Archive for July, 2010

Download Festival, Day One (Ac/Dc Day)

11th June 2010

After a night on my friends couch, a Tesco breakfast (quickly becoming a pre-festival tradition) and an emergency Argos run for camping chairs, the diminished DiR crew arrived at Download 2010. After a menacing hike in the blazing sun we managed to find a nice quiet place to pitch our tent on high ground away from the possibility of bogginess (let me stress this wasn’t actually a choice…it was what was available).

Parked in our sumptuous, newly acquired chairs, we shared some early afternoon comfy cans of rapidly warming beer before heading into the arena, almost 2 miles away from our current location. As the first days proceedings didn’t kick off until a rather civilised 3pm we had time in abundance to march over there!

Having not been to a proper (ATP not included) UK summer festival for some time, I was surprised by quite how massive these places are! With the Download site containing 5 stages with 2 huge outdoor stages this felt a lot bigger than Reading and I will say had optimal landscaping with natural bowls by every stage. Plus the sun was shining (unexpectedly), you couldn’t ask for much better than this. Especially with tonights headliners bringing their own world tour stage with them, today already felt somewhat special!

Year Long Disaster

Starting the day in more humble surroundings in the Pepsi Max Tent were Year Long Disaster. Kicking off the festival was always going to be a hard slot and it proved so. Their underwhelming sound failed to make a real impression as they drifted through their set of decent but not special, vintage hard rock.

Anathema

Seeing as there was plenty of hard rock and metal on offer over the weekend, we decided on something a little bit different for our next band. Anathema played to a majority sunbathing crowd who were delighted with their sweeping atmospheres and slow but hard hitting melodies. In the open air this was total bliss out territory and just as we were all floating into dreamland they sadly departed only to be replaced by A Day To Remember who played us some wishy-washy screamy hardcore mixed-up with emo-pop punk. Needless to say we weren’t impressed with their interruption.

Coheed & Cambria

Prog-Rock titans Coheed & Cambria were next up, inflicting their metal ambitions loose on the gathered masses at the second stage (aptly renamed the Ronnie James Dio Stage, after his passing away). With his hair fluttering like a badly groomed poodle, Claudio Sanchez led intricate melodies and extended prog meanderings which were both amazingly technical and surprisingly catchy. Taking much of their set from their new album this was a standard execution of their material with little or no crowd interaction. Thankfully for them the audience were to busy being in awe of their bonkers sci-fi rock to care. Finding time to throw in the epic metal tune Welcome Home just before they bailed out was a masterstroke which ensured a grand ovation and calls for an encore (which were quickly ignored).

Them Crooked Vultures

With the greatly reduced line-up the only thing left to do was to head towards the main stage in order to set up camp for the evenings main event. If you were clever…like I…you placed yourself dead centre between both main stages and enjoyed 2 sets of classic rock and roll. The first of which came from Them Crooked Vultures. TCV are quite rightly the hottest supergroup around, and this evening they proved worthy of their super title. Their bluesy shuffles and sparkling fuzz guitars were ploughing through riffs like a naked guy through a crowd (yes…this happened!). The interaction between the three prized musicians was astounding! John Paul Jones & Josh Homme had their guitars intuitively connected not forgetting Dave Grohls drum set becoming as big a weapon as those wielded in front of him. Their poppy scuzz blues and slightly too long blues jams went down superbly. But slowly but surely the crowds attention began to fade and with it severe long-stage-drift towards the currently unoccupied stage decorated only by two inflatable red schoolboy caps branded with one huge ‘A’ each fluttering in the wind. It was time for what we’d all been waiting for…..

I have never witnessed such anticipation for a single festival set (nor any performance actually) in my life. The crowd was absolutely buzzing and after a what felt like an eternity, the lights went up as Ac/Dc the living legends & godfathers of Hard Rock n’ Roll blasted onstage revealing just why they needed their own stage. They not only brought with them a seemingly endless catwalk which stretched nearly 30 metres into the crowd but they also thought they’d bring a train too!

