Lostprophets + Modestep @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – 23rd April 2012

Four-piece dubstep outfit Modestep were reduced to two for tonight’s show due to injured drummer Matt Curtis, so brothers Josh and Tony Friend took to the stage for a DJ set rather than the live performance intended. They played an onslaught of heavy bass, and a varying paced mixture of old and new chart-topping dance samples combined with an influence of reggae and rock infused dubstep. It’s certainly an interesting mix that really divided the crowd. With some joining Vocalist Josh’s requests for a mosh pit, others looked on waiting for it to end.

Tracks such as “Feel Good”, “To the Stars” and up and coming single “Show me a Sign”, showcased more original work and Josh’s strong vocals, however with tracks rolling into each other, it was difficult to differentiate when one song ended and another began, especially for someone more unfamiliar with this type of music. I was expecting more of a rock influence tonight than what materialised and perhaps the missing live performance was the reason for this. There were the odd metal influenced screams, but they seemed quite random and for me, not really in keeping with the music. As a rock fan, it was a difficult hour and left me wondering why they were in support tonight, however for those who like this type of music, it was a high energy set from DJs that were accomplished, enthusiastic and knew how to interact with the crowd. It was however, a shame that they could not play live.

Showcasing their recent release “Weapons”, Lostprophets opened to a packed out Academy with “Bring ‘em down” to an ecstatic reception. Their 19 song set displayed tracks old and new, from across five albums and twelve years, from “shinobi vs dragon ninja” to new songs “we bring the arsenal” and “better off dead.” It is difficult to really pinpoint the crowd favourites tonight as there were so many. The crowd sang and danced the whole night. It was a definite greatest hits performance with a well thought out set. There was a great variety in pace, switching between a mellow tone and more meaty metal riffs, from “Another shot” and closing song “sway” to screamers “to hell we ride” and “we are Godzilla, you are Japan”.

It did seem to take a few songs for Watkins’ voice to take dominance over the strong drums and distortion; and at times he got a little lost behind the big sound behind him. However, with the crowd knowing every word of their songs, the atmosphere remained electric regardless. Watkins got the crowd singing Guns and Roses classic “sweet child of mine” before launching into “Where we belong”. The opening riff of “Last summer” was greeted by one of the loudest cheers of the night and “rooftops (a liberation broadcast)” and “burn burn” inspired an excited reaction.

You can tell these guys have been doing this for years, they’ve got a great chemistry on stage; they seemed relaxed and were clearly having fun. Watkins played with the opening riff to “rooftops (a liberation broadcast)” by playing the top part of the fret board, before the song went into full swing. He smiled and danced throughout the set and had a great connection with the crowd. He is a charismatic front man that you can’t help but like. They played hit after hit and even those less familiar with their music would have recognised and enjoyed most of the tracks they played, reminding everyone of their tremendously successful career to date.

1. Bring ‘em down
2. It’s not the end of the world, but I can see it from here
3. Better off dead
4. Can’t catch tomorrow (good shoes won’t save you this time)
5. A town called hypocrisy
6. Another shot
7. Make a move
8. Where we belong
9. 4:AM forever
10. Jesus walks
11. Last summer
12. Rooftops (a liberation broadcast)
13. Shinobi Vs. Dragon ninja
14. We bring an arsenal
15. To hell we ride
16. Last train home
17. Burn burn
18. We are Godzilla, you are Japan
19. Sway

Review – Karen Trenbirth
Photos – Michelle Ballard

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