As Independent Venue Week continues we head to one of the country’s finest, the wonderful Colchester Arts Centre. Seriously though, those toilets will have you feeling like royalty – toilet-circuit indeed!
In town tonight are Holding Absence who are towards the end of a tour of the UK’s off the beaten track venues and the locals are clearly excited with the show a sell out.
Most of the audience are in the venue early to catch the support (always a wise move!) and up first the crowd are treated to the ferocious Your Misery. Controlling the stage as if they were seasoned veterans, the band are able to not just warm up the crowd but fully win them over. Certainly one to keep an eye on, Your Misery couldn’t have done any more tonight to make a statement.
Our second act, Australians Void of Vision, most definitely feel like a band that know how to make a statement of their own. The group burst onto stage and fill the venue with their huge sound. It’s an audio onslaught for the next forty-five minutes as the likes of ‘DOMINATRIX’, ‘THE LONELY PEOPLE’ and ‘INTO THE DARK’ leave the crowd desperate for more.
There may not be any more Void of Vision tonight, but you can expect to hear much more in the future. With a new EP coming soon, this could be a breakthrough year for the band.
Our headliners, Holding Absence, have felt like they are breaking out for a few years now. Certainly not ones to rest on their laurels; their touring schedule has been intense. The majority of those shows though have been support slots, so it’s refreshing to catch them at a headline show finally.
The core fanbase of the band appear very committed and there is anticipation in the air in this old church tonight. That anticipation boils over as the band arrive on stage and quickly run through ‘Monochrome’, ‘Beyond Belief’ and ‘Like A Shadow’ much to the delight of those fans.
The setlist tonight is a real mix of the bands releases with highlights including ‘Gravity’, ‘In Circles’ and new song ‘Aching Longing’. You’d perhaps expect a little more from a headline show, but I guess the old adage is to leave the audience wanting more.
After a finale of ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Wilt’, Holding Absence most definitely do just that. With so many sing-a-long anthems or bangers as the kids would say, and an engaging stage presence you’d hope that the band will live up to their early promise.
Three bands at different stages of their budding careers tonight all make a valuable impression. It’s worth remembering that nights like this are happening up and down the country, night in night out. It’s tough out there and venues and bands need your support, so perhaps think twice on spending hundreds of pounds on those Beyonce tickets and pop down to your local independent venue instead!
BLACK STONE CHERRY & THE DARKNESS – BIRMINGHAM – LIVE REVIEW
One fateful night many years ago in the depths of the forests of Thetford a relatively spontaneous pairing occurred as Black Stone Cherry jumped in to support The Darkness after an infamous festival cancellation.
I was there that momentous evening to witness the magic that transpired. I was rather pleased then when the two bands announced a co-headline arena tour a decade or so later. So, tonight I head to the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham to relive that fine evening.
Opening on this tour is Danko Jones, who always delivers the goods. You know that you are in for a good rocking with Jones and tonight is no different. When your time onstage is short, you need to make the most of it and that’s exactly what Jones does with a fast paced rock n roll romp.
The first of our two headliners to take to the stage are The Darkness and as their set progresses I find myself reminiscing of that night in 2012. I remember that the band were fresh into their return and finding their feet again as a live act. The Darkness have always been considered a fantastic live act, but tonight I realise just how much further they’ve come.
Consistently good new material over the past decade has helped, but the band has really fine tuned themselves with drummer Rufus Taylor having a large role in that. The Showmanship of Justin Hawkins, the flamboyance of Frankie Poullain and the flair of Dan Hawkins now have a harnessing force that makes them incredibly slick.
When you then throw in plenty of pyrotechnics, you have a recipe for a stunning show and that’s exactly what The Darkness deliver tonight. From opening number ‘Growing on Me’ through to theatrical set closer ‘Love on the Rocks With No Ice’, The Darkness not only reassert themselves as one of the best live acts around but demonstrate the progress that they’ve made in the last decade.
WATCH ‘OUT OF POCKET’ ON YOUTUBE
Progress is a key word also when considering Black Stone Cherry who close the night this time around. They’ve come a long way in the last ten years and are now a regular arena filling act in the UK.
