10/10/09 Rock City, Nottingham
For many the East Pak Antidote tour is a dream line up: The Ghost Of A Thousand (TGOAT), Four Year Strong (FYS), Anti-Flag and Alexisonfire. It seems like a tour put together by the music gods, themselves. Four bands that are having a real impact on today’s music scene. No doubt the live show will always match up to expectations, tonight they graced the infamous Nottingham Rock City stage.
TGOAT kicked things off at a ruthless pace, with a circle pit opening from the very first strum of the guitar. As TGOAT are arguably the heaviest band on tonight, it’s not much of a surprise. Frontman, Tom Lacey endeared himself to the crowd, apologising for the early doors opening, so now ‘we’re missing The Simpsons’. Lacey himself looks like a rather gentle and passive person when you see him but on stage is a different story. His screams were loud, powerful and raw, and to make sure you were listening he jumps into the circle pit himself.
‘Knees, Toes, Teeth’ was the best song of the set, a tuneful beast of a song, mixing Lacey’s screaming and softer vocals, and carrying an ‘anthem’ feel about it. TGOAT are the only British band on this tour and before the last song Lacey calls “Let’s show these Americans how it’s done,” sparking some crowd surfing from Lacey. By the end of the set the audience adored him and the rest of the band.
Next up were Four Year Strong. Expected to be the softest band of the night with some pop infused rock but they turned up the guitars and drums and showed they’re not pushovers. The circle pits carried on from TGOAT and even grew in size. Throughout their set they wheeled out big tracks like ‘Heroes get remembered, legends never die’ and ‘Abandon ship or abandon all hope’.
Anti-Flag announce their arrival on stage by telling everyone to raise the ‘peace’ sign high in the air. Musically, Anti-Flag are a great rock band and that come across, however love it or hate it they are a political band. On the agenda tonight is the economy, with Justin Sane (guitar/vocals) saying how the bail-outs should go to the poor. The message is good but a bit hypocritical as people paid £15+ to get in, then another £15+ for any merch. When they played music everyone loved it, especially a cover of The Clash’s ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ and the circle pit still didn’t rest!
Rock City must have been close to bursting when Alexisonfire took to the stage. They jumped straight into ‘Heading for the Sun’ from their latest album ‘Old Crows/Young Cardinals’ and quickly followed it up with fan favourites in ‘Boiled Frogs’ and ‘We are the Sound’. The sound was amazing with George Pettit’s and Dallas Green’s vocals mixing perfectly. By then the circle pit was vicious and took up most of the floor. Definitely a circle pit worth of such an intense performance.
One particular highlight of the set was when Alexis were joined on stage by Chris #2 from Anti-Flag, when the song finished Chris and Wade (AOF guitarist) kissed and hugged. Wade went on to express how that had made his dream had come true.
Overall, this was truly amazing performances from all four bands. The audience didn’t disappoint either, with energy flowing between them and the bands all night. It’s fair to say that a few people had some bruises after it.
Words, Pictures and Video by: Damon Fowler
Comfort in Sound