Is rock the new pop?
Passing the venue at 4pm, with doors due to open at 7pm, the sight was shocking, and unusual for a rock show. At least 100 people, lining up around the block awaiting entry to the Birmingham Institute. The reason for the queues is ingrained in its attendees. Teenage girls, clad head to toe in black. And that’s not speaking generically, literally. Hysteria surrounded this event. Once inside the crowd were on the edges of their mostly non-existent seats, every time a sound man stepped foot on the stage, a collective gasp was drawn, ‘is that one of them?’. Tales of seeing Issues around Birmingham earlier in the day were being exchanged; who got nearest to them, “he looked at me!”, “I’ve met them”..etc. Excited squeals, circulating the room.
This whirlwind of adolescence and hormones was especially confusing as these bands are pretty heavy.. That preamble is not taking anything away from these bands, it’s just a confusing turn of the times and tastes of UK youths, refreshing really, but not a great audience to be part of- because they’re all so fucking annoying. Generalising, maybe. Patronising, maybe. But so true. This is the generation of kids that would rather film the show on their I(diot)phone’s than watch it and live it in the moment.
Onto the music, the part that the show, and this review is supposed to be about. Reviewing only the supports. Beartooth were on first as support number one, and hit the ground running. The energy and power of this four piece is just astounding. Vocalist Caleb is the epicentre of the storm, pacing out a danger circle in his performance, slightly resembling Slipknot’s Corey Taylor in both appearance and sound, he’s the shining beacon of the band that are going to carry them onto massive things. Having more guts and emotion than than Issues that night, Beartooth stood alone with integrity and strength. With a guttingly short set, await a headline tour from Beatooth, and don’t miss out as it will be epic.
Issues were awaited with baited breath by a sold out crowd on 22nd April. Having a few magazine covers and videos out, these guys may be familiar to some. Filling the small stage with a line-up of six, including a DJ, the band have a really different look and a sound to match it. Big props go to the guys, they really are different to any other band out there- but the downside of that is the marmite effect. You either love it or you hate it. The crowd loved it, singing along like these guys were the headliners, the performance was pure energy and they left everything out on that stage. The hit of their set was their final track ‘Hooligans’, which has really got a beat you can nod your head to, and the mix of the track, screamo and vocals is finesse-d to perfection.