Tonight their time onstage is perhaps slightly shorter than usual, but they still manage to pack a career spanning setlist into that time. Less theatrical then The Darkness, Black Stone Cherry have always been happy to let the music do the talking and the crowd tonight are more than content with that.
Newer material like ‘Burnin’’, ‘Again’ and their latest single, ‘Out of Pocket’ feel at home in the set and evidence the great work produced by the band since 2012. Of course though tracks from that time like ‘White Trash Millionaire’ and ‘Blame It On The Boom Boom’ elicit huge response from the audience.
These are three different performances tonight from three different bands all bound by the love of rock. I knew walking into the arena that I’d be catching three of the most consistently good live acts on the circuit, so the quality of the evening isn’t a surprise tonight. Walking out of the venue however, I’m most impressed by the growth and evolution shown since that memorable evening in the woods!
It’s once again Independent Venue Week and it’s a fantastic time to celebrate the integral network of grassroots venues that play such a pivotal role in the music ecosystem. It bears repeating – no local venues, no opportunities for new talent and ultimately no superstars.
Tonight we head out to one such venue, the fantastic Voodoo Daddy’s. Pizza, beer and live music are a great mix and that’s exactly what you’ll find tucked down a vibrant Norwich alley.
You’ll also find some brilliant entertainment! Up first tonight are Ecto Peach who cross the border from Ipswich. There’s no football rivalry here though and the already packed venue gives the group a warm welcome.
That welcome is returned tenfold with a superb performance from the tight and energetic four-piece. A short set of catchy rockers, the band are evidence of why it’s ever so important to get to shows early!
The mood changes next as songwriter (the best in the world some would say!) Ben Brown graces the intimate stage surrounded by fairy lights. He proceeds to serenade the audience with delicate melodies and comical stage banter.
A change of pace indeed but one which the audience takes in their stride and welcomes with open arms. Brown will certainly leave with more fans than when he arrived after a delightful little show.
Finally though it’s time for those fans filling the venue with Pet Needs t-shirts to enjoy the band of the moment! Pet Needs are one of the brightest prospects in the country right now; after all they did win our ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year Award for 2022!
Yes, crowds are getting larger, venues are getting bigger and t-shirt sales are booming. The reason? Well, perhaps you should pop along to a show and see for yourselves, but given that it’s our job to tell you we’ll keep it simple! If you could bottle the energy of the band to sell, you’d be a Billionaire overnight.
It takes more than energy to be a great band though and two albums in, the band already have belters for days. Both of their albums have produced multiple live staples which exemplify the quality of song writing within the band. These songs are catchy as hell with sing-a-longs infectiously mandated at Pet Needs shows.
The setlist tonight is well structured and represents a good mix of their albums. The pace never relents and the audience laps up tracks such as ‘Pavlovian’, ‘Spirals’, ‘Punk Isn’t Dead; It’s Just Up For Sale’ and ‘Toothpaste’.
The highlight tonight though is new track, ‘Yeah!’, which whets the appetite for what’s to come next. The future is clearly very bright for Pet Needs, and tonight has been a great night for those making the effort.
There are great nights like this happening all across the country every night of the week. So this Independent Venue Week, please remember folks that an independent venue isn’t just for Independent Venue Week – it’s for life!
We’re fully embedded in the new year now, so it must be time for music fans to get back into the UK’s fine music venues. In fact we are close to the ever important, Independent Venue Week, so it’s great to start the year at one such venue – Epic Studios in Norwich.
The versatile venue can host events of all sorts but on this bitterly cold January evening, it hosts lots of denim and leather rockers as British Lion come to town!
The final night of a full UK Tour, the band led by the legendary Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, attract a very healthy crowd tonight. Those in attendance are treated to not one but two accomplished support acts with the first of those, Airforce, in full effect as most attendees enter the venue.
Musically very suitable to supporting a member of Maiden, Airforce make the most of their short time on stage with a succinct and vociferous performance which no doubt wins over any uninitiated in the audience.
