Live Review

You Me At Six, O2 Brixton Academy, London

It’s performances like this that prove You Me At Six to be one of the most talented bands within the rock community.

Before tonight’s show has even begun, you can feel the sense of accomplishment in the air. As the closing show on their seven-date tour, You Me At Six are taking to the stage after not only selling out Brixton Academy for a second time in eighteen months, but after sitting pretty at the top of the UK mid-week album charts just days earlier. A massive achievement for any rock band of this generation, tonight is a celebration made even more special by the rest of the bill; friends and peers Lower Than Atlantis and Deaf Havana.

Despite standing firm as the biggest ever show for both of tonight’s supports, you wouldn’t be able to guess. Openers Lower Than Atlantis instantly possess an undeniably impressive stage presence and energy that has the 5,000-strong crowd hooked just minutes in. Seeming entirely at home on the stage, they even bravely attempt a Foo Fighters cover, further proving that Radio 1 made a good call when they B-listed them earlier this week.

In contrast to the more aggressive elements of LTA, Deaf Havana see fit to explore the more melodic side of the genre. With the effortlessly soaring vocals of frontman James Veck-Gilodi, a song like closer ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol Saved My Life’ is almost beautifully melancholic; something heightened when he steps away from the microphone and allows for the crowd to end the set on his behalf.

It doesn’t take long for the hysteria to set into the younger members of tonight’s crowd. In fact, the screams that resound in the venue when the lights go down one final time verges on deafening. However, when Josh Franceschi and co. plunge headfirst into second album opener ‘The Consequence’, it’s instantly evident as to why. Whilst You Me At Six are a band that have come up against all kinds of opposition throughout their career, it’s a performance like this evening’s that proves them to be one of the most talented and hard-working bands within the rock community. The level of energy is high throughout, the musicianship is undeniably impressive for such a young group of men, and the interaction between band and fans is enough to have a good few audience members in tears after just three songs.

Playing what feels more like a pseudo greatest hits set, they find comfort in songs from 2010 effort ‘Hold Me Down’ (making the occasional fond nod to a few old favourites from their 2008 debut ‘Take Off Your Colours’). It is, however, entirely within the new songs that the band shines. The taunting gang vocals of ‘Loverboy’ are anthemic, ‘Little Death’ sounds massive and ‘Bite My Tongue’ possesses a whole new level of intensity in a live environment, with Franceschi himself impressively taking on the vocal part otherwise sung by Oli Sykes.

Yet, regardless of the talent showcased and fun shared, tonight stands as more of a statement than anything. Midway through the set, Franceschi speaks of a recent article published in The Guardian detailing how rock music is dead. With this he argues, and alongside the evidence provided tonight, we’d have to agree with the frontman. Thus, as the crowd happily indulge in one more explosive chorus of ‘Underdog’, and all three bands litter the stage for a final few minutes, we hope that Guardian reporter is having a rethink, since this rowdy lot seem very much alive.

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