You Me At Six- O2 Academy Newcastle Gig Review
10 April 2017 Music Reviews
It’s been a while since You Me At Six have visited Newcastle. Middlesbrough Empire has hosted their gigs recently so I was excited when I heard that they would be coming back to my favourite venue- O2 Academy. With support from Black Foxxes and Tonight Alive, it promised to be a good night.
Black Foxxes had be recommended to me by a friend. I hadn’t heard any of their music so was keen to see what they had to offer. It was great to see the venue fill up for the supporting band too. Although the band didn’t seem confident in their set- even telling the audience to pretend their first song didn’t happen- it wasn’t evident to the crowd. Hopefully their confidence will increase as the tour goes on.
I never know what to expect from Tonight Alive, they’re always keeping fans on their toes. The band have undergone a complete metamorphosis since their What Are You So Scared Of and The Other Side Days. That being said, I know that the band will always put on a terrific show. They most certainly delivered, they kept the energy up and packed their set full of awesome tracks like The Edge and Lonely Girl, as well as their more recent track How Does It Feel.
There was no faffing around with backdrops or fancy novelty lighting tonight. A few extra lighting rigs were in place but it was great to see a much more stripped back show. It was a no brainer that the lads kicked off with Night People, the leading single from their new album of the same name. There was very little hint of holding up during the opening numbers, with crowd favourites Underdog, Loverboy, and Stay With Me, it’s safe to say that the crowd were loving it. It has to be one of the best audiences I have ever been a part of at the O2 Academy.
Besides some of the singles, I had purposely not listened to the new album, as I like to get a feel for them live first. I’m glad I did. Heavy Soul blew me away and Give was something else. Even songs that had not been favourites with me previously were heard in a new way through the live gig experience. It was great to hear the bands new take on their old hits too, as if making them sound better was possible!
I’ve been to enough You Me At Six concerts to know that they put on a good show, but this was the best they have ever played. Although the fantastic crowd did help (Franceschi even lamented that they shouldn’t have left it so long to come back to Newcastle), the band have come a long way since their Take Off Your Colours days. The cohesion of the band was incredible and the edgy mood of Night People came through in their performance. Not only was Josh’s voice the strongest it has ever been- while still retaining his signature sound- he really came through as an intuitive and passionate frontman. He knew when to speak and what to say, even calling for members of the audience to get up on each other’s shoulders and encouraging interaction.
The call for an encore was phenomenal. There is always a lull where people don’t know what to do or say, with many starting to cheer, while other chant or clap, it is generally organised chaos. Not this time, as soon as the band left the stage the audience began to sing a refrain that Josh had sang earlier in what must the loudest call for an encore that I have ever heard in all my time attending concerts! The reaction from the band was amazing too, it was clear that they hadn’t anticipated this. In return they delivered an amazing encore with some of the biggest tracks from Cavalier Youth and Night People.
Through all their success, they are still connected to what really matters, and haven’t got ahead of themselves. From supporting the Anti Ticket-Tout Ban, to the inspirational and emotional speech at the concert to support one another and stamp out prejudice, they use their influential position in a positive way. Despite their touring accomplishments, playing Wembley and having an arena tour to name a few, they seemed genuinely blown away and humbled by the amazing crowd reaction at the O2 Academy, potentially another Newcastle gig soon?