Live Review: Give It A Name Introduces – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle, May 3rd 2010

Give It A Name, it’s certainly an event that has depleted in popularity over here, and that just reflects in tonight’s dismal turnout. Two years ago, we saw the Give It A Name Introduces tour pack out the Academy 2, but this evening sees around 70 or so people turn out to see this stacked five-band line-up of The Swellers, The Dangerous Summer, Anarbor, The Wild and Rio.

With a name like The Dangerous Summer, I know what you’re thinking, probably cheesy The Maine-esque pop-punk. Wrong. Performing a set comprised of songs from the critically-acclaimed Reach For The Sun, there is no doubt about it that this foursome have certainly caught the attention of the few here tonight, delivering their catchy brand of alternative rock, almost like a mish-mash of The Starting Line and Valencia, and you certainly can’t go wrong with either.

Anarbor should have a tough job to follow suit, but a core of familiar fans lined across the barrier help bring energy as they excitably sing-along to the likes of Let The Games Begin. Their kicky pop-rock sound is nothing out of the ordinary, but, to their credit, they do it well and are jam-packed with charisma as they delve in humourous banter.

Up next is The Wild from London, frontwoman Natalie McQueen and her scatty movements are pretty engaging, but the energy on stage, doesn’t particularly rub off on those in attendance. The Wild still have a long way to go, but you really do have to respect the fact that this is their first tour, as McQueen belts out her powerfully pristine vocals.

Fellow Londoners Rio start off in a fairly lacklustre manner, but shortly pick up the pace, with their keyboard-infused pop-rock, it really would be easy to draw comparisons to the likes of Metro Station, but with slightly more substance. They have a strong presence, but it doesn’t seem to go appreciated tonight.

Opening with 2009, it’s finally time for Detroit’s The Swellers, as they introduce their punchy and melodic punk rock sound to Newcastle. It’s a 45-minute set primarily consisting of tunes from their latest release Ups and Downsizing, with the likes of Welcome Back Riders and Do You Feel Better Yet?, full of catchy choruses and accessible sing-a-longs. Bottles from their 2007 effort My Everest is a nice touch for the select old school fans in attendance. Nick Diener‘s lead vocals are spot on and the energy is relentless throughout, with a good few laughs in between songs, resulting in a top performance – it’s just a shame that a handful of people are here to witness it.

Faye Turnbull.

Keep an eye out for our interview with The Swellers coming soon!

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