he wrote.”
And you can catch Architects’ performing live in honour of their fallen guitarist at the remainder of their Aussie shows supporting Bring Me The Horizon in Melbourne this week.