Live Review

Kerrang! Relentless Energy Drink Tour 2012, O2 Academy, Bristol

Pop-punk heroes party with post-hardcore’s ones-to-watch.

Sheffield melodic metallers While She Sleeps are first to hit the stage tonight. With early doors at 6pm they’re playing to a half-packed room but they’re successfully making the ground shake. The quintet power through a massive set and anyone who took the time to come down early is feeling smug.

Having kicked up a storm in the UK last summer, letlive. are the most hyped band on this tour. And while their live show lives up to the anticipation, a 30 minute support slot sees them smash through five tracks - a 100 second-long intro being one of them - before first timers can get accustomed to their energetic prowess. With that said, frontman Jason Butler manages to launch himself in and out of the crowd a handful of times before last track ‘Casino Columbus’ is left echoing across the stage.

After replacing Sum 41 as co-headliners just weeks before the tour kicked off, The Blackout are arguably under the most pressure tonight. As the six-piece pound onto the stage, vocalist Sean Smith shrieks’ we’re not Sum 41’, just in case anyone was still unsure. The Welsh boys quickly launch into ‘I’m a Riot’ before offering up a convincing cover of Sum 41’s ‘Fat Lip’. The Blackout have brought their usual love-hate banter and while pockets of the crowd persist to give the band a hard time, tracks like ‘Ambition is Critical’ and ‘Children of the Night’ are met with a sea of bouncing souls.

Tonight’s headliners meanwhile have the crowd in the palm of their hands. No strangers to the Bristol venue, there’s a lot of love shared between New Found Glory and this zealous crowd. As the band flit between albums, newer tracks from seventh offering ‘Radiosurgery’ slip seamlessly into the set list. But it’s old favourites like ‘Understatement’ and ‘Head on Collision’ which whip up the loudest sing-a-longs. The pop-punkers rip through two covers, including Green Day’s ‘Basket Case’, before finishing up with their own anthem ‘My Friends Over You’. And with the promise of a UK Pop Punks Not Dead tour later this year, the crowd pogo to the exits.

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