Ac/Dc

The speakers they brought with them was gargantuan too!! Being nearly 3 times bigger than the festivals main stage, they sounded absolutely massive, small children would have been blown away and stray dogs had no chance against these things…it was that powerful. This only made hearing a seemingly endless barrage of timeless rock n’ roll classics even better. Front man Brian Johnson who could probably apply for his bus pass introduced the set with the following choice words:

“We’re here for one reason and that’s to rock and roll, and the party starts right now,”

Now that’s exactly what did happen as the crowd exploded in a wave of jubilation as the first chords of Runaway Train rang out. It was no great surprise to find the crowd knew every word, to every song and yet despite the packed conditioned everyone found room to hop around and sing them manically to strangers (whoever though music could not connect people?).

Brian Johnson

The songs which got the crowd the most excited was most definitely the bass kicking  Thunderstruck, ballsy Shoot To Thrill, the classic riffs of Back in Black & Highway to Hell, not forgetting the huge singalong on You Shook Me All Night Long.

My favourite moments were when the legendary guitar god Angus Young rose high above the crowd on a huge elevating platform while playing his heart out not far from me. He may be old, but he can still rock with the best if them! Also in true rock style he flashed his pants, only to reveal the band logo of course. His axe wielding was brilliant with big time classic blues solo’s, those unforgettable riffs and a magical presence in front of a crowd nearly 100,000 strong.

Angus Young

The train wasn’t tonights only prop either, confetti & fireworks aside they also had a huge bell was lowered onstage to be rung for the opening sequence to Hells Bells, a 30ft inflatable woman (Rosie) with ample cleavage provocatively perched upon the train for Whole Lotta Rosie and a line of cannons which exploded during set closer For Those About To Rock (We Salute You).


Rosie

I can find no words to criticise tonights performance, this was simply the greatest rock show I have ever witnessed and it doubt it will ever be topped! Ac/Dc wrote the book on Rock and tonight they played it in it’s entirety too! A truly awe inspiring performance! Lets hope this is not the last time we see them out on tour!

Glastonbury 40th Birthday

It does get pretty busy!

Wednesday       

The festival experience started on the delayed 20:15 train service towards Glastonbury on the Wednesday evening due to pikeys nicking the signalling cable near Iver.  Despite the ensuing problems at Paddington this worked out well as I happened to sit next to a member of a Glastonbury band, Nu from The Yearner Babies.  It was great to hear about an up and coming band who were due to play two sets over the weekend and at a number of other festivals over the summer whilst she was enthusiastically filing her nails, which I was told essential for all violinists.     

Thursday    

Rather than head down with every man and his dog (animals no longer allowed on-site) on the Wednesday we headed down early Thursday morning, arriving at the festival site at 6:30.  With no traffic or queues to park this was definitely a good plan and it didn’t take too long to find a place to pitch our tents and pop ours up, whilst our neighbours were still fast asleep.  With the music on Thursday’s limited to the smaller tents and predominantly in the evening we had an opportunity to get the rest of our supplies from the car, relax in the sun with a few ciders getting to know our Scottish neighbours who took the coach down from Edinburgh and meet up with some other friends. The stages which were open were packed so it was nigh on impossible to get in anywhere or near to the stage.  However, we did manage to see Beardyman on the WOW! stage who is without doubt the best (and only) beatboxer I have ever seen.  Singing/making noise to classic tunes such as Golddigger and Stevie Wonder’s Superstition (the first of many for the weekend) clearly demonstrated the talent this guy has (check out Kitchen Diaries on Youtube for further evidence) and a number of people who initially thought it was a rather strange DJ set were amazed .  It was a fantastic way to start the festival and a real highlight so early on in the proceedings.  The huge crowds in the dance village soon inspired us to move elsewhere and we passed the next few hours smoking shisha in the Glade bar, a real bargain at £7.50, and drinking Chai in Green Futures.

Friday

After freezing during the night and starting to cook as soon as the sun came up (the downside to pop-up tents) we managed to get ourselves up and ready for the first real day of music.  There was only one act who we and seemingly the rest of Glaso wanted to see – the Aussie legend, star presenter of Animal Hospital, artist to the queen and inventor of the wobble board, the man him-self – Rolf Harris.  On route to what would have surely been the best act of the weekend a call from a friend changed our plan.  Mumford & Sons were playing a secret gig at the BBC Introducing stage, as advertised on a small sheet of paper outside the tent.  We joined the small crowd and waited patiently for Jo Whiley and the band.  Although they only played three tracks (including one song twice) the catchy folk songs which are so characteristic of the smaller tents throughout the site were very well received.   

