Review – Black Flag

Date: Sunday 13th October 2019

Venue: Academy 2, Manchester

Supports: Total Chaos

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When the option comes up to see a band play that inspired most of the bands that you listen to currently it is a real no brainer. Especially when it’s the first time that the band have played the UK in over 35 years. And with that said the drive across to Manchester seemed like nothing for the spectacle that tonight was going to be seeing Black Flag playing live.

First up however were tonight’s only support Total Chaos. Starting out with the ringing guitar before launching into ‘War in L.A.’ really set things off to a great start, the band sounded great live and were clearly enjoying themselves with everyone jumping around and really filling the stage. The crowd may have been a little sparse at first but certainly filled up as the set went on .Total Chaos were the only support tonight so had a big job to build energy before tonight’s headliner but with a 45 min set of original hardcore punk the levels were easily met by the crowd. ‘Punk No Die’ got a great reaction to the crowd and really stuck to the title with the crowd pogoing in the pit throughout. ‘Running with the Youth’ brought riffs aplenty and definitely got some heads banging. And just when you thought you’d seen everything this band could offer they then brought out Tezz from Broken Bones/Discharge for a play through of one of his top tracks ‘Decapitated’. While playing tonight the band mentioned that tonight was part of their celebration of 30 years as a band which is amazing to hear as very few bands make it that far without a lot of effort and dedication. As the set went on it was clear to see during ‘Complete Control’ that, despite it being released over 20 years ago, there’s still the same issues around. Newer track Toxic Fallout sounded great and by the end of the set there was a sizeable pit forming. As Total Chaos finished with arguably their biggest track ‘Riot City’, it was clear that the crowd had increased massively and they had definitely build the energy up in preparation for Black Flag. Although the band may have been around for a long time but have certainly honed their performance over the years as there wasn’t a foot put wrong all while showcasing the raw energy of punk in its finest form.

Total Chaos

As I mentioned at the start, Black Flag were playing their first tour of the UK in over 35 years tonight so was a real no brainer for me to go having not even been born last time they were across. Opening their set with ‘Depression’ it was obvious that the crowd had been waiting for this moment for the entire night. As the riffs rang out on stage the crowd wasted no time in erupting into chaos. By the time the band had reached ‘Black Coffee’ it was clear that the crowd were at maximum activity. As with total chaos before it was clear that Black Flag were enjoying themselves up on stage and with the addition of Mike Vallely on vocal he really brought a ton of energy to the stage dancing around whilst Greg Ginn dazzled the crowds with his insane technical ability. ‘Gimme gimme gimme’ was notable tonight for having the first crowd surfer of the night go over the barrier and it certainly wouldn’t be this evenings last. As the band flew through the huge 22 song set list tonight it was nice to have a breat of fresh air as the band played an extended intro to ‘Six pack’. The bass and drums sounded incredible in the mix and were played to perfection, building the song up well with maximum frenzy once the track kicked in fully. 

It took until 40 minutes into the set before Black Flag gave a quick round of introductions to their current line up before launching straight back into it. Whilst usually I’m not a fan of bands that just play all their songs with very little talking tonight seemed different and with the timelessness of their tracks the link between crowd and band was already there without needing to appeal to newer fans. It was nice to hear from Mike V when he mentioned about how he’d seen Black Flag  when he was younger and that it was wild they’d asked him to step up to do vocals back in 2013. After playing through a couple of lesser known songs, it was time for the band to finish the night with the big hitters, Launching into ‘Nervous Breakdown’ the entire venue was shaking with the crowd really going for it and screaming along with the words. As if that wasn’t enough the band then went into ‘TV party’ which got exactly the same reaction from the crowd and really set things to end on a high.  

Black Flag

With no let up on their finale, the band brought Total Chaos back out to help with vocals on their penultimate track ‘Rise Above’. Being a true classic in the hardcore punk scene it was no surprise that the crowd lapped it up with the pit engulfing the entire front half of the venue. It was definitely the highlight of the set and a moment that would be hard to top for any band. After the carnage of ‘Rise Above’ there was only one track left for them to play before finishing off their UK tour and that was their well-known cover of Richard Berry track ‘Louie Louie’. Usually when listening to this track it’s a minute of pure energy and would have finished the night off perfectly however Greg had other plans this evening as it became an extended guitar solo for him to really showcase his talent. Unfortunately while his technical ability was clear the song seemed to drag on for minutes and after the high energy of ‘Rise Above’ it seemed like a very weird way to end the night. After the extended guitar solo he then passed his guitar across to Shawn from Total Chaos to finish the night’s solo before things came to a very abrupt end. With no encore to follow on and just a crowd photo with the band it seemed to draw the conversation after the show. With no one talking about how incredible the set was but just questioning why the solo ended things this evening.

