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.