Mumford & Sons Secret Performance

After some tasty jerk chicken and rice and peas (the food at Glasto is consistenly good) we moved to the Green Future field, past the unremarkable Stranglers who were playing on The Other Stage.  We caught the end of Rodney Branigan in the Small World tent, who wowed the crowd and wouldn’t come back for an encore because he couldn’t beat playing two guitars at once!   After that were Mazaj, a two-member band who specialised in Arabic music.   The female member did not exude enthusiasm and was perhaps focussing on playing, bored or jealous of the belly dancer who came on stage.   

They start young at Glasto!

Next up were Bombay Bicycle Club in the John Peel tent, who we watched from afar whilst soaking up the sun and played a fantastic samba version of Always Like This.  We headed back to the tent for a bit of rest, but could still hear Kele who played some of his new up-beat songs and then some classic Bloc Party tracks.  After re-charging our batteries we headed to the Pyramid Stage and saw the New Yorkers Vampire Weekend who entertained the crowd with their sing-along tunes such as Holiday and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.    

Vampire Weekend on the Pyramid Stage

Soon after finishing their set we joined the rest of the crowd moving to see Florence and the Machine on the Other Stage.  To get a good view we watched from the Railway Track, a long distance from the stage but a fantastic view of the crowd.  Florence really worked the crowd and seemed to be having the time of her life.  Her covers of Candi Staton’s You Got the Love We and Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain were superb and she will almost certainly be back for years to come.  As the evening approached we moved on to the dance areas, starting with a sunset performance by Hybrid in the fantastic tree lined Glade tent, and then the Dance East tent where Zane Lowe played a DJ set to warm up the audience for Chase and Status.  The tent packed out in anticipation of this band who are emerging as one of the biggest dance acts in the UK.  Joined by other artists such as London rapper Tinnie Tempah the base shook the crowd into action and by time Plan B arrived and ended their set with perfect renditions of End Credits and Pieces the crowd were ecstatic.  

Saturday      

In recent years there has been a large influx of rappers in to the Glastonbury festival and on Saturday morning it was turn for East London boy Tinchy Stryder, albeit more of a pop act than hardened rapper.  His catchy songs were a pleasant start to the morning, but it wasn’t soon long until we left in search of some proper rock at the Other Stage, starting with Reef.  It’s a shame to be well known for one particular song, but at least it’s a great one – Place Your Hands went down a treat.  Things got heavier next with Coheed and Cambria and the disappointingly small crowd welcomed something different.  The band must have been baking in the afternoon sun but the lead singer, a Hurley lookalike from Lost, still managed to blast out a number of familiar and not so familiar songs that metal heads appreciated as much as those who weren’t.

Coheed and Cambria - a bit of metal!

Unable to move due to the extreme heat we stayed for Imogen Heap, who surprised me at least by being English.  She was clearly an enthusiastic and talented musician and was actively engaged with all of the other musicians on stage.  She also got the crowd involved particularly for Hide and Seek, familiar to fans of The OC.  After a walk around the impressive Arcadia, Shangri-La and the Unfair Ground areas we returned once again to the shaded and spacious Small World Tent in Green Futures.  We dozed away to Tina Brackman, a British guitarist living in New Zeeland who said her songs always send people to sleep but didn’t seem too offended.  She had tragically lost a hand in an accident, but soon returned to music which has been a massive part of her life.  Her confident performance and chirpy persona was made it a very worthwhile performance.

   

      

The coolest stage at Glasto

After waking up we moved to the Leftfield stage for Frank Turner, along with hundreds of other fans, many of which had already seen him twice elsewhere during the weekend.   His popularity was soon understandable as he managed to strike a perfect balance between playing music and interacting with the crowd.  Credit must also be given to a young guy called Olly who was picked out from the crowd to play the harmonica and did a fantastic job and a friend of Frank called Barbs who joined Frank for the entertaining Hot Chicks and Bacon Sandwiches.           

Frank Turner in the Leftfield tent

The final act of the night was Muse on the Pyramid Stage and the massive crowd were not disappointed with both the music and show offered by this headliner, despite a lack of acrobats, hot air balloons and UFOs (having seen them at Wembley Stadium before)!  We were waiting for the inevitable guest appearance at some stage during the set and when The Edge came on and joined them in playing Where The Streets Have No Name the crowd went wild – a fantastic evening which was extended in Cocktails and Dreams, where a guest appearance by Limhal (80s popstar) kept everyone entertained, even if most of us didn’t know who he was!        

