It speaks volumes when you have a band of the quality of Halflives opening a show. They are phenomenal and absolutely full of energy – a common theme for the night – and they could also easily headline a venue like this by themselves.
The Italians exploded on stage with pure joy and Linda Battilani grabbed a giant pride flag from the audience, which she then proceeded to wear as a cape during the opening tracks “Vibe” and “Mayday” causing a raucous reaction from the crowd. A restrained version of “Welcome to the Black Parade” gets a phenomenally vocal response from the audience too, before they close out their eight-song set with a very singalongable “Rockstar Everyday” and “Victim.”
Next up was Australia’s Yours Truly, making their return to the UK, having supported Holding Absence not so long ago. Again, another fan favourite – with a perfectly timed yell of “Australia, Fuck Yeah!” being shouted from the crowd. Singer Mikaila makes full use of the width of the Stylus stage and engages with everyone in the first few rows with a big smile.
Their energy is full-on and doesn’t relent from the fantastic opener “Walk Over my Grave” until closer “High Hopes” about half an hour later. Guitarist Teddie is like a Tasmanian devil spinning around and thrusting high kicks left, right and centre, while the other guitarist Lachlan is a blur of hair as he headbangs his way through most of the set. They are incredible live and are coming back for this year’s Slam Dunk Festival. Check them out at your earliest possible convenience.
The anticipation of the crowd between their set and the arrival of Against the Current reaches fever pitch as they take the stage, with a stand-in guitarist covering for the ill Dan Gow. As Chrissie Costanza bounds onto the stage, the volume of the crowd reaches yet another level. The opening three tracks are relentless and ramped up the energy that had been building and building all evening.
It’s impossible to take your eyes off her; there’s not an inch of the stage she doesn’t cover. A glorious version of Taking Back Sunday’s “Makdamnsure” is a nod to one of their biggest influences, and it won’t be long before there’s a new band up there covering Against the Current for the exact same reason.
They don’t just do bombastic well either, a tender and vulnerable section of the set saw Dan perched at the edge of the stage playing for one song only, and a beautiful “Shatter” kept the tempo at a manageable level, giving the audience a chance to get their collective breath back before they lose it all over again for the closing of the set which saw fan faves “Paralysed,” “Legends Never Die” and “Weapon” end the show emphatically.
Against the Current are, on the reaction seen tonight, much bigger than this level of a venue. Come December, they will be taking the stage at much larger ones in support of Pierce the Veil and it’s nailed on they will deliver a memorable set every single night. The Fever tour delivered something that few tours manage to do; a triple threat of incredible bands, all out to enjoy the moment and connect with their audience. A show that could be watched every single night without ever being disappointed.