The unusual early start of 5.30 this evening in Leeds would make you think the crowd might be arriving in dribs and drabs throughout the night, nevertheless a supersized queue of early birds are down to take on the Kerrang tour from start to finish.
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Beartooth (6) Are tonight’s opening act and get straight to business without a hint of shyness, and respectably so as they managed to pull a large early crowd into the Academy. Guitars ring out and the drums are pounding as frontman Caleb Shomo takes the stage screaming out the opening lyrics to the full throttle ‘Beaten in Lip’ which does a fantastic job of getting the crowd ready for what’s to come tonight.‘The Lines’ provides an opportunity for some crowd participation with mosh pits and a call for everyone to get their feet of the floor, leaving the centre of the room bouncing with the blinding flash of strobe lights. "That's a little more like it!" responds the Ex ‘Attack Attack!’ Singer as he takes a second to introduce tonight’s bands, if anyone really needs reminding about the solid line up the Kerrang tour has strung together for the tour!
The band stand tall and get the crowd clapping into the intro for ‘I Have A Problem’ "This is for anybody that's seen us live before" bellows Caleb who screams and calls people to get moving as it kicks in providing the first reasonably sized mosh pit of the night.Considering Beartooth have only been a band since 2012 they look and sound really tight live, and with a set full from the monster album ‘Disgusting’ they are well equipped with enough fire power to launch through a small opening set, something they have managed to do supporting the likes of ‘Of Mice & Men’ so tonight has proved to be a walk in the park for them.
Beartooth close their set screaming "one life one decision" with the crowd out loud as they close the set with the monstrous ‘Body Bag’ leaving everyone well and truly warmed up for Bury Tomorrow as they leave the stage to loud applause. Beartooth are as good an opener act you could book for the Kerrang Tour, and could have easily been higher up the bill.
However Bury Tomorrow (9) are out with intent to show why they are higher up the bill, by really stepping it up a few notches with probably one of the most energetic performances we've seen live. They fly across the stage screaming and thrashing their guitars as the epic ‘Man On Fire’ kicks in. Bassist Davyd Winter Bates stands epically at the forefront of the stage battering his Bass guitar as his brother and frontman Daniel Winter Bates darts from one side of the stage to the other screaming like a man possessed throughout the set. The Southampton quartet takes a second to get everyone to put an arm around their friends before firing into ‘Of Glory,’ offering some old school metal core to a quickly growing crowd within the Academy. “Leeds how the fuck are we doing?” screams frontman Daniel Winter Bates as he grins from ear to ear to the deafening response of screams from the 1000 strong crowd, who are then encouraged to join in moshing and singing, from the boys and the girls to the mom and dads who stand reluctantly beside the bar.“If you know this next song have a good time and Punch your best friend in the face!” demands the frontman jumping into a powerful performance of ‘An Honourable Reign’, which continually raises the bar for the night from song to song so far.
‘Lionheart’ closes a spectacularly strong set, and is dedicated to the boys in Don Broco, who will have a lot to follow up when they take the stage later tonight. “Every single person up!” Shouts Daniel Winter Bates demanding the crowd to be involved one last time tonight before they leave the stage.
Bury Tomorrow are a band who strive from live shows no matter what the size, and they always get the crowd involved to create a blistering performance and workout for everyone attending. All the bands on the bill tonight should be take notes from an outstanding live show as Bury Tomorrow really could be at the top of the bill after that performance.
Before the next band on the bill take the stage, we have a bite size surprise waiting for us.
Young Guns (7) take the stage for a short but sweet three song set to announce that they are back and ready to take the UK by storm this year, after a successfully long run across America in support of the hit album ‘Bones’ which reached number 1 in the US Rock chart upon its release.
We, like many other have felt starved by the absence of Young Guns in the UK this past year, and with a couple of brand new tracks and a fresh announcement of the next album ‘Ones and Zeros’ due to drop in June. It is the lead single ‘I Want Out’ that the band open with to a bouncing crowd who are more than pleased to see them.
Frontman Gustav Wood glides across the stage in front of the screaming crowd, as he holds out his hand singing the chorus displaying a sharpie marked note on his palm reading ‘April 4 Key Club,’ a subtle hint at a soon to be return to Leeds with a headline tour in support of the upcoming album. The band treat the crowd to a brand new track freshly released earlier in the week titled ‘Speaking In Tongues’ which is a song displaying the mature growth of the late Young Guns with it’s steady flowing verse and sing along chorus, leaving us wanting to hear more from the anticipated album ‘Ones and Zeros.’The short set closes with a steady performance of the crowd favourite ‘Bones.’ You can’t help but feel that there is still more to come from Young Guns as they are no where near their best tonight, but non the less it’s still a nice surprise and just what they need to get back into the swing of things ready for a headline tour starting in April.