Muse

Sunday    

It was the final day and we were sad to be packing up but glad to not be spending another night in our nightmare pop-up tent.  Thank god it didn’t rain – these tents are surely not waterproof!  Having practiced putting the tent back in the bag (N.B. it took us almost an hour on our first attempt) we managed to pack it away in a record time of about 2 minutes, much to the disappointment of our friends and neighbours.  On route to the car we took a break and watched Paloma Faith on the Pyramid Stage, whilst enjoying some refreshing ice creams from the ideally situated ice cream van.  She certainly can’t be knocked for enthusiasm or entertainment value and her soulful and poptastic tunes such as New York and a cover of Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime went down really well with the early morning crowd.  After the stress of carrying everything back to the car we joined 30,000 other fans to the football field near the cinema.  There were 50,000 fans in another field near the dance area so it must have been brilliant for non-fans who could enjoy a crowdless festival, at least for a couple of hours.  If we won the atmosphere would have been brilliant, but the abysmal result and missing acts such as Slash, Temper Trap and Holy F*** meant that it really was an afternoon wasted.   Never again….The rest of the afternoon was spent at the Pyramid Stage.  First up was Jack Johnson who was background music to chatting with a friend from Switzerland (apologies to any fans near-by).  Faithless then took centre stage and Maxi Jazz seemed overwhelmed with the fantastic reception from the growing crowd who waited in anticipation for classic tunes such as Insomnia and We Come One.  We were not disappointed, but a later night time set would have been much more appropriate.  The final act of the night and of Glastonbury 2010 was Stevie Wonder, but rather than watch the legend of motown we made our way home to avoid the mass exodus of people at the end.  We got home in good time and watched the footage the next day – not the coolest way to end the weekend, but perhaps a rather sensible plan.     

The 40th Birthday Glastonbury will certainly go down in festival history as one of the best in history, but then again it is fantastic every year whether you are watching on TV or there in person.  It really does have everything to offer – ecelectic mix of music, headliners who are unlikely to play anywhere else, a variety of events going on all day and night and fantastic food.   Like any other festival you will always have some fantastic memories and some regrets.  Here are a few of mine:        

Top acts of the weekend: Frank Turner, Chase and Status, Beardyman, Mumford & Sons and Muse        

We shouldn’t have missed: Slash, Mumford & Sons in the John Peel tent, The Temper Trap, Dizzee Rascal, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Yearner Babies (I really should have gone to see them after meeting a band member) and Toy Story 3 3D Advance Preview (a field full of hippies wearing 3D glasses must have been fantastic)        

Next time we’ll give it a miss: England football matches, pop-up tents, the heat (although it’s better than rain) and Radio 1 coverage of the festival on the way home (no live Stevie Wonder!)

Future Of The Left @ The Lexington, Angel

5th June 2010

Arriving for the first time at The Lexington, it feels like a very homely and unassuming venue. The downstairs bar is welcoming and not overly trying to be hip which makes a it the perfect place for a pre-show drink. Being joined by Mr. Flowers & The Doktor we ascended the stairs to the gig venue to find a delightfully small but well designed room. Its back bar had ample room and the back tier was good for those not wanted to be in amongst the action.

Right down here is where we set ourselves for the first band up tonight, Hold Your Horse Is. Loud would be an apt word to describe these guys, but a loud well worth sticking around for. Their aggressive alt-punk was as riff packed as it was frenetic as lead guitarist/singer thrashed about in his converses and short jeans (it was last year’s school trousers look, aka “jhorts”). Brash guitars and snappy drumming hallmarked the set of agro-rock which was packed with promise. With a few more solid tunes under their belt they could do quite well in years to come.

Hold Your Horse Is

Ice, Sea, Dead People‘s play on words band name was probably the only thing which raised a smile during their performance. Again loud noise seemed to be the sound of the hour as the amps pushed to the limits of their capacity. Only this time the output was not particularly welcome. No real songs of note, just a lot of guitar spanking to little or no purpose. They seemed somewhat aloof and pretentious in their arty antics as they concentrated on their instruments rather appreciate the crowd. Plus drummer was the least likely drummer ever with his preppy, floppy haired looks and ultimate tongue out concentration face. So focused was he, that it looked as if he was attempting to blow up his drum kit with the power of the mind!

