I thought this show was going to be in the main Academy, so when I arrived to find it in the Academy 2 I was somewhat disappointed. I saw SOTY a couple of years ago headlining the main room, so to see them reduced to a not-sold-out Academy 2 was quite a step down.
Unfortunately I only caught the end of the first support band, but their highly bland sound failed to grab me. While I could see a lot of movement on stage there seemed to be little more than four chords being played while the singer did his best Axl Rose impression.
The Blackout were on soon after, a band I’ve heard a lot about but hadn’t seen before. The first thing to surprise me was the two lead vocalists, which makes for a huge amount of energy on-stage but begs the question why? Why have two singers when only one is singing at a time, and the other is mouthing the words at the crowd? This apart, they put on a good show, while the generic and unoriginal emo-rock style doesn’t grab me, it certainly did for a lot of the audience, many at the front screaming every word back at the dual vocalists. The between-song banter was amusing, the strong Welsh accents coming through as the singers chat about each other’s mums.
Story Of The Year have a reputation to uphold and tonight, despite the smaller venue, they go the distance. The first few tracks, all from new album ‘The Black Swan’ are played with such energy, singer Daniel Marsala urging the crowd to jump as soon as he sets foot on stage, that it takes no time for a mosh to start and beads of sweat to appear on the faces of everyone present. The band look unusual on-stage, dressed in football shirts and casual tees, these guys don’t care what they look like – tonight is all about the music (and the football results!)
While the albums often come off as too ’emo’ for many listeners, the live show is anything but; it’s damn good fun. The energy is incredible as the whole room sings along to favourites – the new single ‘Wake up’ and old classics ‘Anthem of our Dying Day’ and of course ‘Until the Day I Die’. With the lack of space the band miss out the trademark backflips, but no one cares tonight. Each song is played at breakneck pace causing the sweaty pit to throb and pulse with each beat. Make sure you see these guys when they return in the autumn for the Taste of Chaos tour, hopefully with enough room to see some acrobatics!
Review – Terra Duff
Photos – Kate Snape