Tag Archives: Gig Review

Against All Odds ‘Tipped’ for Success

By Tony Allen 

A mere four songs into new Norwich rock outfit Against All Odds’ slot, supporting The High Points at Bedfords Crypt, singer Georgi Ball stops. She looks out onto the packed room, thanking everyone for coming and pointing out that the appearance is in aid of the band’s first EP release.

Continue reading Against All Odds ‘Tipped’ for Success

Taking Back Sunday Concert Review

By Jessica Foulger

Taking Back Sunday continue to impress the world with their music, and Norwich is no exception, as they conquer the UEA’s LCR.

Despite the show not selling out, Taking Back Sunday perform with the same youthful angst and zest that made them so infectious and lovable back in the early 2000s. It is safe to say I have revisited my teenage, ‘I hate the world’ self, whilst finding my older, more reflective self, deeply appreciating Taking Back Sunday’s recent, more mature artistry.

The five-piece from Long Island, New York are touring the UK and Europe in support of the 2016 release ‘Tidal Wave’ which sees them continue a more Rock/Pop sound with occasional heavy hooks whilst retaining melodic guitar riffs. It is a more mature, refined sound, with honest lyrics. The set opens with the fiery opening track ‘Deathwolf’, off their latest release. A perfect opening track with punchy guitar riffs that excite an eager audience, as lead singer Adam Lazarra screams the lyric ‘had a little bit and we want some more.’ Yes, Adam, we certainly want some more! It is clear TBS have so much more to offer in the world of rock music, with Adam’s lyrics as painfully honest in nature as they once were at the commercial peak of their career a decade ago but also possessing a contemplative and nostalgic quality. This is a band that aren’t ready to hang up the mic just yet.

Their set is a balanced mix of old and new and a couple songs in, the band get the crowd moshing and headbanging with ‘A decade under the Influence’ with the crowd screaming ‘anyone will do tonight’ right back at Lazarra and co. The nostalgia of the older tracks electrifies the LCR as fans revel in the pop-punk stage in Taking Back Sunday’s career. The band return to the new tunes with ‘All Excess’, a bouncy track with a damn catchy chorus, as of course the main purpose of this tour is to promote 2016’s ‘Tidal Wave.’

Lazarra takes a breather mid-set to explain the story behind the ‘Call Came Running’ music video. An anecdote about how his father came to the house to find blood all over Lazarra’s hands, bowing his head saying “Adam what have you done now.’ Lazarra concedes that the joke was funnier the last time he told it, but to be honest, I think the audience just wanted more belters to mosh and dance to. It is an awesome video, though, check it out!

I am thrilled that the band performed my personal favourite track off their 2014 release ‘Happiness Is’ entitled ‘Better Homes and Better Gardens.’ Lazarra becomes reflective about the meaning of the song admitting that it is emotional and hard-going to perform live. It is about his divorce during the writing of the record which becomes more real and hard-hitting, with the opening line of the track, ‘when you took that ring off.’ Despite the deeply personal and emotional nature of the song, it shows how mature Lazarra’s song-writing has become. This isn’t the same teenage pop-punk band that sung merely about girls, sex and friendship, but a wiser and older band that have experienced life and the turbulence of adulthood and fatherhood. The lyrics are beautiful; the guitars are raw.

As the set draws to a close, the band perform possibly the two most recognised and nostalgic Taking Band Sunday songs. Of course, the crowd pleasers are essential, but one tipsy bloke bellows throughout the whole set ‘MIAMI…MIAMI’, to a point where I feel like saying, mate, I’ve googled the setlist and there’s no Miami, I’m sorry. Anyway, when the opening riff to ‘Cute without the E’ kicks in, I can’t help but delve into the mosh pit. This song brings back so many memories for me and the nostalgia I feel is overwhelming as I and hundreds of others scream ‘And will you tell all your friends you’ve got your gun to my head.’ The set closes with ‘Makedamnsure’, the quintessential emo pop-punk hit as Lazarra yelps the sassy ‘I just wanna bring you down so badly’, executing his trademark microphone twist to perfection.

Well, boys, you’ve certainly brought down the LCR.

Image: “Adam Lazzara” by Dan is licensed under the CC BY-ND 2.0.

Billy Talent Rock the LCR

By David Winlo

It has been some years since I first discovered Billy Talent, just as many since I started wanting to see them live, and roughly the same again since they last performed in the LCR. High time now then, after the release of their new album ‘Afraid of Heights’, for them to make a triumphant return to the venue.

The band played an outstanding setlist of songs from their 23-year career. The lead single and title track of the new album, a song partly about society needing to progress beyond its tendencies to exclude and hate things which are ‘other’, was pleasingly dedicated to Donald Trump. One of their older songs, ‘This Is How It Goes’, was played as though it was brand new, and is also about the illness from which drummer Aaron Solowoniuk suffers, this illness being the reason for his continued absence from performances. The setlist was impressive enough and delivered with such energy that I forgot that some of the band’s most famous and best-loved songs had been omitted… until they were included in the encore!

This tour has been given the name of the album it supports, and to that end, included five songs from the new album, as well as a mixture of previous releases. One particular of the performance was the extension of the guitar solo in ‘Devil On My Shoulder’, during which the guitar, bass and drums improvise what feels like a whole extra song together. Another was the fan-favourite ‘Red Flag’, which really got the audience going, in addition to being as important a song today as it was when it was released in 2006.

Wednesday’s performance was the first stop on their ongoing European tour, a highly enjoyable and exciting evening if you can still make it. If you can’t though, just go and grab a copy of the fabulous ‘Afraid of Heights’, and be sure to check out its review here on The Broad!

Photo by David Winlo

Sabaton and Alestorm Rock the LCR

By David Winlo

‘We are Sabaton! We play heavy metal, and this, is Ghost Division!’

These were the words I had been waiting to hear since before uni started. However, before all that came the Scottish metal group Alestorm. This was a band I hadn’t really been familiar with until a couple of weeks prior to the gig, but this didn’t matter. Alestorm have plenty of catchy sing-along choruses, all of which are about pirates of course, so tankard (actually bottle) of beer (actually cider) in hand, sing along I did. The excitement I’d heard in their studio songs was only added to by the live performance. I was particularly impressed by the new guitarist, who had all the songs nailed as well as pulling off some excellent solos. I also gained respect for Chris Bowes as both a vocalist and a keytar player, as I listened to his gravely voice and watched him play some impressive solos… whilst chugging a drink!

Alestorm’s set was bizarre – a fact which allowed for some of the humour which permeated the evening. Speaking to the crowd about the giant inflatable duck, and its banana-bodied counterparts on the banner behind the stage, Bowes explained: ‘you see, we recently went insane…’ I felt this cleared things up nicely. Sabaton’s set meanwhile featured as usual a large tank on which the drums were placed, as well as microphone stands decorated with fake guns and helmets. Both sets looked very impressive, and both bands used their space well, with Sabaton in particular moving around the stage for the audience’s benefit.

Now for Sabaton’s music: Sabaton are a power metal band from Sweden who sing primarily about historical conflict. WWI and WWII were both covered in a few songs, as were specific individuals who are sung about on the newest album, ‘Heroes’. One of these, Audie Murphy, was covered in the song ‘To Hell and Back’, had the whole audience jumping along to the beat. The whole band was on sparkling form, and there were moments of excitement, humour and audience unity, as we all sang along to fan favourite ‘Swedish Pagans’. My own favourites from the evening were Alestorm’s ‘Drink’, and Sabaton’s ‘Wolfpack’.

Image from Live Nation