If Black Flag had finished tonight at the end of ‘Rise Above’ then it would have been a 10/10 set with no doubt however this ending really shut down all the energy in the room. Whilst I am very happy I saw Black Flag this evening I can’t help but feel that no one had really thought about how to end it and it would be interesting to see if the same happened at other venues on this tour. Still regardless of this it was certainly one that I can now tick off my bucket list of bands and the added bonus of seeing Mike V who was one of my favourite skateboarders growing up was insane. This will certainly be a night for me to remember in years to come.

Black Flag

Review – Mallory Knox (Farewell Show)

Date: Sunday 6th October 2019

Venue: The Key Club, Leeds

Supports: Kill the Silence, Led By Lanterns

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Farewell tours are always a weird kind of show as there’s a balance of being sad that a band is playing for the last time but also happy that you can celebrate it one last time. With the rain seeming to be constantly pouring outside it took care of the sad atmosphere as upon stepping foot into The Key Club it was clear that this was a celebration of everything the band had achieved over the last 10 Years.

Tonight’s Opening band were local lads Kill the Silence. Due to having some prior commitments I only managed to catch the last two songs from the set. Being somewhere between Post Hardcore and Alternative Rock, the band really had an interesting sound which seemed to bounce between. Having played one of the dates on the Press to MECO tour as well earlier in the week, I’m sure these guys will be popping up more on my radar. The fairly large crowd that were in the room when I arrived was a very promising sign. Whilst the crowd weren’t quite ready to start moshing yet, the energy was definitely building and with a play through of newer track ‘All We Are’ you could tell that people were definitely singing along. With only having two tracks that I saw it’s hard to make up my mind on this band so I guess I’ll just have to see them again before I make my decision. After tonight’s introduction though things seem very positive.

Following on from Kill the Silence were upcoming Alt Rockers Led by Lanterns. Having not listened to the band before their set but hearing glowing reviews I was excited to see what was going to come out of these guys. I definitely wasn’t left disappointed as the band opened up with ‘Smoke Screen’ which instantly brought up the energy in the room. With a little bit of work through the track by the end the crowd were very much involved and had woken up. To introduce themselves to the majority of the crowd who hadn’t heard them before they pulled out a cover for everyone to sing along to. In a twist that I wasn’t expecting they took a poppier turn and covered ‘New Rules’ by Dua Lipa however they still managed to build on the energy and the crowd started to dance and sing along much more freely. Later track ‘Composure’ really showed the incredible vocals from front man Shaun as he captivated the room throughout the track. The entire band exuded energy on that stage with a special mention needed for drummer who took every opportunity to stand up and sing along with the crowd all whilst playing a solid set. With a small pit breaking out in the crowd during final track ‘Alive’ Led by Lanterns had definitely done their job of warming up tonight crowd. Definitely one a and that ill be listening to after the show and possibly even the band to fill the space that Mallory Knox will be leaving in the scene after this tour is up.

Led By Lanterns

As ‘The Final Countdown’ came through the speakers it was time for Mallory Knox to take to the stage. It was a nice touch for the band and really helped to set the tone for the rest of the set that the band were here to have fun and celebrate their work. In a time when it seems that a lot of main stay bands are calling it quits it seems all the more important that after all the issues that Mallory Knox have overcome they are very much doing this on their own terms. Tonight celebration kicked off with newer track ‘Sugar’ and the crowd wasted no time in bouncing along despite the track being one of the bands newer releases. With a set list spanning  the last ten years including everything from the first song written for the band ‘Oceans’ all the way through to tracks from the newest album such as ‘White Lies’ there really was time for a bit of everything this evening. It was great to see the crowd give the same reaction to all tracks and really showed that the band had a core of very dedicated fans here tonight to see them off. Pulling out all the big hits in their set, the band played faultlessly with everything sounded impeccable. After having to take a break and rest for a few shows last week there was a concern that Sam’s vocals may have suffered, however this was not the case and as the band played through ‘Beggars’ it was clear that the rest had helped.

