Tag Archives: Bands

*Review* Belfast Vital 2017 – Muse & Biffy Clyro (& Support)

On Wednesday the 23rd of August I headed to The Boucher Road Playing Fields, Belfast for the first show of Belfast Vital 2017. Belfast Vital is an annual two-day music festival, made up of two single day concerts, in Northern Ireland that currently takes place in The Boucher Road Playing Fields, Belfast. The first show was being headlined by Muse with support from Biffy Clyro, Nothing But Thieves and Fangclub. I also attended the first day of Belfast Vital 2016 last year which featured Red Hot Chili Peppers as the headliners, you can check out my review of that show here.

The venue for the festival is a giant field, and it was filled with food stands, drink stands, merchandise stands, bars and this year there was even a Ferris Wheel. There was a large security presence on-site – every precaution possible was taken to ensure the safety of attendees. There was a pit area in front of the stage which required wristbands to get into, which helped to divide up the crowd. The stage itself was massive. Unfortunately, there was no VIP section this year, the impressive  VIP Bar, The Vital, from last year was nowhere to be seen, a shame but it did not take much away from the festival. The weather wasn’t the best, cloudy with hints of sunlight here and there, but at least it did not rain heavily at any point during the show. Thousands of attendees had already arrived by the time the first band took to the stage.

Dublin’s alternative rock heroes Fangclub kicked off proceedings, opening their set with ‘Inside Joke’ off their ‘Coma Happy’ EP released back in 2016. They played a newer track next, ‘Better To Forget’, which is on their debut self-titled album released earlier that month and they’ve just released a music video for it. When I first caught the band live back in 2015, opening for Nothing But Thieves (check that out here), who were set to take to the stage after them yet again, I said that they were ‘ones to watch’ and I think it goes without saying that I was right. As their set went on the 3 piece, accompanied by an extra guitarist, won over more and more of the crowd. ‘Dreamcatcher’ was accompanied by a little smoke and they introduced themselves before playing ‘Follow’. A welcome addition to their live set came in the form of another new track off their debut album, ‘Lightning’, a track I am a big fan of. They finished their set off with two of the oldest songs in their repertoire, the grungey sound of ‘Role Models’ and the anthem that is ‘Bullet Head’. Fangclub are still, a band that you should be watching: 8/10.

English alternative rock band Nothing But Thieves took to the Vital stage next. They crammed 11 songs into their set, mostly cuts from their debut self-titled album and a couple of new songs off their second album ‘Broken Machine’ which had not been released yet (it is, however, available now). They received a very good response from the crowd with fans screaming in delight before they had even started playing the first song of their set ‘Ban All The Music’, a standout, riff-heavy, track off their debut album. A new track ‘I’m Not Made By Design’, off of ‘Broken Machine’, showcased vocalist Conor Mason’s impressive range. ‘Itch’s catchy as ever chorus got an audible amount of the crowd singing along. ‘Sorry’ is so incredibly catchy you’d forgive me for thinking that it is off their first album and not their new one, the bridge section being simply outstanding. ‘Excuse Me’s chorus simply sounded as massive as ever, with the added effect provided by the smoke machines during it being a nice touch, the band jammed out the outro to cheers from the crowd. The band rounded out their set with the massive hit that is ‘Trip Switch’ and ‘Amsterdam’ the lead single off of ‘Broken Machine’. As expected Nothing But Thieves were a good support act, and Conor Mason continues to have an incredibly impressive set of pipes, both on record and live: 7/10.

I saw Biffy Clyro play the 3Arena in Dublin back in November, seeing them live was something I had waited far too long to do, you can check that review out by clicking here. It was pretty obvious before the band had even taken to the stage that a large portion of the crowd was at Vital for them alone. The massive stage production they had back in November was absent but it didn’t take much away from the set. Their set felt like a condensed version of the set they played in the 3Arena, anything even close to filler was gone, instead, they spent their hour-long set just playing hit after hit, and banger after banger.