Next up is Voodoo Six, a band that Maiden/Lion fans will be very familiar with. The band stepped in on short notice to fill the void left by Canadian group Coney Hatch being unable to fulfil the tour.
Disappointing for some, for others like myself, this was actually an upgrade. Voodoo Six have consistently put out quality music and put on great shows for two decades now. Numerous line-up changes haven’t prevented the band putting out six albums and playing shows all over the world.
Tonight, they are on top form once again with an assured performance, mixing tracks old and new, to the delight of the crowd. Perennially tipped for bigger things, perhaps that ship has sailed but the constant of quality music and great shows doesn’t appear to be going anywhere as Voodoo Six once again show themselves to be criminally underrated.
Finally the time arrives for British Lion to take to the stage and they naturally receive a hero’s welcome. It’s the last show of the tour but also a (close to) hometown show for a number of the members, so the atmosphere is relaxed and the band let the music do the bulk of the talking.
The group have two albums in the bank at this point and the set list is a good mix of the two. Harris and co are able to give a good account of themselves, with singer Richard Taylor even acknowledging the apparent identity crisis that the band often have thrust upon them by others.
Long since dispelled as a mere solo project for Harris, since their inception in 2012 the group has evolved and that’s evident tonight with the stage presence of Taylor as exhibit A. This is a package now and not a vessel for Harris alone.
That makes the spectacle greater as far as the live show goes and places more emphasis on the music as opposed to the “oh look there’s Steve Harris” feeling for their early shows. It’s great to see and will hopefully lead to greater longevity from the project.
As this tour draws to a close with ‘Eyes of the Young’, British Lion may take a step back to Iron Maiden once again, but with performances like tonight you know it won’t be long before the band are reunited onstage again.
It’s been another big revival year for the music industry following the pandemic years, and it’s been another year of growth for us at Full Pelt Music! We’ve reviewed 67 albums, 7 EP’s, 6 festivals and 38 gigs in 2022 as some level of normality or even stability has returned to our industry.
That said, there are still many issues facing the industry with livelihoods, venues and organisations at risk for a plethora of reasons. Whilst government action is required in many places, what we as fans can do is support the industry with our money. Times are tough for us all, but purchasing an album, buying a t-shirt, nabbing a ticket and grabbing a drink whilst at a gig does so much to support the industry that we love.
In our now annual end of year awards we’ll be giving out seven hotly contested awards looking at both the recorded and live sides of the industry. Adding to our well established Album of the Year award this year will be the new EP of the Year award. We’ll also once again be revealing our Single of the Year. All awards have seen fierce competition, as once again it’s been a high quality year for new releases.
On the live side of things, we’ll announce both our Gig and Festival of the Year awards. This year of course provided our first full calendar of music since 2019! We were able to witness many great performances this year and we can’t wait to share with you are favourites.
Lastly we’ll look at the artists who’ve had special years as we award our Artist and ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year awards. So without further ado, let’s work through those award catagories!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
It has been a truly magnificent year for album releases and getting a spot anywhere in our Top 50 was hard enough but in particular the Top 10 was incredibly tightly fought. You can read the full list here.
‘IMPERA’ from Ghost was able to take the crown this year but any of the top 10 could’ve taken that spot. ‘Reeling’ from The Mysterines in particular would likely have won in any other year, but the majesty and magnificence of ‘IMPERA’ proved unbeatable.
‘Impera’ by Ghost
‘Reeling’ by The Mysterines, ‘FTHC’ by Frank Turner, ‘Skinty Fia’ by Fontaines D.C. & ‘The Price of Life’ by Bob Vylan
2021 – ‘Blue Weekend’ by Wolf Alice 2020 – ‘Ultra Mono’ by IDLES
EP OF THE YEAR
For the first time this year, we are separating EP’s out of our main award and giving them their own pedestal. That alone is the truest compliment to the quality of EP’s on offer this year.
Again, all EP’s in our top 5 are worthy of the number one spot, but it’s ‘coming of (r)age’ from As Sirens Fall that pips it. Catchy as hell single, ‘heaven (spat us back out)’, helps elevate the release to be crowed our first ever EP of the Year.