As the set drew to closer to an end the band thanked Leeds for its impact on their career and mentioning all the venues that they had played in the city over the years, from The Cockpit when they were first starting out all the way to the Main stage of Leeds Festival. With the thanks out of the way it was time to go out in style and what better way to do that than to play through three of the bands biggest track. Starting out with my personal favourite track ‘Wake Up’ this really capitalised on the energy in the room and everyone was screaming the words along. Following on from this the band launched straight into the anthemic ‘Lighthouse’. As the chorus rang out it was clear to feel the unity in the room and the fact that no one was stood still (including the band) really built everything to a fever pitch. After one final round of thanks and no need to do an Encore the band finished tonight with ‘Better Off Without You’. I’m sure this was 100% planned when they were writing the set list but I can confirm that we are not better off without Mallory Knox and it really is a shame to see them call it a day. Tonight however, was a fantastic send off and from the crowd as they were leaving The Key Club its one that a lot won’t be forgetting soon. As one final sentence to finish the review all I have to say is Thanks for everything over the last 10 years and RIP Mallory Knox!

Mallory Knox

Review – Press To Meco

Date: Thursday 3rd October 2019

Venue: The Basement, York

Supports: Borderline, Chapter and Verse

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First up tonight were the local support Borderline. With a synth, a bass and a drum kit out on stage it really was interesting to try and work out what kind of sound was going to come off the stage. The best way I can think to describe it would be if you imagine Royal Blood but someone let them go wild with a synth. As they burst into first track ‘Empathy’ it came as a shock to the system but very much in a good way. The high notes of the synth were a huge contrast to the groove from the bass and drums. Shouldn’t have worked from the variety of different sounds but it actually came out very well as a mix and each instrument complimented the others for a really interesting soundscape. Older track ‘In a Vacuum’ made for a catchy number with the synth almost taking the role of a lead guitar while still mixing with the rhythm of the track. Unreleased track ‘Lara Croft’ sounded good and will be one to keep an eye on when it’s released. As the band wound down their set they mad a very poignant stand to end it with a song about some of the serious issues in the world today, only the serious issues turned out to be shark attacks. This felt very fitting as the band weren’t afraid to have fun all throughout the night. Very often an opening band will be a safe choice but Borderline were far out and it was incredible to see a band trying something complete different and doing it well so huge props to the band for stepping up and putting on a great set.

Borderline

Next up tonight were Chapter and Verse, a band that I was much more familiar with. As a little interesting fact, last time I came to a gig that was being played at The Basement, Chapter and Verse were supporting Dream State so it was quite surreal to see them again as supports in the same venue. Between the last set in York and seeing them playing the Main Stage at 2000Trees last year it was clear that the band are coming on leaps and bounds and are sure to hit their break through soon. Starting with new track Bad Blood which sounded fantastic live really hit this point home. Tonight’s mix sounded great and the band always put on a very energetic live performance. As vocalist Josh said tonight was “Like playing in a living room and watching your little brother go mad”. Keeping with the newer releases, it was great to get an exclusive play of unreleased track ‘Beauty Sleep’ which continuing the theme of ‘Bad Blood’ is a very promising sign of things to come. One of Chapter and Verse’s standout points are the incredible vocals soaring above the heavy tracks and as usual this was shown off brilliantly during ‘Ink’ with everyone stood in awe listening along. After a speech to the room about The New Breed which really built the inclusion the band finished tonight with in my opinion their best track so far – Magazines. This definitely ended the set on a high and really built the energy for Press to MECO who were up next. After another incredible set I really would love to see these guys get the recognition they deserve and play much bigger crowds and with the new tracks like Bad Blood it’s definitely a possibility.

