Live Review: A Day To Remember – Newcastle University, March 9th 2010

Kicking off a phenomenally sold-out UK tour complete with various upgrades and added dates, Florida pop-mosh outfit A Day To Remember pull into Newcastle Uni closely followed by Brighton metallers Architects and hardcore crew Your Demise. Duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh, LET’S GO!

Your Demise prove to the still-gathering crowd that they’re worth their medicine early on, pulling out pummelling basslines and tightly executed riffs. Opener Black Veins pulls people in and gives them a punch in the face; it sounds relentless and it’s full of energy. Ex-frontman George is barely missed, his replacement comes in the form of Ed McRae and his involvement with the crowd at any given opportunity teamed up with impressive vocal talents prove he’s quite obviously the man for the job. Strangely, a hint of dubstep shrouds the set, and a new track gets an airing, one which gets taken to by the crowd fairly easily considering nobody is particularly familiar. Finishing on favourite Burnt Tongues, it sends madness, along with the odd crowdsurfer into the air and Your Demise open with a bang.

Noiseniks Architects have sounded better, but there’s no denying they’re still one of the UK’s most exciting underground acts. Bursting into action, frontman Sam Carter‘s voice has sounded better on many more occasions, but it doesn’t deter the crowd in the slightest, who chant back the words with glee. Early Grave boasts Meshuggah-esque tech-metal qualities and live, it sounds powerful and incredibly tight. Architects are clearly a band that try to make a great impact live, and they succeed with flying colours. Being arguably the odd one out on this bill, the audience still take to them, there’s a good number of those gold foil Hollow Crown tees in amongst the masses tonight, suggesting a lot of people may have the quintet top of their priorities. Half-an-hour almost seems too short, but there’ll be more to come in October when the band return for a headline run. This is a mouth-watering taster.

A Day To Remember are a band who’s chemistry shouldn’t work, but just does, and does really, really well. Influences and sounds ranging from the catchiest pop to the most startling of death metal growls and breakdowns, they’re a band that has now caught on incredibly in the UK, in the past year since releasing third record Homesick. That record in question gets an outing a lot tonight, but not before the band blast into old favourite Fast Forward To 2012. Predictable, but we’ll live, it’s a great song. From that to The Danger In Starting A Fire, it’s then that the attendance taste the first of the new record, coming in the form of a brilliant My Life For Hire.

There’s a major problem with the venue the band are playing tonight though, and that sight, for the better part, is very limited, and it’s all too packed for anyone to really have the best of times. Squashed together though, the vast majority seem to know every word to every song, and as the latter mentioned track’s breakdown opener, “THIS IS A BATTLEGROUND!” flows into action, the room bursts into a frenzy, and maybe now the party’s started.

The band as a whole have greatly improved their live performance lately, and tonight they sound as tight as ever. Frontman Jeremy McKinnon sounds quite remarkable, in-between high-fiving crowdsurfers seeping through and over the barrier.

The set has a lot of energy; even the band’s recent Fray cover, Over My Head, packs enough punch to keep everyone on their feet, as does the menacing low-end bass of Mr Highway’s Thinking About The End. As per usual, Heartless gets a mention, and in a nice twist, Homesick opener The Downfall Of Us All moves back to the start of the encore, before a blistering The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle brings proceedings to a close.

A very strong performance, but there can only be so many times you can watch A Day To Remember and not get slightly bored of the same songs being repeated. A few new tracks from Homesick wouldn’t go a miss, and chucking in some oldies might surprise some people, but A Day To Remember don’t seem to budge from the same bakers dozen’s worth of songs, and it’s anyone’s guess as to whether this will be enough to keep them selling out venues this size in times to come.

George Cannings.

Keep an eye out for our interview with Architects and a very special competition!

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