Ice, Sea, Dead People

By the time Future Of The Left arrived, the Lex was heaving and the eager crowd were ready to rumble. The Welsh heros stepped out onto the small stage and set about their business of playing rock and roll with a DIY punk twist, I was surprised to see that guitarist and front man, Andy “Falco” Falkous had only strung 3 strings of his guitar. As it turned out he clearly didn’t need them as he pumped out scuzz riffs and poppy melodic interludes with a sharp aggressive energy.

Future of The Left

It was this energy and songcraft which was the lasting feelings from this show (alongside the deafnesss!). It was no surprise that their deceptively heavy pop numbers were the best of the evening such as the punk riot inducing Arming Eritrea, Synthesizer heavy Throwing Bricks At Trains and Wrigley Scott. To re-inforce the pop-centre of the show the crowd were fantastic, with huge choruses of voices singing along, especially lines like “Roll On, Roll On, Roll On” on adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood. Hearing the whole venue sing, “Colin is a pussy, A very pretty pussy,” along to Manchasm is a great Rock moment that would please anyone, except perhaps if you were happened to be called Colin.

Falco

Already a set full of great songs, they surprised the whole crowd by blasting into the classic Mclusky tune, Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues. Not happy with just the one Mclusky classic though, they breathlessly followed it up with Collagen Rock and when the crowd started to feel lucky to see FotL play some rare covers, the thumping bass notes of To Hell With Good Intentions ensured the crowd would go mental.

As Falco explained after the mini-Mclusky interlude (all drawn from the Mclusky Do Dallas LP, fact fans), this surprise treat was shrewdly planted to placate fans before the string of new songs that would follow. Joined with a new guitarist to beef up their sound even more, these tunes were pretty decent and maintained that FoTL signature sound, but probably need some fine tuning, plus they were definitely darker more visceral than their last album output as evident on the slow and brooding new song, Destroy Whitchurch.

FotL were a very entertaining band in-between songs also. Despite being pushed for time by the militant venue scheduler they produced some hilarious inter-band slanging matches, Falco’s highly voiced comical opinions on life, the universe and “The Feeling” plus loads of stupid crowd banter including the interactive game “Fact, fiction or Razorlight lyric?”.

It was a gig no one really wanted to end, even (also ex-Mclusky) Jack Egglestone on drums didn’t want it to stop, requiring the bassist to dismantle his kit while he was still playing the end of adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood long after the guitarists had left the stage!

The amazing songcraft, punk-pop oddities, stonking riffing, cracking crowd, bubbling atmosphere and not forgetting McLUSKY!! All made for one for the best show’s I’ve been to in along time!

ROAR!

Does It Rock? June Round-up

Plenty of great albums were released in June and we here at DiR.net have picked the best of the bunch to bring to you in a handy Spotify playlist! It was Download Festival this month, so plenty of the performers have made the list!

Listen now >>> DoesItRock.net – June 10 Mix

1) Halestorm – I Get Off … What a storming voice this woman has, hard rock and a weapon of vocal proportions.
2) Pulled Apart By Horses – High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive These guys are a stunningly chaotic live band! Their riff hungry alt-metal has transferred superbly onto record too.
3) The Black Keys – Tighten Up Blues Duo are back with their stripped down catchy melodies.
4) Band Of Skulls – Light of the Morning Hyped band deliver the goods, a solid indie rock offering.
5) Nada Surf – QuestionCover version of the Moody Blues given a superb makeover by these indie boys.
6) Sleigh Bells – Tell ‘Em Synth/Mash/Pop is a delightful collision of sound which also happens to be incessantly catchy.
7) Ozzy Osbourne – Let Me Hear You Scream The Prince Of Darkness is back with more big riffing rock.
8) White Wizzard – Over the TopPower metal act were great at Download, If you like fast guitars and folklore…this is the band for you.

