Unfortunately, I missed the first band on the bill Endless Heights. The damn trains were running late due to a steam engine going through the main line to Bristol, so middle fingers in the air to them for causing me to miss a talented opening act.
I was happily at the venue in time to catch female fronted band Dream State, who played a jaw dropping set. Straight away vocalist CJ was on fire. Both her vocals and energy were tremendous. She was running around the stage dropping to the floor on her knees with so much passion for their music. CJ must drink a lot of caffeine to carry on like this every night. Her batteries showed no signs of running out throughout the set, jumping down into the press pit, singing into fans faces, truly amazing.
The SWX venues sound is great whether its down to the band’s sound engineers or the in house engineer, it also has a lot to do with how the band plays. On this faithful night it sounded perfect. CJ voice is nearly flawless both when she sings in her harmonious tone as well as her harsh screaming vocal. She is one of my favorite female vocalists I’ve witnessed this year, along with Louise Body of Pretty Little Enemy and Katy Jackson of Tigress. Guitar solos were present and accounted for on a few of their tracks and sounded awesome, I’ve seen Dream State before playing smaller venues but they belong on a bigger stage.
From the get go I noticed The Plot In You vocalist Landon Tewers had a slight likeness to Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon in regards to his vocal sound, but the fact is its slight and he also graces the stage comfortably. He makes it look effortless by casually leaning forward towards the crowd and on point throughout the entire set. The Plot In You bring an album quality sound to the stage. Their drummer knows how to slay on drums, stomping on the bass drum as if it was not miked up LOVE IT!! This band has some great riffs and outstanding melodies. Their execution on stage is hypnotic to hear, see and feel.
So I didn’t realize how much of an impact The Amity Affliction had on the UK. From the start fans going wild before the lights even dimmed and before a band member even graced the stage. The anticipation for them to get on stage was electric, you could here fans shouting we love you. Front man Joel Birch is a gem to photograph whipping the mic lead around furiously whilst singing so awesome. Each member had a mini hop up step at the front of the stage to elevate them that little bit more above the audience, which Joel used a lot. His on stage presence was very serious looking but you could tell he loved every minute of it. He asked the audience to talk to the person next to them and ask how they are doing because they may look ok but probably having the worst day ever, so look after each other. This was obviously a nod to the awareness of mental health at the moment. Bass player Ahren Stringers vocals were also great tonight. Managing that whilst striding and jumping around the stage, this guy can jump high, I was lucky to catch a great shot of him at his best. When they played ‘All Fucked Up’ the crowd sang along and Joel held the mic out to let the audience takeover. After the song ended, BOOM, sub drops and roaring vocals and upping the set intensity here with the ever so heavy intro of ‘Open Letter’. All in all they played 10 songs before coming back for an encore of ‘Don’t Lean On Me’ and ‘Pittsburgh’ which I was very glad to hear as I personally prefer the heavier side to The Amity Affliction. But all in all this was an awesome set of 12 songs.