Chapter and Verse

Keeping with the theme of bands that I saw at 2000Trees were tonight’s headliners Press to MECO. The only difference here was that the set they played there was acoustic so to hear them in full force tonight would be a completely separate experience. As with Chapter and Verse before it was quite a shock to see them playing in a 100 cap venue however with the great reaction to new track ‘Easy Life’ this will probably be the last chance to see these guys playing this level of venue before stepping up to much larger ones. As the band took to the stage, the low ceiling and layout of the venue really gave an intense intimate feeling which worked perfectly to build on the energy in the room. By the time the band reached the end of second track ‘All Your Parts Don’t Make a Whole’ the crowd were shouting the words back and dancing along. With some phenomenal harmonies between the three members of the band it made for a very unique experience as they shared the vocal duties throughout the set. New track ‘Easy Life’ got a play halfway through and sounded nothing short of incredible. Despite only being released less than two weeks ago the crowd had clearly had it on repeat as they knew every word. With the intimate setting slower tracks like ‘A Quick Fix’ and ‘Honestly’ had an amazing feel and really hit home with all the emotion you’d expect there to be. With smaller shows you tend to find the mix a little worse than other places but the opposite was true tonight and continued to impress with all three instruments balanced perfectly to really give a fantastic sound. As the band came to a close with plays of ‘White Knuckling’ and the incredible ‘Here’s to Fatigue’ it really ended things with a bang. As the band expelled all their energy from the stage it was clear that they had given it their all this evening and everyone in attendance had had a fantastic evening. Press to MECO are definitely a band to be keeping an eye on at the moment and after this tour and a new album I really hope that they get the break that they deserve.

Press To MECO

Review – Scouting For Girls”The Trouble With Boys” Album Release Show

With Crash Records killing it on the album release shows this year, next came the turn of Scouting for Girls. With their December show at the O2 Academy sold out, the opportunity to see them play acoustically in the 300 capacity Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen was incredible. As the Greg and Roy took to the stage armed with two guitars and a keyboard it was clear that this was going to be an evening to remember. Starting off with the title track from their new album ‘The Trouble with Boys’ the crowd were immediately singing the words back which really gave a fantastic feel to the event from the outset. As good as the song and reaction were to start tonight, it was dwarfed in comparison to the screams that erupted during the opening of ‘This Ain’t a Love Song’. Scouting for Girls have always had a knack for writing catchy tracks and this was very clear with the crowd dancing along through the entire song.

As the band took a short break from playing they spoke about how the evening was going to be slightly different and was more of an Evening with Scouting for Girls rather than just a standard acoustic gig. With that being said they then proceeded to FaceTime drummer Pete who couldn’t join them on the tour as he was expecting the birth of his child the next day. After a brief conversation between everyone on stage Pete then (using a set of pan pipes he had lying around) introduced the next huge hit to come out this evening – ‘Heartbeat’. As the song came to an end Roy opened up the floor to questions from the audience and told stories from the bands past including the tale of Roy’s first guitar and some V Festival drunkenness which led Greg to spend nearly £10,000 on guitars. It was a really nice touch for the evening and worked well to build the bond between the band and the crowd. As the night went on the crowd were treated to a live debut of new track ‘Count on Me’ during which was endearing moment where the crowd knew the lyrics better than Roy and had to help him out. Finishing off their new tracks with the main single ‘Grown Up’ the crowd were definitely on a high and as the floor was opened back up to the crowd after a bit of discussion about Greg’s favourite track ‘Double Act’ it ended with the band playing a mash up of the crowds three favourite tracks. Starting with the amazing ‘The Airplane Song’ the band played a verse and Chorus before working in the catchy ‘Posh Girls’ and finally ending the mash up with fan favourite ‘Michaela Strachan’. As the band thanked Crash Records for the effort they went into supporting and arranging this event it was time for them to finish with one last song and play none other than their first big track ‘She’s So Lovely’. The entire crowd were dancing along and singing the words back at the stage with at times the crowd being louder than Roy.

As the short but sweet set came to an end it was time for the band to retire to the snug bar at the back to sign things and take photos with everyone that wanted to. From the amount of noise in the room and everyone talking about the show it was clear that tonight had been another resounding success for the team at Crash records. Every time I review a show I put in a good word about the shop at the bottom so you may be sick of hearing this but honestly events like this really help build a great link between the artist and the audience which you don’t get in most over cities music scene. The work that Crash Records do really is an asset to Leeds and here’s hoping that these Launch Shows and Intimate acoustic gigs continue well into the future.