Biffy Clyro’s members arrived on stage already topless and kicked their set off with the thundering ‘Wolves of Winter’ off their latest album ‘Ellipsis’, which the crowd shouted the “we are the wolves” part of, before the thumping intro of ‘Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies’, off 2007’s ‘Puzzle’, set the pace for the rest of their set. The first big sing-a-long of the night came in the form of ‘Biblical’, off 2013’s ‘Opposites’ and the crowd was even louder for ‘Bubbles’ off of 2009’s ‘Only Revolutions’. The sing-a-longs just kept coming with ‘Black Chandelier’. The crowd was at its liveliest, as they screamed, clapped, jumped and moshed, during the headbang-inducing anthem that is ‘That Golden Rule’. Afterwards, vocalist Simon Neil gave a shout out to their Belfast fans by saying that “every time we come here we’ve the best time, no exceptions’. ‘Re-arrange’ was more laid back than anything else in their set and it was not as warmly received by the crowd.

As expected ‘Mountains’ generated a large sing-a-long before they played the intense and atmospheric ‘9/15ths’ off ‘Puzzle’, an unexpected song choice given how short their set was. After ‘Animal Style’, Simon commented on two things, the festival, by calling it ‘a day of next level rock n’ roll’, and the weather, by saying ‘blue skies in Belfast, what the fuck’. The biggest sing-a-long of their set was during ‘Many of Horror’, the crowd sang the first chorus of it solo, with no need for Simon to open his mouth at all. Simon reminded the crowd who they were by shouting, ‘we are Biffy fucking Clyro’, before finishing their set off with ‘Stingin’ Belle’ and as they jammed out its heavy outro they received a huge applause from the crowd. Biffy Clyro showed that they don’t need an over the top stage production to impress live, because they need only their songs and talent to do so: 10/10.


Muse kicked off their headlining set with recent single ‘Dig Down’. Their stage production consisted of flashy rotating screens behind the band members and tonnes of lasers that lit up the festival. Frontman Matt Bellamy arrived on stage wearing glasses with LEDs and his guitar was also lit up by more LEDs. Shouts of ‘I sir’ signalled the start of the second song of their set, ‘Psycho’, off their latest album 2015’s ‘Drones’, which a noticeable amount of the crowd was jumping and singing along to.  The crowd erupted into life as soon as the opening riff of ‘Hysteria’, off 2003’s ‘Absolution’. was played. It was followed by one of the oldest songs in the set, ‘Bliss’, off 2001’s ‘Origin of Symmetry’. An unexpected surprise came in the form of a live rarity, ‘Assassin’, off 2006’s ‘Black Holes and Revelations’, which was well received by the crowd. Matt took to the keys for ‘The 2nd Law: Isolated System’. Another live rarity came in the form of the riff-heavy ‘New Born’, which triggered a circle pit near the front of the crowd, the space cleared for the circle pit spent the rest of the song and Muse’s set acting as a mosh pit. During ‘New Born’ the screens on stage displayed footage based on the cover artwork of ‘Origin of Symmetry’.

The crowd started screaming in delight as soon as the opening riff of ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ was played. ‘Mercy’ simply sounded massive live, and as an added bonus confetti cannons and streamers went off during it. During ‘Madness’, Matt’s jacket was lit up and he had his glasses back on, and both the screens on stage and his glasses displayed the lyrics to the song. ‘Dead Inside’ sounded big live with its thumping, hard-hitting, bass line. Before they played ‘Starlight’ Matt dedicated the song to those who had seen them in Belfast the previous year. ‘Starlight’ was the biggest sing-along of Muse’s set and during it, giant white balloons were released into the crowd. They played ‘Time Is Running Out’ next, which was another major sing-along of the set. They finished out their main set off with a creepy and intense performance of ‘Take a Bow’, which was followed by fireworks.


