Live Review: A Day To Remember – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle, February 17th 2009

Faye went to the Newcastle date of A Day To Remember’s impressive near-sold out UK tour, a show which proved exactly why their tour, which has just culminated, sold out like hot cakes.

A pain-staking hour’s wait between doors opening at 7pm and the first act beginning at 8pm, left the awaiting crowd restless and agitated. However, this was all forgotten, as everyone pepped up, within the second of melodic metalcore outfit, Azriel, taking stage.

The Glaswegian five-piece had the crowd eating from the palm of their hand from the word go, with a surprising amount singing along, reaching out for the microphone. With gnarly breakdowns, the pit inevitably opened up, heads were banging, windmills were being spun, and floors were being punched, resulting in the biggest and burliest guys in attendance with blood dripping from their faces. Shit was brutal.

During their last song, in true rock star fashion, those at the front excitably ripped the t-shirt straight off the back of, lead vocalist, David, to much amusement. It’s without a doubt that Azriel certainly made their mark in Newcastle.

Michigan’s For The Fallen Dreams had a lot to follow. Although, the crowd slightly died-down from the exhilarating performance of Azriel, For The Fallen Dreams delivered just as much of a passionate show, if not more so, than their predecessors.

The unique and subtle dose of melody that For The Fallen Dreams offer, sets them aside from a lot of bands within their genre, combined with hard-hitting metal riffs, frequent use of the double bass, and earth shattering-breakdowns.

Their second time over in the UK within four-months, and newly-appointed vocalist, Dylan Richter, never looked more at home on stage, belting out all but two tracks from their debut full-length, Changes, with the most intense vocals, while fearlessly flying into the crowd on several occasions.

Continuing the trend of the night, during the end of their set, Richter, newly-former beau of Melissa Marie of Millionaires, (Why do I even know this?), who was once wearing a plain-white t-shirt, now had a piece of plain-white cloth in his hands, with his garment also fiercely pulled off and shredded by several hyperactive teenage girls, who were probably more fearsome than those unleashing mass fury in the pit earlier on in the evening.

As Floridian metalcore/pop-punk hybrids A Day To Remember, took to the stage, the collective gang chants of those in the Academy 2 during the intro of The Downfall of Us All could have easily been mistaken for a crowd the size of the Academy 1.

A 12-song set featuring a decent selection from their back catalogue, including old favourites such as Heartless and You Should Have Killed Me When You Had The Chance.

Although, their new album, Homesick had only been released a couple of weeks prior to the show, those in attendance seemed just as familiar, with the Homesick tracks performed, as much as popular songs such as Monument and The Danger In Starting a Fire.

It has been said that most, if not all, of the tracks on Homesick were made to be performed live, which was certainly proven by the two that were, Homesick’s heaviest tracks, Mr Highways Way of Thinking and Welcome To The Family, with ear-pummelling breakdowns – aided by a trusty sampler sounding even more thunderous, along with enthusiastic sing-a-longs.

Changing the tone of the evening, A Day To Remember performed their popular cover of Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone, which received an overwhelming reaction.

Vocally, front man, Jeremy McKinnon, is not the strongest live with the occasional flat note, particularly noticeable in McKinnon’s struggle with the transition of his compared-to-CD-weak death metal growls to melodic vocals during Heartless. However, this was masked and outweighed by the rest of the band’s energy and general buzz of everyone in the 400-capacity-sized room.

The evening came to an end with the encore of, of course, The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle, erupting the Academy 2 into chaos, leaving everyone on a high, and making February 17th a night to remember.

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