Tonight’s show is sold-out, no surprise really when the line-up consists of Four Year Strong, pop-punk heroes A Loss For Words and Don Broco. On arrival to the venue I have a no crowd surfing flyer unceremoniously shoved into my hand and wondered if anyone would actually take any notice of it.
I only managed to catch the tail end of Don Broco’s set but what I heard was pretty impressive. Singer Rob has a serious set of lungs on him and his vocals were spot on. Don Broco for the first band on set the bar very high, inciting walls of death and circle pits which seemed to piss off the security staff as seconds after it had formed someone had run on stage and told Rob to get the crowd to stop! It was a very energetic and tight performance and warmed the crowd up nicely for the rest of the evening.
A Loss For Words are up next and their shiny pop-punk with its melodic hooks and slick vocals goes down well with the Birmingham crowd. They might not be as well known to some of the crowd as Don Broco but that didn’t stop the crowd moving. Lead singer Matty Arsenault with his back turned cap kept the energy up, bouncing around the stage and interacting with the crowd well. The highlight of the set though was when he shouted ‘Do you guys know the Jackson 5?’ as they headed in to an excellent cover of ‘I Want You Back’ with a pop-punk twist. That was definitely a song that every member of the crowd knew and they all sang along in unison, a great end to great set from the Boston boys.
With the crowd chanting for Four Year Strong the lights come up to reveal the four bearded members as they blast straight into the huge ‘What The Hell is a Gigawatt?’ From that moment on its safe to say that no attention was paid to the no crowd surfing requests as bodies fly over the barrier during the entire set! The dual vocal attack of Alan and the mighty man mountain that is Dan O’Connor is one reason why I love this band so much, their voices and styles just compliment each other so well. The band are relentless playing hit after hit including the huge ‘Tonight We Feel Alive (On a Saturday)’ with its massive chorus which the entire crowd sings along to and the bouncy ‘Prepare to Be Digitally Manipulated’ which has the crowd jumping up and down. It’s obvious tonight that the band is having as much fun on stage as the kids in the crowd.
I can’t complain about the set-list tonight, there’s a really good mix from all 3 albums and the songs off the new album sound great live and the fans know every word to the likes of ‘Sweet Kerosene’ and ‘Just Drive’. But as with every band its always the older favourites that everyone goes crazy for and that’s definitely the case tonight especially when their most well known hit ‘Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die’ gets played sending the crowd into a frenzy as they almost drown out the band with their singing and its huge breakdown which opens up a huge pit and more crowd surfers make their way over the barrier!
With chants for more FYS take to the stage for one last time playing ‘One Step at a Time’ and closing with the killer tune ‘Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)’ which is the perfect end to an amazing show and the crowd gives the four bearded heroes on stage the send off they deserve.
Like the new album or not you can’t deny that Four Year Strong are a formidable live act, this is the fourth time I’ve seen them and it was definitely the best show by far. The loss of Josh Lyford hasn’t affected them at all, the sheer energy on stage and the smiles plastered on their faces shows that being a four piece suits them just fine. If you think Four Year Strong have gone safe on their latest record then think again because they still kill it live.
Review – Hannah Sebestjanowicz
Photos – Steve Gerrard
What the Hell is a Gigawatt?
Stuck in the Middle
Tonight We Feel Alive (On a Saturday)
Prepare to Be Digitally Manipulated
Heaven Wasn’t Built to Hold Me
Bada Bing! Wit’ a Pipe!
Enemy of the World
It Must Really Suck to Be FourYear Strong Right Now
Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
One Step at a Time
Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)