Scouting for Girls

Review – Leeds Festival 2019 (Friday)

Leeds Festival 2019 – Friday

As the August Bank Holiday rolled round for another year it was time to close the Festival season in style with Leeds Festival. With a huge variety of different genres on show throughout the weekend it was a shame that I was only able to attend the Friday this year but what a day it was. Unfortunately due to some pretty severe transport issues (broken down trains into Leeds and an incident on the shuttle bus route meaning we had to walk down the A64 to the site) I didn’t manage to get into the site until 3pm so it’s quite a short review but despite this all bands put on amazing sets as you’ll read below and its certainly kept my love for the festival up and I’ll be looking forward to Leeds Festival 2020 next year

 

Enter Shikari – Main Stage

After an absolutely dismal journey in to the festival things were going to start back with a high as the first band to play were special guests Enter Shikari. Opening their set with newly released track ‘Stop the Clocks’ it was a clear that this was going to be a fun set and with the inclusion of the rarely played ‘The Paddington Frisk’ a few songs later that was all but confirmed. In true Enter Shikari fashion they put on a great show and the pyro blasting out during ‘Juggernauts’ really showed that they belong on the big stages. Whilst it was nice to see them intimately at Download Festival, they really could pull out all stops for their set with the huge screen behind them displaying various different elements to add to the show throughout. With the Quickfire Round flashing by the crowd were and truly here’s for a party. The 2019 mix of ‘No Sleep Tonight’ got everyone dancing before the crushing riffs of ‘…Meltdown’ finished the quickfire round brilliantly. By the time the band finished set closer ‘Live Outside’ it was clear the level of appreciation that was shown by the crowd. With chants of “Oh Enter Shikari” throughout and Rou’s words to “Be Wild, be free and be wonderful” taken on board this really was an incredible set to start the day with.

Enter Shikari

 

Machine Gun Kelly – BBC Radio 1 Stage

Next up for the day was Machine Gun Kelly, an artist that I was much less familiar with. This seemed to be something that I had missed as there was a huge crowd packing out BBC Radio 1 Stage to see him. New track ‘Candy’ went down a treat with the crowd singing it back at full volume! After playing at Download Festival a few years ago it was good to see his heavy influences throughout the set with a cover of Motley Crue’s ‘Shout at the Devil’ from The Dirt blasting out through the tent. ‘RAP DEVIL’ also made an appearance in the set and was a masterpiece to see live! Chants of “Yorkshire” filled the entire stage as Yungblud came out to perform with MGK for ‘I think I’m OKAY’. Having missed his set earlier in the day thanks to the transport it was great to see the young Yorkshire lad taking to the stage and bouncing around. One of the standout points of this set was that Machine Gun Kelly really showed off how much of a multi-instrumentalist he is by switching things up and taking on both the drums and guitar throughout as well as his vocals. Given my lack of knowledge beforehand this was definitely a surprise for me how much I enjoyed his set and I’ll definitely be listening to him more in the future.

Machine Gun Kelly

 

nothing,nowhere. – The Pit Stage

Keeping with the rap theme, it was time to catch emo rapper nothing,nowhere. an artist that I’d heard great things about but never managed to catch live yet. Working his balance of light signing and rap perfectly it was a very minimal performance but in the best way. With the confines of the tent over The Pit stage it worked perfectly with the intimacy meaning that each track hit home hard. The standout part of his set came as he finished with arguably his biggest track ‘hammer’. It was a perfect end and even managed to stir up a mosh pit in the closing moments to really release the emotion of the track. Definitely an artist that I’ll be checking out again in the future, whist the slow beats of emo rap are not usually my cup of tea this set really showed why nothing,nowhere. is really at the top of the game at the moment.

nothing,nowhere.

 

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes – Main Stage

Heading back to the Main Stage and changing the momentum very quickly to much heavier rock and roll, it was time to watch Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes. Having caught them at every Leeds Festival since 2015 I knew what to expect from the set but still they crushed it. The huge crowd began moshing as soon as the first chord of ‘Tyrant Lizard’ rang out. It was great to hear the newer tracks alongside older ones and really showed the growth that both Frank and The Rattlesnakes have done over the past few years. After all these years it’s great to see them rewarded with such a high slot after his set opening the Main Stage in 2017 everyone thought that would be the pinnacle. It’s great to see the band pushing the positive messages hard and this was made clear during ‘Wild Flowers’ where he not only had a female only crowd surfer moment but also a mosh pit just for the women in the crowd. It worked perfectly to give those that hadn’t had courage to do either before an opportunity to try it without a worry and hopefully gave them a great experience to take away. Following this it was back to the older tracks with ‘Devil Inside of Me’ which went down a treat causing an absolute ruckus in the crowd. Finishing with the huge ‘I Hate You’ was always gonna be a great choice but using it to ‘”Celebrate” the current prime minister, point out the failings in the current government and encouraging young people to vote was a great idea and certainly one I hope the crowd took on board. A fantastic set to really show what Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes stand for and how they are helping out the entire rock community. It won’t be too long before they are headlining the entire festival hopefully

Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes

 

A Day to Remember – Main Stage

Continuing the heavier theme on the main stage were today’s main supports in A Day to Remember. Opening their set with ‘2nd Sucks’ really started the set off with a bang and what followed for the next 45mins could only be described as a brilliant set. Keeping things heavy meant that pits were opening everywhere and when rarely played ‘Sticks and Bricks’ came out the reaction was huge. Screams of “My heart is filled with hate!” were shouted back before the huge breakdown hit home and the crowd imploded on itself. After the heavy start things let up a little with ‘Rescue Me’ and the anthemic ‘Have Faith in Me’ getting massive singalongs. New track ‘Degenerates’ was added into the set and from the crowd’s reaction it’s certainly going to be around in their sets for a long time.

After the Huge ‘All I Want’ it was time to slow things down again for an acoustic version of ‘If It Means a Lot to You’ which really showed off just how good Jeremy McKinnon’s clean vocals were and by the time the song had built to its crescendo with the full band joining there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. Not one to put off a big finish, the band saved arguably one of their best tracks till last with the chants to ‘The Downfall Of Us All’ ringing out across the crowd and the CO2 and Pyro flying across the stage. With their set well and truly killed all that was left for the band to do was drop a huge banner down with ‘You’re Welcome’ on which only built the hype for the new album, only a few months to wait before its released.

A Day To Remember

 

Enter Shikari – The Pit Stage

No you haven’t scrolled back to the top of the post, it really is a second Enter Shikari set. Enter Shikari had the incredible ability to play two completely different sets in the same day and after their insane set earlier on the Main stage it was time for their Headline set on The Pit stage. Unfortunately due to the set times overlap with A Day to Remember, I wasn’t able catch the entire set but from the parts that I did catch it was no wonder that the tent was packed out. With old cut ‘Tribalism’ making its live debut despite being released almost 10 years ago just as I walked into the tent it was clear that this was going to be an incredible set. With the pyro and confetti thrown in it was certainly Enter Shikari’s no holds barred live show.

With big hits such as ‘Arguing with Thermometers’ and ‘Slipshod’ making appearances things were certainly rowdy and with everyone jumping into the crowd or climbing the stage framing it was clear this was a set to have fun with and definitely a great way to close the stage for the day. As the band finished with their set with ‘The Appeal and The Mindsweep II’ it was clear to see the energy was still flowing at 100% and it certainly looked like it ended the day on a high for the band. The fact that the band had pulled off two sets in the same day was one hell of an achievement and certainly one I’m glad to say that I was able to experience. I’ll say it in every review I write about Enter Shikari but it’s no lie, if you haven’t seen them live then go see them as soon as possible as it really is an unreal experience.

Enter Shikari

 

Foo Fighters – Main Stage

After being warmed up perfectly by both A Day to Remember and Enter Shikari it was time for today’s headliners – rock and roll titans Foo Fighters. Now in the past I’ve described sets starting with a bang but in this case there was a literal bang as fireworks shot into the sky as ‘The Pretender’ rang out. After this incredible start the band launched straight into ‘Learn to Fly’ as a para-glider flew about over Bramham Park. After starting at 110% the Foo’s dialled things back a little as they got to ‘My Hero’ with Dave bringing out his daughter Violet to help him on vocals which went down amazingly with the crowd. As the band introductions came around in the set the pace slowed a little bit but the band pulled a wild card when a guy dressed as Freddie Mercury in the crowd was invited on stage to dance along to Taylor Hawkins cover of the Queen hit ‘Under Pressure’. It brought a great entertainment factor and the guy pulled it off well getting a huge cheer from the crowd as he ran around the stage. Bringing out both All My Life and Monkey Wrench brought the energy back up to 100%. It was good to see how they had mixed some of their older tracks in with their big hits to really give a well-rounded Foo Fighters experience. ‘Best of You’ got a deafening singalong from the crowd being almost louder than the PA system.

As the band’s two hour set drew to its closing the band weren’t really to go down quietly and a cover of the massive AC/DC track ‘Let There Be Rock’ built up all the remaining energy and prepared the crowd for the last song in the set – the legendary ‘Everlong’. With Dave Grohl dedicating it to the crowd that had been with them for the last 25 years it really was a celebration of what the band had achieved over the years and as the song closed to an end and the fireworks rose to the sky over the giant logo it was clear to see just how much Foo Fighters meant to everyone in the crows and how they become one of the legendary bands in rock music. As the set wound down and people started leaving the arena it was clear from the overhead conversations that this would be a set to go down in Reading and Leeds Festival’s history books. A Phenomenal set to really end a brilliant day of Rock!

