New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017

New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017New Found Glory + ROAM @ o2 Academy, 27th September, 2017

Tonight we see legendary pop punk outfit New Found Glory grace the stage in Birmingham, supported by ROAM, an impressive up and comer in the genre. People came out in their masses to see this one; the venue was busy early on, as expected.

ROAM arrived on stage as the only support act, suprising for such a prestigious gig but they proved why no others were needed. I managed to catch their set at 2000 Trees earlier this year and was excited to see them again.

They came out tonight with fresh material from their new album ‘Great Heights and Nosedives’ (2017), opening with ‘Alive’, which got their loyal fanbase moving about early on, lead singer Alex Costello was not afraid to run around the large stage of the 02 Academy and make use of the space

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‘Warning Sign’ from their 2014 EP ‘Viewpoint’, saw Alex’s consistent vocals turn more sentimental; as commonly seen in the genre. The punky guitars and snappy drumming assured a worthy slot before the headliners.

‘Deadweight’ and ‘Head Rush’ were my favourites of the set, edgy guitar work and memorable choruses; with some welcome hardcore punk vocal work from Alex; very reminiscient of SUM 41’s Deryck Whibley. The crowd had a blast and crowd surfing was required.

Pop punk legends New Found Glory have released nine studio albums to date and have enjoyed a lengthy career as pioneers of modern Pop Punk; major influences being Blink-182 and Green Day with some harder bands such as Hatebreed in addition.

Forming in the late 90s, the band grew in popularity after their cover EP ‘From the Screen to your Stereo’ (2000), and later their self titled album ‘New Found Glory’ (2000) gained a notable amount of praise from audiences and threw them into mainstream success; with ‘New Found Glory’ being certified Gold and even praised by Kerrang! as an essential purchase.

Opening with ‘Understatement’ from ‘Sticks and Stones’ (2002), fast, upbeat and riffy, ‘I’m sick of all these words that will never matter’, giving us a taste of rebellious teen angst we all know and came to relive. ‘All Downhill From Here’ from ‘Catalyst’ (2004) , reminded me of Green Day, but with more references to emotions rather than political agendas. The nostalgia was flowing throughout the venue and the mixed demographic crowd loved it, the poppy nature being a hit with the kids and 90s punk giving something the older ones to enjoy.

‘Something I Call Personality’; a song thrown out with severe velocity and teen angst, I think my 16 year old self just let out a high pitched squeal. ‘Belated’ was a slower one but Jordan’s heartfelt voice shone here; a song about admitting your flaws but still wanting to work through them.

The band impressed me with their energy throughout; Jordan ran around like a madman for the most part which was expected; the audience loved it. Ian never and Chad never stayed in the same spot for more than a song which gave the set an ever changing feel to it; the polar opposite of a flat performance; it was expertly done to please fans.

Chad took the time to speak to the audience but as I was towards the back his speech for the most part was inaudible due to the excited murmurs from the crowd. He thanked the audience for coming out and sharing the night with them. ‘Head On Collision’ from 2002 saw the voices of the audience reach new heights, circle pits and plenty of beer thrown into the air; carnage. It was great.

A newer one, ‘Happy Being Miserable’ (2017) was launched at the audience, showing they still have the bounce and groove of older tunes. It’s evidently more refined than the classics but shows how far the band has come over their long career.

‘The Story So Far’ summed up their lyical content well, mainly focusing on relationships and their discontent with how things are at certain points in their lives. The encore contained the absolute banger ‘My Friends Over You’ which ensured everyone went home wanting to be a teenager again.

Pints were consumed, emo lyrics were chanted and arms were thrown into the air until they finished the colossal 25 song setlist. A great, great gig; it surpassed my expectations.

Review and Photographs: Neale Hayes

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