‘coming of (r)age’ by As Sirens Fall
‘False Start’ by James and the Cold Gun, ‘SCP’ by Oakman, ‘Tyrants’ by IOTA and ‘BLACKGOLD’ by BLACKGOLD
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
We look now at our Single or Song of the Year. In considering the award this year we’ve considered the ear worms that have stayed with us after live performances. We’ve also pondered which songs instantly struck a chord and created a buzz of excitement for the albums and live shows that would follow.
Songs which fell into both of these considerations competed for the award and it was again a tight decision, but ultimately for us this year ‘Dangerous’ from The Mysterines has not just ticked both boxes but also remained on heavy rotation throughout the year despite being an early arrival in 2022. That’s why that track is our 2022 Single of the Year!
Check out the winning single below:
‘Dangerous’ by The Mysterines
‘Talk Hard’ by Jamie Lenman, ‘Compliance’ by Muse, ‘Wicked Ways’ by Halestorm, ‘Spillways’ by Ghost
2021 – ‘Test of our Resolve’ from Press To MECO 2020 – ‘Obey’ by Bring Me The Horizon feat. Yungblud
FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR
2022 was the first full festival season since 2019 and what a return it was. All eyes were on Glastonbury once again, British Summer Time curated a stunning line-up, Download Festival breathed fire and 2000trees was able to remind everyone what’s so great about smaller festivals.
Our winner this year though is Reading & Leeds who went big, sold out and delivered an action packed weekend even with the huge loss of Rage Against The Machine amongst others. Always a perennial contender for this award, 2022 felt like the year the event reclaimed its identity.
Glastonbury Festival, British Summer Time, Download Festival, 2000trees Festival
2021 – Download Pilot Festival 2020 – Wild Fields Festival
GIG OF THE YEAR
We’ve reviewed many gigs this year but in reality there could only ever be one winner. Rammstein’s tour is less of a concert and more of an experience; one that everyone, fan of the band or not, should experience at least once.
Beyond that there was still some incredible, top tier gigs in 2022 and our contenders are all worthy of glory, but Rammstein are currently on a whole different level.
Royal Blood @ O2 Arena, London, Ghost @ Resorts World Arena, Birmingham, Muse @ Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, London, The Killers @ Carrow Road, Norwich, The Hella Mega Tour @ London Stadium, London, Creeper @ Roundhouse, London, Idlewild @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, London
2021 – Bring Me The Horizon @ O2 Arena, London 2020 – Frank Turner @ Arboretum, Nottingham
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Artist of the Year now and for this award we look for somebody who has had a huge, perhaps even career-defining year. Previous winners Frank Turner and Biffy Clyro have done so by delivering incredible feats, far above the norm.
This year was a big year for many acts, but we’ve gone for Bring Me The Horizon as a band that have had a career-defining twelve months. Long tipped as festival headliners at a major event, many felt that the time would never come for one of the best live bands on the planet. Big releases, sold-out tours, no matter what the group did they never seemed to be given that torch, that is until this year!
Watching Bring Me The Horizon step up and headline at Reading & Leeds this summer felt like a real moment, not just for the band but for the whole scene. For any metal band, let alone one once considered so unfashionable to headline the biggest festivals in the UK is massive.
Already announced to finally headline Download Festival in 2023, 2022 will forever be linked for Bring Me The Horizon to taking that final career-defining set. Throw in their genre-defying collaboration with Ed Sheeran, 2022’s Artist of the Year had to be Bring Me The Horizon.
Bring Me The Horizon
Ghost, Rammstein, Biffy Clyro, Muse
2021 – Biffy Clyro 2020 – Frank Turner
‘DISCOVER’ NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
As a publication we always want to put new music at the heart of what we do, and that’s why our final award is perhaps our most important! Our ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year is awarded to the act we’ve chosen to highlight on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist and Podcast who we feel has made the biggest impact this year.
At the beginning of 2022 we put the spotlight on new Colchester act PET NEEDS as they continued to promote their debut album, ‘Fractured Party Music’. From that point on the band never looked back with a world tour, a second album (‘Primtime Entertainment’) and a sold out hometown show all under their belts.
