Tuesday, 6 April 2010

You Me at Six at O2 Academy, Sheffield

Rating: 4/5
11/03/10 O2 Academy, Sheffield

Beginning the night with a rousing sing-along of Blink 182’s All The Small Things sets an appropriate feel-good tone, and it appears Sheffield is in good voice this evening, even before a band has hit the stage.

It’s barely 7:30 when We The Kings kick off, but this place is sold out and is already absolutely packed. The opening track from their new album Smile Kid, called She Takes Me High has an infectious chorus that gets the room bouncing and singing along as they exceed every expectation of an opening band.

Frontman Travis Clark has the crowd eating from his hand as he displays his impressive range during Secret Valentine. Other highlights include new single Heaven Can Wait, crowd favourite Check Yes Juliet and a cover of Jimmy Eat World’s hit The Middle; a nice touch for anybody not familiar with We The Kings.

A fantastic opening band playing unashamedly good pop punk anthems.

Next to take to the stage is Forever The Sickest Kids. The Texan six-piece are bursting with energy and the crowd are still in full voice as they surge forward during opening song She’s a Lady. Despite promoting their recent EP The Weekend: Friday, they only played one song from it, preferring older material from their 2008 release Underdog Alma Mater; not that the crowd seemed to mind.

Their most famous song Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone) goes down well, but for all the crowd love them, this performance doesn’t feel like everything it could be. FTSK are a decent band, but their material is nowhere near as strong as that of the other two bands on show this evening.

When You Me at Six finally hit the stage, the crowd once again burst into life as the drum intro to Safer to Hate Her gets them bouncing with so much force the whole room appears to be shaking. After the first few songs, the sounds of air-raid sirens from the beginning of The Consequence blared through the room for just a little too long, before the simple black backdrop was dropped, unveiling a much more impressive stage, and the band waste no time in bombing around it.
Most of the new album, Hold Me Down is showcased, and sounds awesome. The occasional nod to their debut effort Take Off Your Colours is well received, particularly The Truth Is A Terrible Thing and Jealous Minds Think Alike.

Another high point of the night was the tear-jerking Always Attract, the token ballad of their set. Mobile Phones, Glow-sticks and the occasional lighter (most certainly belonging to someone well under the age of 18) filled the air. Singer Josh Franceschi’s typically “emo” lyrics do well in the transition from upbeat rocker to this slow, mushy number.

The encore capped off a fine performance. Save It For The Bedroom and Underdog gave the fans their last chance to jump around and scream their lungs out. A heartfelt thanks for supporting them and allowing them to play on such stages was a classy touch from the genuinely humbled Surrey Quintet.

Words by Joe Denny,

Pictures by Damon Fowler,

Comfort in Sound

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