Madina Lake + We Are The Ocean @ Birmingham Academy 2 – 29th March 2010


After getting into the gig late I ended up missing the whole of Mayday Parade. Apparently they were very good, according to the people standing around me at the back by the sound desk in the Birmingham Academy 2. I caught the last 3 songs from We Are The Ocean’s set and they seemed to be doing their usually good job of winding the tightly packed and very sweaty crowd into an even more sweaty state of excitement prior to the headline act coming on.

Madina Lake, another product from the highly successful Roadrunner label, are obviously highly polished and the tiny stage looks like it can barely fit in the band’s kit and sign, which while being very pretty takes up a fair amount of space and seems like the centrepiece that was going on the stage at any cost.


Onto the music. I’ve heard a fair amount of their stuff and if anything, it comes over better live than on cd. You just don’t get the energy on the cd that you do with one of their performances. Whether it’s the stage diving, emo-101 synchronised jumping or the swinging of guitars it all adds up to a perfect mixture which hypes tonight’s crowd up even more than the song previously played.

Their pop/punk grooves have the crowd jumping and moving throughout the whole set and not just the young ones either, the quite obvious “I’m here with my kids” generation at the back are throwing some shapes too, while holding the beer that the vast majority of the audience wishes they were old enough to buy.


It’s actually quite rare you go to a gig and see something you’ve never seen before, but tonight I actually found myself saying that, closely followed by “Kids, they don’t know how lucky they are”. At the gig here tonight, you could actually buy a live CD of the show immediately after the show, signed by the band themselves.

At £20 a pop they weren’t cheap but for a triple CD including soundcheck tracks it’s not too expensive and certainly the first time I’ve ever seen that on offer at a show. It got Steve and I talking about all the gigs we’d been to as teenagers which we would have loved to have had on CD in sound-desk quality. Nice to see that Madina Lake aren’t just throwing the same old tired tour merchandise on a table and actually using the technology we have available to us now.


Very enjoyable gig, all things considered. I wouldn’t have come had it not been for a last minute invite but me and my freshly signed CD of the gig headed off home much the happier for having been entertained by Chicago’s post-hardcore champs.

1) Never Take Us Alive
2) Adalia
3) One Last Kiss
4) Now Or Never
5) House Of Cards
6) Let’s Get Outta Here
7) Statistics
8) Stars
9) Pandora
10) Welcome To Oblivion
11) True Love
12) Not For This World
13) Legends
14) Da Limp
15) Here I Stand
16) Me Vs. The World
17) Lila The Devine Game

Review – Matt Pargeter
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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