Live Review: Me vs Hero – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle, February 6th 2010

After rescheduling a show from last month due to a clash with pop rockers Twenty Twenty downstairs, Me vs Hero have had but a fortnight to shift as many tickets as they can, and it’s clear to see by the ever-growing crowds outside, that they’ve succeeded. Tonight looks set to be an all-out popcore showdown…

Newbies Three Years ‘Til Vegas start things off with a bang. It seems a lot of people want to get moving tonight, and their brand of live-fast-core does just the job. Unfortunately, the tunes aren’t up to much; they sound a little too much intros, interludes, and breakdowns, and a little less on the side of substance. Whether the crowd like it or not, they’re getting into it, staying energetic throughout the band’s set. A good first impression tonight, but it is to be questioned if Three Ways ‘Til Vegas can survive like this in a tougher setting.

Local lads Castro keep the party flowing with a much more well-structured set. Given, their music is a lot less “core” than the other bands on tonight’s bill, they hold their own well. They churn out some good old fashioned pop-punk, and it plays well with the crowd, who keep the energy moving and seem to really dig the tunes. While they let their music do most of the talking on-stage, the songs that emerge from the quartet echo far more quality than just a bunch of dudes who play in and around the area. Warm reception, and the night’s still rolling.

3 Ways Of Thinking seem to have brought a good section of the crowd themselves tonight. Their cheeky brand of female-fronted popcore gets started off with a cover of current 3OH!3 hit Starstrukk, before delving into some tunes of their own, including Twitter Is For People Who Can’t Spell, which boasts an awesomely catchy chorus and some great songwriting for kids of their age. They’re quite a heart-warming bunch, and the crowd do take to them a lot, but there’s still some bad habits that could do with ironing out; it sounds like we’ve heard the same breakdown at least three times throughout the set, and some gargly singing kind of tears away from the flow of the songs. Nonetheless, everyone’s enjoying it, and it really seems like the band are too, and that’s the main thing; there’s still plenty of time to grow.

Preston’s popcore princes Me vs Hero seem to be playing to a lot of people who don’t actually know who they are. When asked, a small fraction of raised hands indicates only a few have seen the band before, and many seem to be in attendance for the night out. Still, a crowd’s a crowd, and a packed room for two weeks notice is pretty good going!

Opening with the enigmatic Spice Weasel, BAM!, the five-piece tear the room up in style. It’s all breakdowns and gang chants, and for tonight’s audience, that’s all that’s really needed. It’s worth noting, however, that Me vs Hero do write very catchy, very good pop-punk songs, and for those who grasp some of the melody and the lyrics, it’s delivering a very good performance.

Vocalist Sam Thompson stays away from his usual time spent in the front few rows of the crowd for the better half of the set, but the sing-backs prompt some serious mic-grabbing, especially for the likes of Upbeat (Down) and the newer Cashing Cheques, the latter of which inspires a floor-wrenching breakdown that calls out all sorts of flailing limbs and flying bodies.

A smattering of new material from the band’s upcoming debut full-length gets an outing, and oozes the same qualities that makes the EP so enjoyable to listen to, and then some.

Filming part of a music video for the brilliant Days That Shape Our Lives proves to almost strip the barrier from it’s hinges, and sends all kinds of crowd surfing madness into the sweat box of a room. It’s a little short of a set, but who can complain from a band with only a handful of songs to their name so far? By the way this set goes, it’s just a small taster of great things to come…

George Cannings.

Keep an eye out for our interview with Me vs Hero!


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