Queuing up in the rainy – as per usual – Glasgow City Centre outside the Cathouse I was surrounded by the young and the older fans who had dusted off their old eyeliner for a night of pure early 2000s nostalgia. It was time to see Aiden play one last time on their farewell tour. I was prepared for a somewhat poignant night, seeing a brilliant band play one of their last shows but knowing it was going to be an immense gig with an amazing setlist as the band were set to play their debut album Nightmare Anatomy in full.
First to take the stage was Glasgow band Strange Creatures. I had high expectations of this band considering Aiden and Ashestoangels had requested them, however I was a bit disappointed. I had listened to them before the gig but I wasn’t aware that it was only 2 band members that made such a huge electro rock sound. Musically what they produced was really tight and well pulled together considering they formed only last year, but the vocals fell a bit flat. The singer’s lack of stage presence wasn’t very entertaining, either, despite the odd microphone swing. At first the crowd didn’t seem to take to the band but as it started to fill up during their set the crowd started to get into it a bit more. Strange Creatures weren’t really my thing but by the end of their set the crowd seemed to enjoy them.
After a brief changeover, Never Found was next. The band burst into action the very second they took to the stage and I immediately knew it was going to be an entertaining and energetic set. The band bounded around the stage for their whole set and it was hard to grasp how they didn’t run into each other going 100 miles an hour across the tiny stage! A few songs in and I realised this is one of the few bands that actually sound a lot better live than recorded. Their frontman’s voice was a lot grittier and their energy really added to the experience. Despite a few attempts at crowd participation it was a shame that not much of the crowd obliged as Never Found put on a fantastic show. That being said, everyone was nodding along to the music. I was sad to see the end of their set and I can’t wait to see them again and where they end up in the future.
Ashestoangels were greeted by Glasgow’s infamous “here we here we” chant. I wasn’t familiar with their music, except that William Control produced their newest album, but you know it’s going to be good when you hear the chant before everything kicks off. The crowd had grown substantially by this point and with most of the crowd going crazy as soon as Ashestoangels came on it was clear that they were the most popular out of the support acts tonight. Their singer was the most energetic person I’ve ever watched at a gig! With the constant leaping and bounding and the odd cartwheel I actually found it difficult to follow him with my camera but that’s definitely not a bad thing, other than being exhausted just watching him! Being on the go constantly sent the crowd into a frenzy – Ashestoangels could have easily been the headliners at this gig. It’s easy to see that they’re starting to make a name for themselves and it’ll be awesome watching them grow over the next few years with their supercharged live shows.
At last it was time for the night’s headliners, Aiden. The atmosphere in the room picked up and the crowd surged closer to the barrier. As the band members got on stage the crowd got excited, even more so when William came out while my inner 10 year old screamed. The band opened with “Crawling Up From Hell”, from their new self-titled album. The sound was a bit messed up for the first half of the song but was promptly fixed and everything was back on the go again. Though it didn’t affect the atmosphere in the slightest – everyone still went crazy for the muffled noise!
Although they had not long released the new album it barely got any attention with “New Grave” being played a few songs later. Tonight was all for Nightmare Anatomy. Before that portion of the show kicked off, William got a ton of the crowd down in front of the barrier for a few songs. Security wasn’t happy about this but sweet talking William managed to get them to let the crowd stay for the whole gig. This definitely took the show back to its punk rock roots because you just don’t get gigs as crazy as this was anymore.
Aiden powered through the album with hardly any breaks between songs. It was a non-stop sweat fest with the heat of the venue and the hundred odd people crammed into the tiny space in front of the barrier and just behind it. Everyone was jumping and screaming with a pit taking up the size of the dance floor behind the barrier. William lurched out into the crowd to adoring fans trying to grab onto him, you can tell this is something he definitely missed when not playing Aiden shows.
Towards the end of the show William announced they wouldn’t be doing an encore, this would be the last and that’s it. A few people weren’t happy at this but I preferred it this way, I’ve always thought encores were a bit pretentious! William asked the crowd what the last song you hear Aiden perform would have to be and after a resounding “I SET MY FRIENDS ON FIRE” from the crowd the band powered into it, bringing out all of the support bands for a massive sweaty singalong.
The gig was something special. Not only was it the last time I’ll see Aiden, it was also the first! Having listened to them since I was 8 years old, it’s sad seeing them go but they’re definitely going out on a high note.