Support act Creeper need no introduction at this point, the most exciting band to emerge onto the recent UK punk scene warmed up the O2 Ritz Manchester stage for Andy Black on 16th May, and wow, did they heat it up. Creeper blew me away the first time I saw them and they just get better every single time and this show was no exception. There may have been a large portion of the audience who had never seen Creeper before but after tonight they will be a band they won’t be forgetting any time soon.
Although frontman Will Gould channels the charisma and sex appeal of Gerard Way, Creeper have really come into their own with a stage show that is flawless and polished whilst managing to retain true punk rawness and electricity, putting all the comparisons of ‘the next My Chemical Romance‘ or ‘the next AFI’ to bed. You could feel the mutual respect for this breakthrough band, especially during their emotionally haunting track Misery, you could have heard a pin drop.
The same could not be said for Andy Black himself who’s presence in the room sent teenage girls into a screaming and (literally) fainting frenzy. It was obvious who the crowd were here to see but I couldn’t help wonder how many of them were here for the music and how many were here just to see the beautiful face of this talented artist in the flesh.
That said, it can only be a good thing seeing young fans keeping the alternative music scene alive. Maybe it’s my age, or maybe I just have a mutual respect for musicians, but the constant screeching and yelling quickly became frustrating, especially when he attempted to share personal stories in between songs. I literally couldn’t hear a word he was saying over the noise and it was quite apparent that most of the crowd weren’t actually listening to his words, but Andy is a pro when it comes to putting on a great performance and the intense passion and joy he feels for his new solo material was palpable and covers of Billy Idol and Alkaline Trio paired with one of Black Veil Brides most poignant tracks made for an incredible show.