Muse‘s encore consisted of ‘Uprising’, the only song in the set off of 2009’s ‘The Resistance’, and ‘Knights of Cydonia’. Throughout out ‘Knights of Cydonia’ fireworks lit up the sky above the stage, which made for a very strong ending to a very strong set. Muse brought a back catalogue of hits, strong live songs, and a massive stage production to Belfast. For years I’ve been told that Muse are a phenomenal live band, and after their performance at Belfast Vital, I can in no way disagree, because that is what they are live, simply phenomenal: 10/10.

Just like the year before, Belfast Vital 2017 – Day One, showcased incredible live bands and the atmosphere during the festival was once again incomparable to anything else I have ever attended.

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*Review* Slam Dunk Festival Midlands – Birmingham, The NEC 27/05/17

On Saturday 27th May, having flown into Birmingham Airport the previous day, I headed to the NEC for day one of Slam Dunk Festival 2017. Having attended the Midlands date in the NEC the year before (the review for which you can view by clicking here) I was very excited for this year’s event and had been looking forward to it, very impatiently, ever since the dates were first announced. This year we were also attending the North date in Leeds as we felt that one day was simply not enough the year before.

We made sure to get there early to avoid ques, particularly in light of the horrific attack that had occurred in Manchester earlier that same week, which had resulted in a heightened security presence at the festival, every precaution was being taken to ensure the safety of attendees, as we made our way through the NEC towards the festival entrance we had our bags checked by armed police. We got to the festival entrance just after 11.00, the queuing, security check and wristband collection were all surprisingly quick. This year some of the outdoor portion of the festival site was open early and acted as a waiting area, some of the merch tables were already set up too, which was a plus for fans looking to buy merchandise early. Unluckily the weather was not great, it was windy, cloudy and it looked like it was going to rain, a complete shame as it was boiling in Birmingham the day before.

As 1.00 hit the rest of the festival site opened, after a quick look around some of the outdoor site to familiarize ourselves with the locations of the stages we would be seeing bands play on later in the day, we made our way back to the stage closest to the entrance, the “Monster Stage”. The first band on the stage was Canadian Pop punk band Like Pacific and they had drawn a decent crowd. After they had finished playing their first two songs frontman Jordan Black addressed the crowd “thanks for giving a shit and coming out early. I’m in a different country right now, this is sick.” Throughout their set, he gave shoutouts to other bands playing the festival, including Seaway, Trophy Eyes and Boston Manor. Despite how early it was in the day they got a great reaction from the crowd, from the onset of the set a group of people near the front were singing-along, during their 2nd song “Richmond” I spotted the first crowd surfer of the day and more followed throughout the rest of the set, and a circle pit even got going during “Distance.” Before playing “22a”, Jordan spoke to the crowd about his Grandmother and how the song had been rewritten lyrically shortly after she had passed away. Like Pacific are a genuine band, as shown by Jordan interacting with the crowd plenty throughout their set. It was an early but strong performance: 8.5/10.

Next, we made our way to the “Rock Sound Breakout Stage”, which was a small stage that upcoming bands were playing. The first band we were catching there? Upcoming Welsh emotional hardcore band Casey, of course. Casey are a band that already has what you could call a “cult” following, as the large crowd they had drawn so early in the day could attest to, with a large amount of them decked out in Casey merchandise. Their performance was incredibly atmospheric. There were issues with the smoke machine on stage but the band didn’t let that interfere with their performance in any way. Their songs simply flowed into each other live, the heart wrenching “Fade” faded into the melodic “Darling”, which was followed by an intense performance of “Teeth.” “Passion Flower” showcased the bands range of sounds with its vocals mainly consisting of spoken word verses. The emotional “Hell” resulted in a big sing-along from the crowd, and its ending felt like a sudden ending to the set, which felt strangely appropriate. Casey are a band that you should know about. They pull off their intense, emotional, and simply breathtaking sound perfectly live: 9/10.