They even found the time to become the first (and only at the time of writing) band to progress from our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast and appear on The Full Pelt Music Podcast! Yes, fighting off some stiff competition for the ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award in 2022 is PET NEEDS!
BERRIES, As Sirens Fall, Oakman, James and the Cold Gun, Daytime TV, MOSKITO
2020 – Miss Vincent
So, that’s it! Another year in the record books, it’s been another difficult year and it has again been particularly tough on the music industry. That said, we’ve had a full year of live music for the first time since 2019 and the creative juices remain flowing with some absolutely stunning new releases over the past twelve months.
Below you can enjoy some of our favourite gig photos of the year courtesy of our wonderful photographer Denis!
All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music
We hope you’ve enjoyed our The Year in Review 2022 and we wish you a very Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2023 is a good one!
As the year draws to a close, music publications such as us turn our attention to our end of year lists. There will be nods to the best albums, singles, festivals and gigs as December progresses towards it festive finale. The only problem is that 2022 isn’t quite done yet!
Tonight for example the O2 Arena in London welcomes a fantastic package tour with three incredible acts set to grace the stage. Perhaps then those engravers should hold fire on etching the award winner’s names just yet!
This evening is the final night of a tour that has hit five other UK and Irish arenas already this month having first made its way around Europe, and there’s an end of tour / end of year atmosphere in the venue.
The first band up is Mammoth WVH led by Wolfgang Van Halen who showcases his natural talent and feels right at home on this massive stage. Playing a blistering set of material from their self-titled debut release, the band finish with ‘Don’t Back Down’ and leave the stage with many more fans than when they arrived.
Next up are a band who debatably should be headlining arenas themselves these days, as the screams of Lzzy Hale welcome Halestorm to the stage. Opener, ‘The Steeple’, sets the theme with new album, ‘Back From The Dead’ taking centre stage. That’s no bad thing though as it’s a fantastic album as demonstrated by the likes of ‘Wicked Ways’, ‘Mine’ and the title track.
All the usual Halestorm fun is packed into an abridged set where we still get crowd interaction, over-sized drumsticks and massive rock songs such as ‘Love Bites (So Do I)’ and ‘Familiar Taste of Poison’. ‘I Miss The Misery’ closes out the short but sweet set and leaves you thinking surely a Halestorm arena headline tour must be next on the cards.
WATCH ‘SILVER TONGUE’ FROM ALTER BRIDGE ON YOUTUBE
A band very familiar with headlining arenas at this point though is our headline act tonight, Alter Bridge. Another band with a new album to show off, the huge ‘Silver Tongue’ gets the ball rolling as the group once again demonstrate their obscene talents.
A musically sublime performance features their debut album more than recent tours with ‘Shed My Skin’, ‘Burn It Down’ and ‘In Loving Memory’ all highlights. The set list weaves between albums and highlights the musical dexterity of the band along with the commitment of their fans that stand in awe through hits and deep cuts alike.
‘This Is War’ and title track ‘Pawns & Kings’ show that the band remain very much on form as far as new material goes, but naturally it’s favourites such as ‘Metalingus’ and ‘Blackbird’ that elicit the best audience responses tonight.
An encore of ‘Rise Today’ and ‘Open Your Eyes’ seals the deal and sends the crowd into the wintery embers of 2022 happy and thoroughly entertained. It’s tours like this that remind us what we’ve been missing in the past couple of years, and serve as grounds to hold back on those end of year awards until all the entries have made their case!
Shinedown fans have long wondered why the band had yet to progress to Arena’s in the UK. Having grown exponentially in this region over the past decade, recent tour expectations had been larger venues for the group, only for the band to opt again for academies. Not this time though, welcome Shinedown fans to Wembley Arena!
The final date of their first full arena tour, tonight feels like a big moment for the band and the atmosphere in London echoes this. Outside may be a Christmas wonderland but inside the venue rock fans are more than ready for an evening of entertainment.
Opening proceedings on this run of dates is rapper Zero 9:36 who does well to warm up the early attendees with his brand of rock. Next up, Asking Alexandria get a hero’s welcome as they arrive onstage and they return the favour with a solid set featuring a number of clear fan favourites which really ramps up the energy levels.
