If the rise of You Me At Six pays testament to anything, it would be that there is a new generation of stadium fillers in the rock genre. Their astronomical rise to fame has been as well deserved as it has been well maintained. Proved by the fact the Manchester date was only added due to the phenomenal demand of fans.
The evening’s opener, Black Foxxes, were a British three-piece indie punk-rock combo. Their Americanised vocals mixed with a guitar handling which induced a reminiscent tinnitus ringing. Their sound blended soft and slow music with the angst of a punk-rock yelling- a sort of Twenty One Pilots with aggression, if you will. The band certainly got better as their set evolved.
‘We want you to have an out of body experience’ preached Tonight Alive front-woman Jenna McDougall, while dressed as an angel…genuinely. The difference in sound quality was made evident from the preceding Black Foxxes however, as the clarity in her voice emphasised how naturally talented the Aussie singer is. Mix that in with catchy chorus’, a speech on society and how you should stand up for yourself and also the band’s previous experience of already headlining the venue. The end result is that you have a won-over audience.
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Headliners You Me At Six are at a true point in their evolution. Mixed responses followed their fifth studio album, ‘Night People’ (Infectious Label), which was released on the 13th January. The most prominent theme being that it wasn’t the album that they were expecting from the band. But that isn’t always necessarily a negative thing.
“There is definitely a new vibe on stage and, dare I say, swagger” says frontman Josh Franceschi, a statement evidently true. When relating it to their previous artist image he added ‘It wasn’t something we wanted to do anymore.” A questionable quote when relating it to the ‘pop’-y support that evening.
The brightest lights ever created were propped up behind the Surrey five-piece, blinding the crowd in front of them, turning the band into mere silhouettes. Maybe it could be argued there’s a vague metaphorical significance linking it to the Night People tour, but it’s quite difficult to see it. Heck, witnessing this light show would make anything difficult to see.
While the light show paralysed one sense, a technical problem in the ringing from a guitar also crept through. This made it almost impossible to hear what frontman Josh Franceschi was saying, or even what intro to the songs they were playing was. Unfortunately, this meant crowd were just as loud as the band vocally. However from a neutral point of view it could be seen as a positive. Only highlighting how well known the lyrics are and how widely loved this band are. Although the lights were a consistent problem throughout the show, the technical problem of the guitar drowning out the vocals were quickly fixed.
You Me At Six played a setlist focal to their new album, ‘Night People’. This didn’t stop them from diving into their back catalogue of arena fillers from all points of their career. Almost a decade separated their debut album to their newest and was condensed into a one and a half hour set. This juxtaposition only furthermore certifies why You Me At Six are the band you used to listen to, still do listen to, and will continue to listen to.