We headed to the “Jagermeister Mainstage”, hosted in the NEC arena itself, for We Are The Ocean‘s set. The three Slam Dunk sets that weekend were We Are The Ocean’s last sets before their breakup, due to this the arena’s standing area was already pretty full. They kicked off their set with “Trouble Is Temporary, Time Is Tonic” before a big sing-along came in the form of “What It Feels Like”. Truthfully I am not a huge fan of the band’s releases after vocalist Dan Brown left the band in 2012, and during the next two newer numbers frontman Liam Cromby’s voice seemed notably weak. “Good for You”, the only song in their set off their last album “Ark”, sounded a lot stronger, showcasing a good display of Liam’s vocal range, and a decent portion of the crowd was singing-along, clearly not everybody had forgotten about the band after Dan’s departure. The crowd sang the opening line, “I won’t pretend that I did the best I can”, of “Runaway” solo. A lot of the crowd produced their lighters and phone lights during “Confessions”, lighting up the room. “Confessions” was a big song that almost sounded like it was made for arenas, despite being written so early in the band’s career. “The Waiting Room” into “Nothing Good Has Happened Yet” made for an incredibly strong ending to the set. Liam addressed the crowd just before finishing “Nothing Good…” by saying “thank you for coming tonight and sharing this with us,” and then the crowd finished it by appropriately singing the final “just let me go” on their own. A bittersweet set that showcased the lows and the many highs of We Are The Oceans career: 7.5/10.

We headed back to the “Monster Stage” for American Pop punk band Cute Is What We Aim For. They were playing their first UK shows in 9 years and were playing their debut album “The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch“, released back in 2006, in full, as part of their 10th anniversary tour for the album, which was sure to be a serious nostalgic highlight of the festival for a lot of attendees. By the time they kicked off their set the area in front of the stage was packed full of people (as the photo above shows) despite it still being early in the day, which showed just how much people still cared about the band. From the moment “Newport Living” started a huge portion of the crowd was singing along, at points almost completely drowning out vocalist Shaant Hacikyan, and the crowd only got louder as they started to play “There’s a Class for This.” Before “Finger Twist & Split”, Travis from We The Kings came out with a drink for Jeff Czum, who had turned 21 the last time the band had played the UK and who had turned 30 this time. Shaant explained how their first UK tour was in 2006 supporting Paramore and then said that “this is super surreal, thank you so fucking much.” He mentioned how he got drunk at the pre-party the night before, before “The Fourth Drink Instinct”, during which the crowd sang the “she thought that she could buy happiness by, by the bottle” part of the song solo. Afterwards, Shaant said “fun fact I was electrocuted throughout that entire song” and continued on with the set. Before their biggest hit “The Curse of Curves”, Shaant stated that it was probably the explanation for why they were even there. During “The Curse…” the crowd was expectantly at their loudest singing-along, some got on the shoulders of their friends, and Shaant shook the hands of the security personnel in front of the stage. Shaant interacted with the crowd throughout the entire set and his enthusiasm was infectious and the nostalgic songs that so many people in the crowd knew the entire words to were played perfectly. It had clearly been far too long since they had last played the UK because the crowd seemed to love and appreciate, every second of their set: 9.5/10.

We headed to the “Impericon Stage” for English punk rock band Counterfeit. Counterfeit features actor Jamie Campbell Bower, who is best known for his roles in films like Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Twilight Saga and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. We arrived late to the set but it turns out so did Counterfeit as times were running late for the stage, Jamie declared that they had to cut four songs from their set. Counterfeit wasted none of the brief time they were given on the stage; a wall of death got going during “Romeo” and a sweat soaked Jamie entered the crowd and stood in the centre of a circle pit during set closer “Enough.” Even though they were short on time, Counterfeit pulled out all the stops and gave the set their absolute all: 9/10.

I quickly made my way to the “Jagermeister Mainstage” to catch the end of American hardcore band Beartooth‘s set. I caught the end of “In Between” and “Hated.” The mainstage area was absolutely packed full of people singing-along and watching Beartooth play songs that sounded like they were made to be played in arenas.

