Live Review: Give It A Name Introduces – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle – 14th April 2009

With none of the four bands performing tonight having played in Newcastle before, it’s somewhat of a surprise to see such a great turnout for this leg of the Give It A Name Introduces tour, with queues starting from as early as 2pm.

First on the constantly rotating bill tonight is Florida’s Whole Wheat Bread. Delivering their unique brand of urban-sounding punk-rock, they somewhat stun their audience, who are immediately taken in by them. Their sound is excellent, and constantly manage to excite and keep the gathering audience on their feet, and joining in. With a few songs taking a more hip-hop edge, the crowd gets right into Whole Wheat Bread, as they abandon their instruments mid-set for an exciting rap number. They sound really tight live and certainly get proceedings off to a great start.

Next up comes LA metalcore-quintet In This Moment. Crashing straight into a delightful set of easy listening metal, their only setback is the venue’s sound quality, which really lets the performance down slightly, as everything sounds somewhat hazed. However, it’s clear to see vocalist Maria Brink is on top form tonight, sound problems or not, and delivers some excellent powerful melodic vocals as well as roaring growls and screams which set off the first and only moshpits of the night, seen in the nicely upbeat Violet Skies. It seems the majority of tonight’s crowd are here for the band, and they garter a brilliant reaction from their fans for sure, regardless of technical setbacks.

Pop-rock upstarts VersaEmerge got what seemed like the best reaction of the night, despite a thinning room. Taking to the stage via some technical difficulties, they ploughed straight into a heart-warming set of symphonic-twinged rock songs, mostly coming from their recently released self-titled EP. Tracks such as the brilliantly played The Hider, and the wonderfully rocked out Moments Between Sleep proved why this band have a place on the tour. With the exception of a slight microphone malfunction, the band play a really solid group of songs. Frontwoman Sierra Kusterbeck has a great voice on record, but live its simply fantastic, and makes these songs sound ten times better when played right in front of you. For their first time over in the UK, they’ve really gartered a reaction from the crowd tonight, and if they have any sense, they will be back as soon as possible, because they’re sure to take off across the Atlantic.

Last but by no means least, comes Lights. Taking to the stage to a disgracefully depleted crowd, it simply does not do the young Canadian and her comrades justice, as they absorb the room with a luscious dream-pop noise. Lights herself is one very talented woman, switching throughout the set to keyboards, keytars, synthesisers, and just herself, she’s a multi-instrumentalist with a brilliant and powerful voice. Dreamy as her songs are, it doesn’t send the rest of the crowd to sleep, and although her music isn’t the kind to jump around to, the audience love her. Hits from her EP such as February Air and Ice prove wonderfully adorable tunes, and a Backstreet Boys cover thrown in for good measure ensures those who stayed until the very end go home with a very big heart-warming smile on their faces.


Check out our photos of the show HERE!


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