I walked into the o2 and was greeted by a few members of the Fireball promo team who offered me a free shot of whisky so ok maybe I grabbed a couple, but I had never tried it before and was pleasantly surprised how nice it was. So marketing does work as I’m buying a bottle for Xmas now.
Anyway on with the show and to start with there was a curfew on the night at 10.00pm, I don’t know why but that meant the doors at the o2 were opening at 5.00pm and I got there at just gone 5.30pm. I was amazed that when I arrived The Run Up were all ready on stage playing, by the time I got through security and entered the venue I caught half of their last song so unfortunately I did not hear enough but considering they just finished a tour a few days ago it sounded pretty good, catch you next time fellas.
Lost in Stereo; were next on the bill and played a really tight set for sure and the fact that the vocalist performed all the really high notes insanely well was a plus. You can’t beat a vocalist who is flawless live. The whole sound is a tad mellow for my taste but fans of bands like Panic at The Disco and so on may be into these.
Face To Face; well I wish I had my skateboard, most of these tunes through me back to the skate punk days, hell yes! Kicking straight in with “You’ve Done Nothing” off the album – ‘Don’t Turn Away’ which got the whole floor moving straight away, this event was Sold Out and everyone was present to witness 13 full paced tunes performed amazing. When Face to Face wrote these tunes I bet they did not think that they would stand the test of time, in the way that this genre doesn’t date, a bit like getting a skull tattoo they are always gonna be cool right? Well if applied right then yes and they applied their heart and soul into this performance and executed it to the max so win win. The setlist was an absolute banger with the faves chucked in like “Ordinary”, “Bill of Goods” and third song “A-Ok” featuring a cheeky bass solo at the end, then ending on “Disconnected”. Truly an amazing set guys, I will be looking out for future dates for sure.
The Bronx; ooooooooohhhhh yyyyyyeeeeeeaaaaahhhhhhh Damn I have not seen The Bronx live for several years now. The last time was with Rise Against. The crowd in the o2 erupted as soon as the intro music started playing, there was a slight haze across the stage from the smoke machine then one by one the members of The Bronx emerged with Matt Caughthran last to appear to one of the loudest cheers I’ve heard in the o2 academy. Then the guitar intro to “Unholy Hand” rang out and boom lets go! In true Bronx fashion there was hard hitting drums mixed with those guitar sequels and ringing notes with the unique sound of the guitars, mixed with Matt’s distinctive aggressive vocals and the driving bass riffs, outstanding! Crowd surfers in the first 2 songs didn’t wait for us photographers to get out of the pit ha ha ha. When you thought things could not get more intense the bass riff to “Shitty Future” kicked in, played slightly longer than usual to build it up, then crack of the snare drum and boom the whole place went off. The band were loving it, you could see them pointing out certain people in the audience who were going crazy. With some cracking tracks in The Bronx’s arsenal meant the set list was one of the strongest I’ve seen due to the fact they have a flawless collection of catchy hard hitting tracks and its down to every element of the songs and each instrument has its stand out points and are played with passion.
Just listen to the intro of “Knifeman” and you will know what I mean, now mentioning that song, well Matt jumped the barrier and joined the crowd on the floor for this one and got the audience to make a circle pit around him. Everyone behaved (ish) until about a minute in and they swallowed him up. I was looking on from upstairs and all you could hear was Matt’s vocals but didn’t know where he was, then all of a sudden he was lifted up above the crowd and was passed around standing on peoples shoulders, truly an amazing moment. Matt then returned to the stage to start “6 Days A Week”. They did one of the best sets I’ve seen which consisted of 14 songs and it just flew by and was over in no time. Wow an hour set felt like 20 minutes can only mean it was awesome……
Flogging Molly is a unique band in the rock and metal world. How often do you get a chance to see a band play that includes a banjo, acoustic and electric guitar, violin and an eccentric accordion player? I’ll answer for you, not very often. They opened their set with “(No More) Paddy’s Lament” which immediately gets the Irish vibes going and makes you want to grab a pint. It sounded pitch perfect and was mesmerizing to see all the different instruments work together as one complete unit. Drastically different from the heavy guitars and blast beats we are use to seeing. “John L. Sullivan” and “Drunken Lullabies” was next on the set list. The later was one of the better banjo tunes I have ever witnessed. Later on we got “The Days We’ve Yet To Meet” with bassist Nate Maxwell taking on the lead vocals. We are use to hearing Dave King as the frontman of Flogging Molly but let me tell you this, Nate is certainly worthy to take the mic, he dominated the song. The rest of the night was filled with classic Flogging Molly. The setlist also included “Rebels”, “Float”, “Crushed”, “Devil’s Dance Floor”, and ended with the perfect track “World Alive.”
This was a perfect mixture of bands from top to bottom. Fireball certainly knows how to put a lineup of bands together that will get the adrenaline flowing. As always we encourage you to get out see a show and get your mosh on.