Monthly Archives: October 2015

*Review* Against the Current (with Beware of You) The Academy 2 13/10/15

against the current review On Tuesday 13th October American pop-rock/pop-punk band Against the Current’s ‘Gravity World Tour’ hit up The Academy 2 in Dublin! The headlining show was sold out weeks in advance and support came from local Dublin alternative pop-punk band Beware of You. The tour was in support of Against the Current’s ‘Gravity’ EP which was released back in February.

Arriving shortly before 6 I was directed into ‘The Green Room’ to chill until the VIP Meet & Greet was finished, right inside the door of the room eager fans had already formed a relatively long que. A short while past before the crowd rushed downstairs into The Academy 2 and within a few minutes it was almost impossible to see past the crowd that had gathered in front of the stage. The usual issues The Academy 2 has as a venue for sold out shows were pretty obvious but that was not going to kill the mood tonight.

As 6 o’clock hit Beware of You made their way to the stage. Beware of You are a relatively new band having only formed back in January, since then they have managed to not only play the Electric Picnic festival but to release their debut EP ‘Self Portraits’ back in August. Having caught them numerous times at this point I was excited to see what they could do in front of a sold out crowd of about 200 screaming preteens and teenagers. A few weeks before the show guitarist Tara Behan had decided to leave the band, as such they were playing this show as a 4 piece, I honestly expected some of their usual energy and strength to be missing but they quickly proved me wrong.

They kicked things off with ‘I Can’t Explain’ and then followed it up with ‘I’ll Forget You’ the outro of which was a bit off but being down a guitarist a few little things being off was to be expected while they work out the kinks. Despite this the usual infectious energy and jokes were there, members poking fun at each other like they do at every other show they play. By the time the lead single off their EP ‘Control’ started the crowd was really getting into it. During ‘Losing Game’ both bassist Brian and guitarist Sam take advantage of their wireless setups by leaving the stage and started playing in the crowd instead during which they did a few laps around the crowd, the crowd of course ate this up. They headed back to the stage for ‘All I Know’ before heading right back into the crowd during ‘Breaking Down Doors’, squeezing right into the middle of the tightly packed crowd. Vocalist Leah Moore declared that the next one ‘Fearless’ was a new one as an 8-bit intro started playing, the song itself seems very strong, sounding very reminiscent of Tonight Alive’s last album. The aptly named ‘I’m Done’ finished up their set to applause from the crowd.

Despite recently losing a member Beware of You showcased exactly why they are a breath of fresh air in the Irish music scene by bringing the show to the crowd, doing their best to ensure that everybody in the crowd had a good time and will remember their name: 8/10.

Post show I caught up with bassist Brian Loughney to hear what his thoughts on the show were:
‘’We want to thank everyone who came early to see us play and everyone for hanging out afterwards to get pictures and autographs. It was our standout show of the year and one that will be hard to beat. We’re already in talks about doing shows around Ireland to see everyone that we met at the Against the Current show and we can’t wait to make that happen. Everything about the show just showed us and Against the Current why the Irish are the best fans in the world!
Also Against the Current are some of the nicest people, we hung around with Chrissy afterwards and had a great chat and some craic. She also had her first ever drumstick lollipop, which she loved.’’

Around 7.30 Against the Current took to the stage to deafening screams from the crowd. The bands vocalist Chrissy Costanza was almost impossible to see from the back of the room due to her short height. They kicked their set off with the double kick of ‘Talk’ and ‘Paralyzed’ off their ‘Gravity’ EP, Chrissy’s voice sounded quite strained during the chorus of ‘Talk’ but when you have been playing non-stop shows on a world tour for months it is sure to take a toll on your vocal cords. They followed these two new songs up with a couple of old tracks, ‘Infinity’ the title track off their EP of the same name released back in May 2014, ‘Something You Need’ off the same EP and an even older track ‘Thinking’ (‘’The first song we ever wrote’’ – Chrissy) from back in 2012. In comparison to the newer tracks these older tracks do not come across anywhere near as strong, even live, and it was clear from the crowd’s reaction (or lack of a reaction) that not many of them were overly familiar with the songs. Switching back into the new songs with ‘Dreaming Alone’ Chrissy asked the crowd to sing it with her as it is meant to be a duet. They followed this up with their latest single ‘Outsiders’ and Chrissy gave a heartfelt speech about being on the outside of the norm and not understanding how people expect you to meet their expectations and ideas of how you should live your life when everybody is different, as you’d expect the song went down pretty well with the crowd. The title track off their ‘Gravity’ EP then had the strongest crowd reaction of the night before another track off the ‘Infinity’ EP ‘Comeback Kid’ was played, in contrast to the older songs played earlier in the set ‘Comeback Kid’ fits in well with their newer tracks. They quickly jammed the first minute and a half of ‘American Idiot’ by Green Day before performing a strong full cover of The 1975’s hit ‘Chocolate’.

‘Fireproof’ closed out the main set with a stronger crowd reaction than I expected it to get, it is my personal favourite off the EP but it has not been as well received as the other tracks. They then explained how they would normally leave the stage before coming back and playing two more but The Academy 2 being The Academy 2 this is almost impossible to do. At some point during the set Chrissy said she loved Ireland and explained how this was not her first time in Ireland, as her senior trip in High School a few years earlier had been a trip to Ireland. They took a quick crowd selfie before finishing their set by playing ‘Brighter’ and then ‘Another You (Another Way)’. ‘Another You’ makes a strong last song by being another example of an old song that fits in well with their current musical direction and song quality.