I planned on catching rising American metalcore band I Prevail play the “Impericon Stage” next but truthfully things got a lot bit too chaotic and uncomfortable for me. Slam Dunk clearly made a mistake putting I Prevail on such a small stage. Due to the power of social media, I Prevail have amassed a huge following, not just in America but in the UK too, a lot of it on the back of their hit cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” which at the time already had over 30 million views on YouTube. As it was their first ever UK performance, in fact their first ever performance overseas too, there was an insane demand to see them live, to the point where tonnes of extra security personnel had to be called to the area to block the entrances to avoid it getting even more full of people. The above is a photo of people trying to see I Prevail despite the stage area already being blocked off by security. Future festival headliners?

I made my way early to the “Rock Sound Breakout Stage” for American metalcore band Sylar‘s set, staring in awe at the huge crowd that was attempting to get into the stage next to it to see I Prevail. Truthfully Sylar had a rough spot, the start of their set overlapped with some of I Prevails and as such the crowd was small to start with but grew larger after I Prevails set ended. The small crowd Sylar had at the start of their set was a dedicated one though and most of them were singing and screaming along from the moment “Gambit Rogue Delight” kicked off the bands set. Sylar made an interesting choice to play an older, heavy track next, “Golden Retreat” off their first album “To Whom It May Concern”, which got the crowd headbanging. A more mellow track, the title track off their latest album “Dark Daze”, followed before “Live / Breathe” during which vocalist Jayden Panesso got the crowd to scream the repeated “I don’t know anymore” part solo. Jayden is an incredibly solid frontman, he interacted with the crowd throughout the entirety of the set and dedicated the set to the people who were singing along. Latest single “Soul Addiction” made an appearance and they finished the set off strong with “Assume.” An all too easy: 9/10.

We headed to see American rock band We The Kings set on the “Monster Stage” next, they were celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut self-titled album but weren’t playing it in full. We were pretty late but it turns out that they had only just finished the 2nd song of their set, multiple stages were clearly running late with stage times. Before playing “Secret Valentine”, vocalist Travis Clark stated that it was the “song I wrote after I first had sex.” They played the chorus of “Say You Like Me” to, in Travis’s own words, be able to say that they did. The band finished their set off by playing “Check Yes Juliet”, easily their most well-known song, for a second time, which the crowd seemed to be entirely okay with as they spent the entirety of it singing so loud that they drowned out Travis’s vocals. We Are The Kings are simply a fun band live: 8.5/10.

We caught some of American band The Movielife‘s set on the same stage, another band playing the festival that was invoking nostalgia in some fans, but sadly did not seem to have drawn a large crowd compared to other bands that we had seen playing the stage so far that day. Next we made our way to the “Fireball Stage” to catch some of American ska punk band Less Than Jake‘s set. The band has been around for a very long time, since the 90’s, and their fans had seriously filled out the large room and were actively singing along. They let slip that they thought they were headlining the stage until somebody told them that Bowling for Soup was. “Overrated (Everything Is)” sounded perfect live and I was very glad that I caught it.

We made it back to “Impericon Stage” for most of American alternative rock band Madina Lake‘s set. Madina Lake had reunited for a tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut album “From Them, Through Us, to You” and their set mainly consisted of material off it. They were easily the band at this year’s nostalgia heavy festival that invoked the most nostalgia in me as I had started listening to them only a few months after they released the album, which feels like a life time ago now. We caught the very end of “House of Cards” and it was followed by the lyrically dark “Pandora.” The next two songs “One Last Kiss” and “Let’s Get Outta Here” had the crowd singing along before the band broke out an unexpected cover of Blur’s “Song 2.” It is pretty questionable to play a cover song when you are meant to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of your debut album and playing songs off it that don’t normally make the cut live, but the cover went down well with the crowd. They finished their set with the expected anthem that is “Here I Stand” to a huge applause from the crowd. Nathan Leone’s vocals seemed notably weak throughout the set but he seemed to be incredibly energetic otherwise and kept throwing himself into the crowd during the set. The band sounded a bit out of practice but otherwise, they delivered a serious throwback of a set: 7.5/10.

