Currently touring their 2009 effort Homesick which was recently re-released as a special deluxe edition including acoustic and live versions, A Day to Remember hit Birmingham for the first headlining show in over a year. The last one being at the 400 capacity Barfly last February. As a band they have come a long way since then.
This show was previously billed as an Academy 2 show but was then upgraded to the 3000 capacity main room after phenomenal demand for tickets. The queue was coming out of the underpass – the longest queue I have ever seen. Standing tickets are all sold out with only balcony tickets left, though why anyone would want to sit to watch this band is beyond me and there were a few crazy kids jumping from the balcony into standing area who obviously thought the same thing!
ADTR play their own blend of pop-punk crossed with hardcore. Some call it popcore – I personally prefer to refer to it as awesomecore! They are the fore-running band in this particular genre and, with their crossover appeal, the fact that they have two hardcore bands as support, Your Demise and Architects, doesn’t come as a big surprise.
Your Demise was up first. Hailing from St Albans, they opened up proceedings with their straight up hardcore. Unfortunately I only managed to catch a couple of songs, but what I heard was good and they definitely managed to get the crowd going. Closing their set with ‘Burnt Tongues’ off their album ‘Ignorance Never Dies’ with the majority of the crowd singing right back at them, they pulled off a great opening set.
Up next were Architects – a hardcore/metalcore band from Brighton, a place which seems to breed amazing bands, it was obvious a lot of the crowd were here to mainly see these guys. They played with so much energy and had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. My eardrums were brutally assaulted by the wall of noise and the bass was so strong you could feel it. The sound was a bit muddy at times and the clean vocals weren’t great at the start but that didn’t seem to bother the crowd. With an amazing rendition of ‘Hollow Crown’ and the whole crowd singing along, Architects tore the Academy a new one! Catch them on tour in October. If you miss them you’ll be missing out!
With a bit of Alexisonfire playing over the PA, the wait for ADTR wasn’t too bad! As the lights went down the band came on tearing straight into ‘Fast Forward into 2012’, followed immediately by ‘Speak of the Devil’. With the crowd packed in so tight it was only small circle pits to start with but as the crowd warmed up the pits got bigger and bigger until they encompassed the entire dance floor. Hardcore dancing aplenty with kids windmilling and high kicking all over the place, it was pretty intense.
It seemed people underestimated the pull of ADTR with their lead singer Jeremy McKinnon claiming this was their biggest headlining show to date. ADTR broke into the mainstream with their cover of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’. This was the first time I had ever heard the band and it truly was a WTF? Moment. Since then they have gone on to cover The Fray’s ‘Over My Head’ which was thrown into the mix tonight, offering a respite from the pain of the pit! With the self proclaimed heaviest song they have written ‘Mr. Highways Thinking of the End’ going down a treat it was truly a high energy set with pretty much no time to catch your breath.. I was struggling to keep up!
It seems that it’s only when 3000 people are singing along to a track you realise how cheesy the lyrics to some songs are and ‘Homesick’ is no exception. It definitely tickled me thinking of all the hardcore kids singing ‘We’re holding onto a fairytale’. With the entire crowd singing the intro to ‘The Downfall of Us All’ over and over again while waiting for the encore our patience was rewarded. With the “gang vocal” CD in the player the quite-possibly best/funniest intro to a song blasted out of the speakers and the whole crowd went mental. Closing with ‘The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle’, ADTR left the stage triumphant in the knowledge that they just killed it.
It wasn’t until I got outside that I realised how short the set was but I think it was due to the shortness of the songs, and the minimal filler it was a varied set so no complaints here. The only problem I had was with the actual Academy and their queuing system, which is so poorly organised with hundreds of kids in the wrong queue.
It was in this month’s Rock Sound that ADTR said that they could tour with either hardcore bands or pop-punk bands and not feel out of place and tonight was no exception. They were the sweet popcore cherry on top of a hardcore pie.
Fast Forward to 2012
Speak of the Devil
A Shot In The Dark
The Danger In Starting A Fire
My Life For Hire
Over My Head (Cable Car)
Mr. Highway’s Thinking About The End
Welcome To The Family
Have Faith In Me
You Should Have Killed me When You Had the Chance
I’m Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?
The Downfall Of Us All
The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle
Review — Hannah Sebastjanowicz
Photos — Steve Gerrard