Against the Current is a band with a lot of potential, they have a very strong label in the form of Fueled by Ramen, the label known for breaking bands like Paramore, Panic! At The Disco and most recently Twenty One Pilots, and their newer songs have the energy and hooks to help them achieve a similar level of success to those bands, a few weaker old songs are currently holding back their set but in time they will be able to replace them, an equally enjoyable and solid set: 8/10.

*Review* Bullet For My Valentine (While She Sleeps & Coldrain) Olympia Theatre 29/09/15

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On Tuesday 29th September British metalcore band Bullet For My Valentine returned to Dublin, for the first time since playing The Ambassador in 2008, to play a headlining show in The Olympia Theatre. Support on the night was Japanese alternative rock band Coldrain and fellow British metalcore band While She Sleeps.

I would like to take a brief moment out of this review to thank MCD Productions and The Olympia Theatre for providing us with passes for this show via a small donation to the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, for more information on the help they provide to children in Vietnam and Mongolia please check out http://www.cncf.org/.

Coldrain took to the stage to a relatively full room for how early it was, kicking things off with ‘The Revelation’ introducing the crowd to their high energy mix of alternative rock and post-hardcore with small hints of nu-metal bounce. The next few tracks were similar, with a sizeable mosh pit kicking off during their 3rd song. The bands energy was contagious with almost all the members jumping around the stage and the bassist constantly spinning around. New track ‘Gone’ changed things up with its plain alternative rock sound, confusing some of the crowd while doing so, it is however a very strong track sounding somewhat like newer Tonight Alive. The set finished on ‘No Escape’ which I found to be relatively lacking live, it would have made more sense to play it earlier in the set. All in all the set felt shorter than it was but a high energy performance overall wins them some praise: 7/10.

While She Sleeps took to the stage next to deafening chants of their bands name, showing just how much their large Dublin fanbase has missed them since they last played here in January 2013 in The Academy, making people wonder when will they be back for their own headlining show? They kicked things off with the title track off their newest album ‘Brainwashed’, which was released earlier this year and the crowd sprang to life. Following it up with the title track off their previous album ‘This Is The Six’ the crowd begun to sing and scream every lyric right back at them. One of their heavier cuts ‘Death Toll’ followed this up increasing the energy of both the band and crowd even more. Frontman Loz Taylor is bundles of energy as usual putting his all into the set, running all over the stage, jumping up and down, screaming at the crowd to get them involved. Before starting ‘Seven Hills’ Loz tells the crowd to get on each others shoulders with a few doing so, during the song he throws himself over the gap between the stage and barrier screaming into the crowd before diving in and getting carried around for about 30 seconds before making his way back to the stage, collapsing and lying on it for about 10 seconds before getting back up and performing a feat of athletic talent by balancing himself on top of the drum kit while continuing to scream the words of the song. All of this which occurred during ‘Seven Hills’ is exactly why While She Sleeps is a band you have to see to understand just how much energy they put into their performances. Playing a couple more off ‘Brainwashed’ they finished the set to a huge applause from the crowd. An easy: 9.5/10.

As it got closer and closer to Bullet For My Valentine‘s stage time the room filled up more and more, by the time they took to the stage it was a packed out house. They kicked things off with ‘No Way Out’ off their new album ‘Venom’ the sound of which is more like ‘The Poison’ instead than recent albums, the new songs fit well into Bullets set which is filled with hits from their back catalogue, thankfully they are now completely ignoring everything off their 4th album 2013s ‘Temper Temper’ which was not well recieved by their fanbase or critics. They followed this up with one their oldest tracks ‘4 Words (To Choke Upon)’ off both their debut EP and ‘The Poison’ which was very well received by the crowd as you would expect. The set continued on with hit after hit with ‘Raising Hell’ into the title track off their 2nd album ‘Scream, Aim, Fire’ into ‘Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow’. Frontman Matt Tuck started off the more ballad like ‘The Last Fight’ on his own before the band joined him after the first chorus. Second guitarist ‘Padge’ got his moment to shine with his own guitar solo later in the set. New addition bassist Jamie Mathias fits in well with the band, show casing that he was in fact a frontman himself in Revoker before joining the band by singing the occasional verse and providing a lot of the screamed vocals live, as such he is a strong addition live in my opinion. Their biggest single ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ seemed like it was about to end their main set, which left me thinking that the set needed just one more older song off ‘The Poison’ or ‘Scream, Aim Fire’, when an even older song makes its first full live appearance in over two years, a cut from their first EP, their debut single ‘Hand of Blood’. As the opening riff kicked in the nostalgia and it sealed my rating for their set: 10/10.

Moose cameback on first for the encore, bright white lights going on around him as he began drumming the intro to ‘Your Betrayal’ as the other members of the band made their way back to the stage one by one, it made for a surprisingly strong encore choice before they finished things up with ‘Waking the Demon’ leaving the crowd still screaming for more.

A high energy crowd and equally as high energy sets from all three acts made this one of the strongest metal shows I have been to all year. Bullet are back and they want you to know it!