We made our way back to the “Monster Stage” for the final time that day to catch stage headliners Neck Deep, a Pop punk band from the UK. At this point, it had gotten pretty dark out and the only lights illuminating the area surrounding the stage were those on stage, so it was a good thing that Neck Deep had brought plenty of those. They started their set with a new song that had only been released a few days before Slam Dunk, “Happy Judgement Day”, which sounded great live. “Gold Steps” followed and the crowd sang the “I’ve been moving mountains…” bit towards the end. Before “Lime St.”, vocalist Ben Barlow, asked the crowd to jump up and down, he then dedicated “Losing Sleep” to anybody who was there with friends. “Serpents” resulted in a very loud sing-along with the crowd. Ben said that the next song played, “Crushing Grief (No Remedy)” off their debut album”Wishful Thinking”, was “for anybody who has followed us since the beginning” and Jordan from Like Pacific came out to do guest vocals during it. Ben said that “we are taking it way back” before playing “Tables Turned” off their second EP “A History of Bad Decisions”. The crowd shouted along to “Kali Ma” before they played another new song off their upcoming album “The Peace and the Panic”, “Where Do We Go When We Go” which was a big one live. Ben took a moment to talk about how he used to go to the festival as a kid and now his band is headlining a stage at it.

They turned off most of the stage lights and stripped things back for “A Part of Me”, almost the entire crowd sang along to it, and afterwards Ben said “Slam Dunk that was beautiful. This is the longest set we’ve ever played.” Then he proceeded to talk about how they released three versions of the next song they were going to play “December”, they played the full band version of it and it generated easily the loudest sing along of the night. Ben pointed out how everybody watching them was missing Enter Shikari’s set to be there, so the band played some of “Sorry You’re Not A Winner” to make up for that. Then he mentioned that they had just announced a headlining UK tour. They finished their set with “Can’t Kick Up The Roots” with the crowd jumping along to most of it.

Neck Deep’s first time playing a full length headlining set surprisingly never felt like their first one, a strong setlist, well-played songs and an engaging frontman made for a very enjoyable set: 9.5/10. Now bring on Dublin in October.

We managed to leg it to the “Fireball Stage” for the last two songs of American Pop punk band Bowling for Soups set, and they were exactly the two we wanted to hear; “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” and “1985”, which made for a perfect ending to a jammed back day of music.

Stay tuned for part II of my massive Slam Dunk Festival 2017 review, when I review Slam Dunk Festival North.

*Review* Busted (with Natives) – Olympia Theatre, Dublin 01/03/17

English pop rock act Busted kicked off March by bringing their ‘Night Driver’ tour to Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on Wednesday, March 1st. It was a much more intimate affair than their previous show in Dublin in the 3Arena last year, you can check out our review of that show by clicking: here.

Support on the night came from Natives, a band who describe their sound as ‘tribal pop’, and if that sounds like a gimmick, it is because it is one. They mix tribal sounds, with a focus on percussion elements, with an otherwise bland pop rock sound. The members of Natives used to play together in a pop-punk band called Not Advised, and while their vocalist Jim Thomas could pull off the angsty vocals required for that genre, his vocals, in my opinion, do not seem to lend themselves well to the pop-focused sound Natives are going for.

Natives opened their set with ‘Chasing Lions’ during which they asked the crowd to get on the ground and then to jump up, which was very ambitious for a support band to try to get the crowd to do during their first song, but it worked reasonably well. Throughout their set vocalist Jim did his best to keep up this crowd interaction and I was impressed by him doing so. Their new single ‘War Paint’ made an appearance and they finished their set with ‘Stop the Rain’ which the crowd enthusiastically clapped along to the beat of. Natives may not be to this reviewer’s tastes but they put a lot of effort into interacting with the crowd and got a very good response from them, which they deserve a bonus mark for: 5.5/10.