This is the first time in almost a year that We Are The In Crowd (7) have been back over in the UK excluding a few small festival appearances, which is out of the ordinary for the Poughkeepsie quartet who seem to feel right at home whenever they cross the Atlantic to treat us to a good old pop rock show. So needless to say, they are as excited as the crowd are to see them back here in the UK, and for “the last time in a while” according to front woman Taylor Jardine. Tay takes to the towering platform centre stage clapping along to the drum beat with the crowd before kicking her way into the emphatic attitude filled chorus of the set opener ‘The Best Thing.’
A powerful performance of ‘Manners’ follows closely and from last years album release ‘Weird Kids’ which is kept to a minimal in a set filled with a mixture of both new and old material, keeping long term WATIC fans happy. ‘Exits and Entrances’ is a set highlight and really gets the pace going as the crowd begin to really enjoy themselves and participate during the breakdown, and ‘Reflections’ another newer track goes down well as guitarist Cameron jolts back and forth off the platforms across the stage.
The last time We Are The In Crowd were in Leeds, they were headlining the Cockpit off the back of the ‘Weird Kids’ launch tour last year, and Taylor Jardine and Guitarist Jordan Eckes give a brief shout out the old venue and some pantomime booing to the closing down of the longstanding venue. The band play confidently and look like they belong more here than small venues such as the cockpit, but you can’t help but feel that there is something more to come from We Are The In Crowd, as the spark is missing in performances of songs such as ‘Kiss Me Again’ which felt rather flat and out of character. The set takes a turn and slows down with an acoustic performance of ‘Come Back Home’ which provides a nice change in sound and some diversity to the set which hasn't been seen yet tonight with everyone out in full force. A strong moving performance with a sea of arms waving in the crowd from front to back, which creates a nice breather for everyone who has been full throttle in the mosh pits from the off. WATIC really finish off strongly with a jolting performance of fan favourites ‘Both Sides of the Story’ and ‘Rumour Mill’ which is one of the strongest performances of the night and deservedly gets a fantastic response. Lets hope WATIC don’t take too long out recording because we all want them back sooner then later.
A fantastic show all around so far from everyone, however tonight is all about the headliners. Don Broco (9) have really taken the UK by storm since their full length album ‘Priorities’ which has seen them rise to new heights playing headline shows in larger venues across the country, main stage festival slots, and support slots for the big guns such as You Me At Six in arenas last year.
After a short quiet break from recording Don Broco they have surfaced with a few new epic tunes and they can’t wait to share them. The band launch straight into the new lead single ‘Money Power Fame’ to explosions of dry ice shooting from the front of the stage, which also get an equally epic explosive response from the crowd. ‘Actors’ also creates chaos amongst the crowd with mosh pits, circle pits and people bouncing off the floor, as the band shoot across the stage as though they are deep within the pits themselves.
“Leeds this is the best night of the tour so far!” a truthfully, yet sarcastic shouts front man Rob Damiani as it’s only the second night of the tour. The crowd answer back with the exceptionally loud Yorkshire chant. “We are glad to be back in Yorkshire!” the frontman answers with a massive grin on his face. New material is on the front foot tonight from the off with new tracks ‘Fire’ and ‘Automatic’ which are what you would expect of Don Broco; upbeat, slick, punchy and an easy excuse for some crowd participation with catchy choruses. Tonight isn’t just about the new tracks, ‘Beautiful Morning’ and ‘Thug Workout’ shows the hard-core Broco fans are out in full force tonight with a ‘Thug Workout’ breakdown for the “Push up squad” to get down and bust out some push ups, a routine that started way back in Nottingham at Hit The Deck festival in 2012 with a moment of madness from the crowd turning into a show to show ritual of some comical value for onlookers.
The dedicated ‘Fancy Dress’ to the meet and greet fans is yet another strong performance and everyone cant help but get involved during the break down after some light persuasion from Rob, “this next bit is a bit mental!” Mosh pits break out and the Academy explodes. Broco look stronger than ever, which you wouldn't expect after such a long break locked up in the studio recording new music. They still have that showmanship from frontman Rob and the rest of the gang.They end the night in style with the big hits ‘Hold on,’ ‘Priorities’ and ‘You Wanna Know’ with a few final blasts of smoke, crowd surfers, and mosh pits before thanking the crowd for the strong turn out, as well as a subtle hint at a return to Leeds for Slam Dunk Festival this year, which if tonight is anything to go by, will be a supersized party with Broco aside some of the acts already confirmed. Yorkshire chants fade into the night as Broco leave the stage knowing another job is well done.
Words & Photography: Danny Peart
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