Currently touring the world in support of self released sixth record Bad Vibrations, A Day To Remember bought their Bad Vibes pop punk extravaganza to the Barclaycard Arena.
Opening the magnificent bill were emos finest Moose Blood, who stunned the crowd with their alt rock anthems whilst basking them in their signature pink hue. Filling the arena with huge choruses in tracks such as ‘Bukowski’ and ‘Knuckles, the whole band were very appreciative of the reception and number of people passionately singing along. These are the sort of rooms that Moose Blood were born to fill and I’m sure their hard work will be rewarded in the very near future.
Following them were Neck Deep, who brought the energy levels both through themselves and the audience. There were many points within the bands half an hour set which you could be mistaken for thinking was a headline set. Running around the stage and conducting synchronized spins, Neck Deep have turned into a well oiled live outfit with the tunes to match such as ‘Lime Street’ and ‘Can’t Kick Up The Roots’. A campfire type sing-along accompanies ‘A Part Of Me’ whilst Ben Barlow’s vocal ability and stamina is seemingly much more competent than past performances.
Next up were New Found Glory, who saw a dip in the crowds energy levels and for the first time in the evening found my attention diverting from what was happening on the stage. Celebrating twenty years as a band, the set list was well constructed to represent different periods of the bands career however this evening the band arguably fail to create a connection with the large audience occupying this space.
For A Day To Remember to headline arena’s on these fine shores has been a long time coming and I don’t think there was any doubt that they would smash it out of the park. And these thoughts were surely correct. In terms of bells and whistles there was a t-shirt gun, surf able inflatable’s and toilet roll strewn all over the audience. And that was just for starters.
Retina burning visuals filled the stage, portraying different elements as well as comedic interludes. The key to A Day To Remember’s individuality has always been their ability to seamlessly cross between hardcore breakdown’s and pop punk melodies, and this is perhaps a credit to lead vocalist Jeremy McKinnon’s vocal ability. It’s him that totally leads the show tonight, having the entire arena in the palm of his hand. And this madness takes places for the entirety of the bands ninety minute set and is a release of the most entertaining kind.
Crafting a set list that takes in the bands entire career could prove difficult when you’re six albums in, but the band handle it magnificently such as ending the main set on ‘All I Want’ into ‘The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle’. New tracks fit seamlessly with old classics, and there’s no sign of the band stopping anytime soon.
Ending with their ultimate anthem ‘The Downfall Of Us All’, the band take the Barclaycard Arena as their own and claim it more than possibly any performance I have witnessed there. It would seem silly for the band to ever return back to academy sized venues after such a performance.
Reviewer – Dan Earl
Photographer – Chris Bowley