While the stage production during Busted was far more limited than it had been during their 3Arena show last year, it was still very impressive, which has given them a reputation for having a strong stage production regardless of the size of the venue they are playing and therefore trying to accommodate. The entire back half of the stage consisted of light pillars that created a constantly changing screen of lights, their backing drummer and backing guitarist were also hidden amongst these pillars.

Busted started off their set by playing a few new songs off their new album ‘Night Driver’: the catchy beat of ‘Kids With Computers’ going down well with the crowd, before ‘Thinking of You’ and its catchy chorus got some of the crowd to sing-a-long. ‘On What You’re On’, the album’s well-received lead single, with its Daft Punk like sound, followed and almost the entire crowd sprang to life with a decent amount of the crowd singing-a-long to its chorus. During these opening numbers, it is of note that vocalist and guitarist, Charlie Simpson did not have or play a guitar, and James Bourne was also playing a keyboard instead of his guitar. Before they played the next song Charlie and James were handed guitars. This time the entire crowd sprang to life as the opening note of ‘Air Hostess’ kicked off the song, the crowd sang the first verse without the need for James to utter a single note, an early highlight of the set. The title track off ‘Night Driver’ followed with Charlie returning to being guitar-less, before taking his guitar back for a surprise of the setlist, ‘Nerdy’ off their second album, 2003’s, ‘A Present for Everyone’, its humorous lines going down well with the crowd. Afterwards, Charlie complimented the crowd on their singing by saying “I know I shouldn’t say this but ye shit all over Belfast, [it is] nice to hear some noise”. More new songs off ‘Night Driver followed. During ‘Without It’ the bands backing guitarist was highlighted by playing a very strong guitar solo. James demanded a dance off before the band played ‘I Will Break Your Heart’, one of the new songs that actually featured Charlie and James playing guitars live during it.

Having played a lot of new songs during the first half of the set, the second half of the set instead focused on the older ‘hits’. The crowd sang-a-long loudly to the entirety of ‘Who’s David’ before stepping it up a notch during ‘Sleeping With the Light On’ by once again singing the entire first verse without the need for James to. The crowd continued to step things up by singing-a-long even louder to ‘Crashed the Wedding’. ‘3am’ is always going to be a personal highlight of a Busted set for me but this performance was particularly of note because Charlie screamed during the ‘much more’ part, something he was known to do back in the day but had not done while performing it last year in the 3Arena. They closed out their main set with ‘Year 3000’ their most well-known song.

Busted returned to the stage and kicked off their encore with the other big hit off their debut album ‘What I Go To School For’ before making the confusing choice to end their set with two new songs ‘Coming Home’ and ‘Those Days Are Gone’. ‘Coming Home’ is fitting as it was the first new material they had released in over 10 years when they released it last year and ‘Those Days Are Gone’ is arguably fitting due to its melancholic tone and lyrics, reflecting how the band’s youth and old pop-punk sound is in the past, and that they are now focusing on the present and what the future will hold instead of forever looking back on their past successes but I still think they could have ended the set on a stronger note by switching its spot in the set with ‘Year 3000’s.

Sadly Busted did not deliver too well on the longer set they promised, last May, to play once ‘Night Driver’ was out, the set was one song shorter with 17 songs instead of the 18 they played in the 3Arena but the show was, at the least, about 10 or 15 minutes longer than that set was. This was incredibly disappointing, they left out other older singles they could have played like ‘She Said No’ and strong fan favorites like ‘Why’ and ‘Meet You There’, the choice to not play ‘Easy’ off ‘Night Driver’ was also weird as it was the first song they wrote together in years, and bridges their old and new sound perfectly. Regardless, Busted continue to prove, with an impressive stage setup and equally impressive performance, that they deserve to be back and not just forgotten about: 9/10.