It is 7pm and everyone in line is in high spirits but anxious to enter the warmth of the venue. Finally, doors open and everyone filters into the venue. Only a few people gather by the stage. Most are at the merch table; meeting band members who are hanging around, multi-tasking between meeting fans and selling merchandise. Devin Oliver from I See Stars informs me that it is their third time back in the UK and expects the night to go well, although everyone was beginning to feel ill – something that happens quite often to bands touring the UK.
Dayshell finally appear on stage. It is interesting seeing what the band is like live, as their singer Shayley Bourget had gone from playing bass in Of Mice & Men to becoming front-man of his own band. Continuous heavy riffs play and fast paced drumbeats play throughout the set in which the crowd move along in response. Shayley has clearly handled the transition well; it is not evident that he is new to this at all. The crowd even remark on how good they are live as they leave the stage.
I See Stars are about to come on and have one of the most interesting introductions to introduce themselves by; a space exploration styled countdown to the band’s appearance on stage that plays over the PA. The mosh did not wait at all to begin, it starts from the very first note played on stage. Frontman Devin Oliver, who is ever so charismatic on stage, requires little effort in getting the crowd off their feet whilst they play a series of songs from their new album ‘New Demons’ such as ‘Murder Mitten’ and the title track from the album. As the set progresses, the energy in the crowd reflects the heaps of energy on stage. The set is incredibly well executed, all elements of their recorded tracks are well translated into a splendid live rendition that does not fail to impress.
Headliners The Word Alive manage to cause the crowd to go into mayhem. As soon as they start their set, a circle pit erupts, big enough to almost fill the small venue. The crowd actively sings along to the powerful vocals of front man Telle Smith that are coupled with raw screams. The vocals go along brilliantly with the well-performed guitars by Zack Hansen and Tony Pizzuti. The band truly seems to understand the importance of the artist-fan relationship throughout the set. Telle constantly responds to anything the audience shouts out at the band, fostering a real sense of community and belonging throughout the room. The crowd is even granted a spectacularly skilled drum solo by Luke Holland and Telle informs the crowd that they “want to give the crowd what they want”. Even during the slower songs the crowd participates by switching from moshing to whipping out lighters to set the mood. The set is ever so professional, not a single minute of it is at all mundane, and the band leaves the stage with Telle screaming “I’ll never die” and thanking the crowd once again.
The sense of belonging does not at all fade after their set, most of the bands proceed over to merch, taking time to engage in conversation with their fans. All the bands definitely make each and every fan feel important and everyone leaves the phenomenal show, completely blown away by all the performances and feeling important and inspired by the kind words of their heroes.