A near perfect gig headlined by one of Metal’s biggest rising stars in London’s iconic venue The Garage. 10/10.
Words and photos by Jade Greenbrooke
Kicking off the show were IN SEARCH OF SUN, a band I fondly remember as NOTHING MORE’s support band from their 2015 London show; a band I remember being brilliant live, something that hasn’t changed. These rockers from London sure know how to open up a show and get the crowd’s pulses racing, making use of the stage with each member putting all their energy into the performance. These guys appeared to have improved since I last saw them and I can’t wait to see where they go if they keep getting better! Definitely one to look out for on the UK music scene.
Next up were REDHOOK, hailing all the way from Sydney, Australia on their first ever international tour. I hadn’t been able to check these guys out yet, so was pleasantly surprised to see a female vocalist dominate the stage. If I was to describe this rap rock group, it’d be a hybrid between HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD and HALESTORM, lead vocalist Emmy Mack doing all women in the Rock industry proud with her kick ass vocals and energetic performance throughout, a joy to both watch and listen, if you’re attending Download Festival this weekend then I highly recommend trying to catch these guys, as we don’t know when they’ll be back in the UK and their energetic show is an experience, all topped off with a great crowd interaction.
BAD WOLVES were the main event and this was my first time properly seeing them, as last time Tommy Vext was too sick to perform in Birmingham when supporting THREE DAYS GRACE. I was extremely excited to finally hear Vext’s epic voice live teamed with a talented group of musicians backing him. BAD WOLVES waste no time throwing themselves into the performance, opening with ‘Learn to Live’, Vext instantly jumping from the stage straight onto the barrier to interact with the crowd, something he would proceed to do another four times through the set, allowing the enthusiastic fans a chance to sing along into his microphone as well as shake hands with the humble singer. Vext obviously cares a lot for his fans judging by how well he continued to interact with them, I’d even go as far as to say that he has the best crowd interaction I’ve seen from a lead vocalist.
The crowd soaks up every word, at one point they part straight down the middle, before partaking in the most relaxed wall of death I’ve ever witnessed. A nice change from the overly aggressive fans I’d experienced in the past; everyone there was just enjoying themselves and not trying to break bones. The highlight songs for myself were ‘Hear Me Now’, a song dedicated to the ladies in the room, at which point Vext told the crowd to hug their partners, before hugging anyone who was alone, it was a beautiful start to an incredible song, and every note was hit perfectly. ‘Remember When’ was another highlight of mine, a deeply personal song based on Vext’s twin brother, it’s a perfect example of taking a tragic event and turning it into something beautiful. There is a rawness and vulnerability that the band exudes when they perform, which entices the crowd and makes them relate, it’s no surprise that they have already accomplished so much since forming in 2017, and they’re only going further.
Each member of the band is extremely entertaining to watch, guitarist Chris Cain and bassist Kyle Konkiel often interacting, looking like they’re having a great time along with the crowd (and making great pictures). Early on in the show, Vext manages to rip his pants in the midst of an energetic performance, and in the end he makes one fan’s day (a male fan might I add) by accepting the fan’s pleas for his ripped trousers, stripping at the very end and handing the fan his ripped pants, it’s the first and most likely the last time I will ever see this happen.
This comes after BAD WOLVES ended the show on one of the best encores I’ve seen, Vext candidly explaining the making of their hit cover of THE CRANBERRIES’ ‘Zombie’, it’s a heart warming moment, and anyone who didn’t already know the context probably wouldn’t have a dry eye. The whole room erupted into applause after the touching tribute to Dolores O’Riordan, and the performance itself was absolutely spectacular, Vext’s vocals teamed with the band’s instrumentals truly highlight what an incredible band these guys so soon after releasing their debut album ‘Disobey’, ending the show with Vext bringing possibly the youngest fan in the room on stage to help him sing ‘Zombie’, no doubt making this young boy’s experience the most incredible one possible. A lot of people will be excited to see what these guys have in the works and where they will go next, this show proving they’re ready for big things! 10/10
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