9) Twin Atlantic – Caribbean War Syndrome Progressive indie rock with some superb atmospheric melodies and kick ass riffs.
10) Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders – Not Bad Luck String influences from 70’s Queen, the Foo’s Drummer strikes out alon.
11) Far – Fight Song #16,233,241 Aggressive riffing from this alt-metal band who’s latest album is a cracker
12) Year Long Disaster – Love Like Blood Some big bluesy swagger on this track from this rising LA hard rock band.
13) Trashtalk – Flesh & Blood A rampage of hardcore punk energy, over before it begins but has a vicious sting in Its tail!
14) Atreyu –Bleeding Is A Luxury Surprisingly good live and this savage beast of a tune is the best off their latest album

Bon Jovi @ The O2 Arena

8th June 2010

I forgot my camera this evening, hence no photos (Not that photos from the top tier of the O2 would be much cop anyways!).

Now in my eyes a band who are as huge as Bon Jovi playing the 2nd of their 14 night run at the worlds largest entertainment venue should bring with them a support band of high stature. So you can imagine my disappointment when I caught wind of the news that an unsigned Scottish group who won a talent search are heading up the bill. Not only that, they are the only support! I expected more, but then and again I missed the date with The Feeling as support, something I can only thank my lucky stars!

The Side after all was said and done, were actually a pretty solid hard rocking band with a very professional set of classic rock inspired tunes, not so dissimilar to those of the headline act. I was rather impressed with their guitar interplay, melodic solos and surprisingly catchy songs. For an unknown entity, they sounded superb…I was left to chew on my words!

Now I am not the O2 Arena’s greatest fan, It’s absolutely huge, seats come with warnings for vertigo sufferers, prices are high and the acts who play here are mega-stars. But the one thing it does well is sound. This is the 3rd occasion I’ve seen Bon Jovi and the sound this evening was definitely the clearest and most powerful than on both previous outdoor occasions. Also the stage setup here was quite something, with lots of huge lcd screens which manoeuvred about stage into all manner of precarious locations.

Jon Bon Jovi was his usual self, flirting with the ladies and generally being Mr. Rock while massaging his steadily increasing ego. But when you have 13,000 women screaming your name he has good reason to enjoy himself. His vocals tonight were great as he led the band through the most impressive set I’ve witnessed from them.

This was an updated greatest hits set which barely missed any of their signature tunes. What impressed me the most is they played songs which I had never seen live before. They opened with the classic riff rock of Last Man Standing, before going on a new album material circuit which wasn’t too bad. All the classics were here Bad Medicine, Runaway, You Give Love A Bad Name, Keep The Faith while Wanted Dead Or Alive was left to the encore. Just to tease us some more, returning for a third encore of Livin’ On A Prayer & Always.

Bon Jovi on their 14 night residence muttered to the crowd that they were varying their set night on night, which is probably why we were treated to some simply superb songs from lesser known albums. Diamond Ring, Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night were among these songs. A brilliant but short unplugged set was played on their stage catwalk using a wooden box as percussion, an accordion as keyboards plus acoustic guitars shows they still have adept musical talents. Another unexpected surprise lay in store as guitar legend Richie Sambora sang vocals on the cracking Lay Your Hands On Me. Though for me the highlight of the evening was hearing the epic tune Dry Country during the first encore with Its simply stunning guitar solo!

Tonight was by far the best show I’ve seen Bon Jovi play! It was simply brilliant and packed with classic pop rock clout! Only another 12 nights to go!

Switchfoot @ The Forum

2nd June 2010

From the moment we crossed the threshold into The Forum tonight, there were people everywhere! In every direction, just hoards of fans who have arrived here at a rather early. The only place nobody was to be found was the bar! Now at any other show I would be shocked, but seeing as Switchfoot have a large Christian following, I was hardly surprised.

First up was a very energetic and enjoyable sounds of The Audio Cartel. Their clean vocals and punky riffing made for a nice pop combo which occasionally bordered into classic rock territory. The guitarist also had an affinity for the rock of ages as he abused his wah-wah pedal with impressive screeching solo’s and wailing melodies. Good fun and a perfect kick start to the night.

The Audio Cartel

Following hot on their heels were Flood of Red, another punk influenced band who has expanded their musical horizons. Sounding a great deal more epic in scope than your average angry punk band, they sound was reminiscent of Circa Survive which is no bad thing. Vocals were not particularly appealing with a mix up of high pitched squeaks and throaty screams. Their melodies were big and complex but somewhere in their skyrocketing sound they lost their immediacy and punch. Just another support band!