Foo Fighters

Review – Have Heart (One-Off Reunion Show)

Date: Sunday 21st July 2019

Venue: Stylus, Leeds

Supports: Stages In Faith, Big Cheese, Payday, Abuse Of Power

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Playing 10 year one off reunion shows in 4 cities was always going to be a huge hit but to have Leeds as one of the cities was monumental and really showed just how impressive the underground hardcore scene is in Leeds to draw a show like this. With tickets selling out extremely quickly, it was clear that everyone in attendance was in for a special night.

First up tonight were Stages In Faith. Going for a more old school hardcore sound mixing clean vocals and spoken word over the heavy distorted tracks, it was very reminiscent of bands like Leatherface. It was good to see that type of style was still being developed by the next generation of bands. Highlights from their set were recent track ‘Floodlights’ and their new unreleased track landed well with the early crowd to get the movement in the crowd started. Definitely a solid set to start off the night and hopefully the larger crowd that were present will pick up some of their tracks

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Stages In Faith

 

Next up were the mighty Big Cheese. After seeing these last year when they supported Madball I knew what to expect from them. As expected they put on a killer set which really work the crowd up. The hardcore dancers were out in full and kept up the same energy throughout the set. Going for a much heavier style of hardcore than SIF but it worked wonders to get everyone involved. To say they’re still a little off the radar they’re certainly making waves in the underground hardcore scene and definitely for the right reasons. Huge energy from the band matched the crowd perfectly and certainly a band to check out if you dig the heavier side of Hardcore! As the poster over the amps said – Don’t Forget 2 Tell The World.

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Big Cheese

 

Continuing Big Cheese’s theme of heavy hardcore were Payday it certainly kept the party mood well and truly in check. The set seemed to fly by with their short sharp bursts of songs but with the new album due out in September hopefully it’s not too long until Payday are back in Leeds. Highlight from them was the track ‘Blueprints’ from their new album which sounded very heavy and intense so will be interesting to see if the rest of the album matches. Certainly one I’ll be keeping my eye on in the near future! The whole band were tight and didn’t put a foot wrong throughout. Definitely a good choice by Have Heart to book them and hopefully this will springboard them with their new album into the forefront of the hardcore scene.

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Payday

 

Last of the support bands tonight were the fantastic Abuse Of Power. Given the three stunning sets before them it was looking to be an uphill struggle for them to top what had already been a fantastic night. The band however had other plans and took the rooms energy up an extra level. With the front half of the floor becoming a warzone with people everywhere moshing and hardcore dancing. While the crowd were going crazy it was not much different up on stage with each member of the band moving non-stop as they powered through their set. Each member put in a fantastic performance and the end result was crushing hardcore that went down a dream.

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Abuse Of Power

 

Last up tonight were the band that everyone was here to see, Have Heart. It took a single note from the band before people were launching themselves from the stage into the crowd. As the band worked through the opening salvo of ‘The Machinist’ and ‘The Unbreakable’ it was clear that even though it had been 10 years they certainly hadn’t lost their edge and were still performing at a fantastic level. Crashing through their 17 song setlist it was clear that everyone in attendance had some connection to the band as every word was screamed back at the band throughout. Top tracks ‘Watch Me Sink’ and ‘Armed With a Mind’ got huge reactions from the crowd and were perfectly placed to keep the energy levels up even after three hours of solid hardcore. As the set reached its mid-point the band mentioned that the reason for this one off reunion is the world is currently going backwards in terms of equality and rights and that the band were showing that things need to keep moving forward with progression. Following this speech, vocalist Pat Flynn kicking the next song in with “Backwards Never, Forwards Forever”, a memento to live by that was shouted back by the crowd. In true Have Heart fashion as they reached their final track, they announced that this would be their last song ever with no encore or anything like that and as they smashed their way through ‘Watch Me Rise’ the entire crowd flooded the stage with chants of “I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.” As the final note rang out, you could see the emotion on everyone’s faces, this really was a monumental show for everyone involved and certainly something that would be talked about for many years to come.

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Have Heart