Both bands have done a great job, but tonight is really about one band and there isn’t long before Shinedown make their big entrance. The band have a new album out, ‘Planet Zero’, which is incidentally their highest UK charting album; so it’s fitting that they open with new track, ‘The Saints of Violence and Innuendo’, as they begin their biggest UK show to date.
WATCH ‘THE SAINTS OF VIOLENCE AND INNUENDO’ ON YOUTUBE
‘Devil’, ‘Planet Zero’ and ‘How Did You Love’ all follow as they band stamp their authority on the stage. For their biggest UK shows, they’ve brought their biggest ever production to these shores and the visuals tonight are just as stunning as the music.
Amongst the newer material of the last decade or so, we get a splattering of early material such as ‘45’, which is up next and helps elicit just one of many huge sing-a-long moments.
The band have amassed a seriously deep back catalogue and the setlist tonight is well curated to showcase all the talents of the group from the heavy to the heartfelt. The juxtaposition of ‘Cut the Cord’ straight into ‘Second Chance’ really highlights their dexterity.
By the time ‘Sound of Madness’ brings the show to a close, there can be no doubters that Shinedown absolutely belong on the biggest stages. There are many Download Festival t-shirts in the audience tonight and it’s fitting because this was a performance worthy of headlining the UK’s premier rock festival!
Is there anything better than heading to an independent venue, checking out unknown supports acts before enjoying a familiar face present their latest work? Well, not for me and tonight is a prime example as we head to the Corn Exchange in Hertford.
The venue is a new one for us having never been to Hertford before let alone the newly refurbished Corn Exchange. Small, yet spacious with a well stocked bar and great views all around, the new management team have done a great job setting up this top venue.
The unknown support act tonight is Drown, who don’t drown and in fact swim! Metaphorically that is, as they deliver a well received, well rounded opening set which gets the crowd ready for the main act, whilst also giving a glimpse of the talents the band clearly possess.
Soon enough it’s time for that familiar face to grace the stage and serenade us with songs both new and old. Tonight, that act is Jamie Lenman who is gearing up for the release of his latest solo album, ‘The Athiest’ on November 25th.
Playing the fourth show of a small run of pre-release dates, the focus tonight is very much on that new album and ‘This Is All There Is’ and the fantastic single, ‘Talk Hard’ provide an energetic start to the set. ‘Talk Hard’ particularly stands out tonight in the live setting as a phenomenally catchy song.
With the highly accessible sound on ‘The Athiest’, Lenman has struck gold in both maintaining his identity and expanding his sound further than ever before. This album should gain the well travelled songsmith many new fans; with show closer ‘Lena Don’t Leave Me’ another example of why.
Older fans are also catered to tonight though with tracks from each of Lenman’s solo albums and a couple of tracks from his previous life in Reuben thrown in for good measure. There can be no complaints come the end of the night that Jamie Lenman has fully entertained those that have made the journey.
Yes, nights like these are very special indeed; a great new venue, a new musical discovery and the chance to savour one of the most effortlessly talented musicians on the road live. Do yourselves a favour, get down to your local venue and join in the fun!
Evanescence / Within temptation – london – live review
In many ways the world is broken, but in others the world is now healing after the previous two to three years. All regular gig attendees had their carefully curated schedules wiped out by the pandemic. Cancellations, postponements, uncertainty, changed plans, travel and hotel arrangements in tatters; it’s not been easy for music lovers.
Most of those tours have now finally taken place, but tonight is another where digging out the tickets reminds you just how long ago you actually brought them! So, understandable then that anticipation is high and the venue is full early.
Of course the opportunity to catch both Evanescence and Within Temptation together in the same night may well be a big reason for the atmosphere in London’s O2 Arena. Before that though we get our support act Veridia, who instantly look at home on the big stage.
The group are a fitting opening act and get the crowd suitably warmed up for what’s to come. A tender performance of ‘I’ll Never Be Ready’ with Amy Lee gets those mobile phones up in the air, but there is enough in the set as a whole to warrant further investigation from new fans.