Flood of Red

The Forum suddenly came alive with ear piercing female screams as Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman hung from the balcony on stage left to announce his arrival! An unusual, but effective entrance! From the very first song he had the crowd in his hand and he could do no wrong.

Switchfoot

Vocals were spot on, with all the high notes being hit with ease. The band played a very tight set which took in all of their hit singles including Meant To Live, Dare You To Move, Awakening plus a handful of new tunes from their latest album Hello Hurricane.

Jon Foreman

The only gripe I have is the extended between song preaching about love, truth etc! I understand most of the crowd were right there with him… Hallelujah! But for the rest of us, this was just another American rambling on about god!


It was a good job then that their newer fuzzier and bluesy direction works really well in the live environment with romper stomping tunes like Mess of Me & title track Hello Hurricane providing a platform for crowd excitement (within restrained parameters of course).


A very professional clean cut performance from a very straight edge band!

From the moment we crossed the threshold into The Forum tonight, there were people everywhere! In every direction, just hoards of fans who have arrived here at a rather early. The only place nobody was to be found was the bar! Now at any other show I would be shocked, but seeing as Switchfoot have a large Christian following, I was hardly surprised.

First up was a very energetic and enjoyable sounds of The Audio Cartel. Their clean vocals and punky riffing made for a nice pop combo which occasionally bordered into classic rock territory. The guitarist also had an affinity for the rock of ages as he abused his wah-wah pedal with impressive screeching solo’s and wailing melodies. Good fun and a perfect kick start to the night.

Following hot on their heels were Flood of Red, another punk influenced band who has expanded their musical horizons. Sounding a great deal more epic in scope than your average angry punk band, they sound was reminiscent of Circa Survive which is no bad thing. Vocals were not particularly appealing with a mix up of high pitched squeaks and throaty screams. Their melodies were big and complex but somewhere in their skyrocketing sound they lost their immediacy and punch. Just another support band!

The Forum suddenly came alive with ear piercing female screams as Switchfoot lead singer Jon Foreman hung from the balcony on stage left to announce his arrival! An unusual, but effective entrance! From the very first song he had the crowd in his hand and he could do no wrong.

Vocals were spot on, with all the high notes being hit with ease. The band played a very tight set which took in all of their hit singles including Meant To Live, Dare You To Move, Awakening plus a handful of new tunes from their latest album Hello Hurricane.

The only gripe i have is the extended between song preaching about love, truth etc! I understand most of the crowd were right there with him… Hallelujah! But for the rest of us, this was just another American rambling on about god!

It was a good job then that their newer fuzzier and bluesy direction works really well in the live environment with romper stomping tunes like Mess of Me & title track Hello Hurricane providing a platform for crowd excitement (within restrained parameters of course).

A very professional clean cut performance from a very straight edge band!

Metric @ KoKo

24th May 2010

A night of electronic pop awaited as we settled into the crowd for the sole warm up act tonight, Baby Monster. Having never heard of this apparent rising electro-duo, it was no great shock to hear a disctintly average set of indie influenced dancy beats. Vastly underwhelming, their laid back disco was uninteresting and their performance was one of the most lamely generic I’ve heard.

Baby Monster

With high woops of approval in the air, Metric and their frail disco chick front woman Emily Haines entered the fray only to seriously kick out the jams and pack a mighty punch. Jump starting the crowd into life, Metric went straight about their business producing soaring atmospheric sythns, club friendly bass lines and majestically swirling vocals.

Metric

They played through quite a lot of older tunes in the first half of the set, before reverting to material from their superb. highly acclaimed latest album Fantasies. The most rapturous receptions were held for these tunes such as Help I’m Alive (complete with hammering fist actions) and Satellite Mind.

Emily Haines

Their set worked best when they cranked up the guitars and played frantically while the wafer thin Emily was busy winning over the crowd with her jubilant vocals, funky dance moves and blazing keyboard bashing. Their best songs were the big pop-rock numbers which would not be out of place in a huge amphethetre, such is their colossal sound, with Stadium Love, Monster Hospital & Gold Guns Girls all soared and excited in equal measures.

Metric are steadily rising through the musical royalty. Given tonights feelgood show, anyone would be a fool to not to make Emily their Disco Queen!