The idea of a record label putting on a tour, on paper makes so much sense- yet 2015 was the first time that California based Pure Noise Records have put on a UK tour package boasting their A-Team; bearded bad-asses Four Year Strong, Pop-Punkers Hit the Lights, Forever Came Calling, and local talent Light You Up. We caught the bands on the Birmingham leg of the tour at the O2 Academy 2.
Kicking off the show Light You Up seemed to relish playing to a home town crowd. The Birmingham based band have certainly honed their sound since we saw them last spring/summer supporting The Wonder Years at Birmingham’s Institute.
Light You Up, are a massively hard working band who leave everything out on the stage, despite front man Tom’s apparent flu (a similar aliment to which he was sadly suffering last year).
They’ve got a subtle but gutsy sound and a massively evident passion for music and performing. It is surely only a matter of time before the UK catches onto these guys, and they are headlining their own tour.
Forever Came Calling only released their second full length album ‘What Matters Most’ in October, but that didn’t stop a huge portion of the crowd from singing along to the infectious Pop-Punk tunes. With a more understated performance these guys seem like humble Rock Stars, but Stars non the less.
As with Light You Up, these guys feel like they could have a massive future ahead of them, so keep your eyes peeled!
Lima, Ohio’s Hit the Lights could be considered tour veterans compared to the first two bands, but this didn’t stop them hitting the stage with the energy of five young whipper-snappers!
The band released their fourth album ‘Summer Bones’ earlier in the week and the crowd were certainly feeling the days-old material. Hit the Lights provided one of the highlights of the night, with the crowd exploding into chorus as soon as the opening chords of ‘Body Bag’ hit, before they left the stage to a quick Pantera cover.
Four Year Strong walked onto the stage, did a quick sound check, stood around for a few seconds and then launched into their set. There was no fanfare, no bullshit build-up- nought to sixty in two chords!
Four Year Strong are a collaborative bearded powerhouse, this is no pretty boy Pop-Punk quartet! Four Year Strong are four guys who play with SO much passion and such aggression, it feels like you’ve been punched in the face. Every song that FYS play is done so with such emotion and heart, it is no wonder that the crowd are one hundred percent ‘in’ for every second of the show!
Four Year Strong are so different to other bands. Firstly, they have a sound that is hard to define, it’s Punk but not really Punky, it’s Pop-Punk but not really Pop-y, it’s Hardcore without being shouty. They’ve melded various musical elements to create their serious Instrumental-Bearded-Chunky-Punk sound. And I LOVE IT. The four guys are all so serious and intense but it’s all pure passion, I was truly transfixed.
With the band announcing that they’ve recently finished recording their new full length album, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Four Year Strong. The show moved me- literally I couldn’t stand still (annoyingly so apparently..)- I will be RUSHING back to see them again.
In summary this Pure Noise Records Show really delivered, and with bands such as The Story So Far, Gnarwolves and A Loss for Words on their roster other records companies might want to take note because the Pure Noise UK Tour could become a powerful annual UK tradition at this rate.