Our co-headliners are rotating the closing slot on this tour and tonight that will be Evanescence, so up next it’s Within Temptation who take to the stage complete with stunning production.
If the stage show wasn’t headline worthy alone, the moment the band arrive their presence and energy is truly off the charts. ‘Faster’, ‘Paradise (What About Us?)’ and ‘Stand My Ground’ all help to build on that early atmosphere and create a real moment.
The fact that singer Sharon den Adel is clearly under the weather makes the beauty of their performance even more incredible. The final run of ‘Ice Queen’, ‘What Have You Done’ and ‘Mother Earth’ provides a superb climax to the set and leaves you wondering just how Evanescence can top it!
Soon enough it’s time for them to try, albeit with a much simpler stage show. Evanescence are a rarer proposition on these shores and them going on last feels right in many ways, but as the show gets going it’s clear that the energy levels have dropped.
Their latest album, ‘The Bitter Truth’, is very good and deserves the spotlight live, but tonight following Within Temptation’s huge show it’s clear the audience are after the classics. The atmosphere therefore feels a little flatter, only rising again for the likes of ‘Going Under’, ‘Call Me When You’re Sober’ and ‘Imaginary’.
New tracks like ‘Wasted On You’ do sound epic tonight however and showcase where the band are very well. Amy Lee reminds everyone what an incredible talent she is and their finale of ‘My Immortal’ and ‘Bring Me to Life’ is probably the highlight of the night.
Having waited for years for this tour neither band disappoint and with two headline worthy performances the show represents great value for money. Both bands have just been announced as returning at Download in the summer, so do the right thing and get them noted on your clashfinder now!
Biffy Clyro had just announced a UK Arena Tour when the world shut up shop in March 2020. Since then they’ve released two albums, headlined Reading & Leeds and Download Festivals and played an intimate run of UK dates. Now, two and a half years later the band finally gets to grace again the largest indoor venues the country has to offer.
Tonight that places them at the monstrous O2 Arena in London in front of a packed Saturday night crowd. Anticipation is high, and not just for the Scottish heroes, but for special guests Architects fresh from an arena tour of their own back in May.
Both bands will be hoping the crosspollination of their audiences will earn new admirers and for Architects up first there is clearly is mixture of diehard fans and trepidatious unfamiliar audience members.
Focusing on their more accessible recent material is a clever move from the band and tracks such as ‘deep fake’ and ‘tear gas’ ease inhibitions and start to win over those starting out on the fence.
WATCH ‘ANIMALS’ ON FROM ARCHITECTS ON YOUTUBE
A smooth and effortless run through of the likes of ‘Dead Butterflies’, ‘Doomsday’, ‘when we were young’ and closer ‘Animals’ ensures many new fans will have been found tonight. A random introduction from Joel Dommett stated that Architects are one of the best bands in the UK, and whilst our headliners have a major stake in that argument, tonight our guests have ensured that they are in the conversation.
Anybody that has seen Biffy Clyro live however will know that they are one of the most consistently impressive live forces on the circuit. Tonight, to the surprise of nobody, they are once again a level above the competition.
WATCH ‘WHO’S GOT A MATCH?’ FROM BIFFY CLYRO ON YOUTUBE
Opening trio ‘DumDum’, ‘A Hunger In Your Haunt’ and ‘Tiny Indoor Fireworks’ perhaps provide a slow start to the set but from ‘Who’s Got A Match?’ onwards the venue comes alive as the band produce the proverbial banger after banger.
The composition of the setlist is well balanced with a good mix of new, old and the return of a couple of even older pre-mainstream Biffy Clyro numbers ‘57’ and ‘Glitter and Trauma’.
The stage is simple but effective with the music the focal point tonight, and with the likes of ‘Instant History’, ‘Mountains’, ‘Wolves of Winter’ and ‘Biblical’ on offer that’s all that is really needed.
Just watching the crowd reactions to the likes of ‘Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies’, ‘The Captain’, ‘Bubbles’ and ‘Many of Horror’ makes is so obvious that Biffy Clyro are now fully established as an elite tier act. Mon the Biff!