Chicago alt-rock four-piece Madina Lake have returned from a four-year hiatus to play six headline shows around the UK to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the release of the band’s debut album From Them, Through Us, To You. The band also playing Slam Dunk Festival over the bank holiday weekend.
When the reunion tour was originally announced there were only three headline dates (London, Manchester and Glasgow), but due to phenomenal demand a further three dates were added: Southampton, Newcastle and Cardiff. The band have a reputation for incredibly energetic live shows, so Katie went along to the band’s London show to try and capture the action!
In response to the terrorist attack at a concert in Manchester earlier this week, the band posted the following statement on their Facebook page, to reassure fans that this run of UK shows would still go ahead:
We wish to express our deepest love and compassion for all of the victims and their families of last night’s horrific events in one of our home cities of Manchester. No despicable act of cowardice would prevent us from doing everything in our power to demonstrate our solidarity and offer anything we can to alleviate the pain. In this case, a bit of much needed live music, escapism and a sense of normalcy in today’s complicated world. We will be carrying on with our reunion tour, including all Slam Dunk shows, headliners and most importantly, Manchester.
As I arrived at the venue shortly before doors there was already a huge queue of fans snaking around the venue, eager to get inside. Once inside there was an hour’s delay to proceedings, but this was soon forgotten when Chicago pop-punk-rock four-piece That Lying Bitch took to the stage.
You will be familiar with the concept of a break-up album; well this is a break-up band… and they were fantastic. Their set was full of energy and featured catchy, sarcastic songs about heartbreak and anger, including “I’ve Been Doing Fun Shit Without You”, “How Am I Supposed To Hate You When I Still Love You” and “Come Get Your Shit”. The band is the side project of Tom Higgenson and Dave Tirio (vocalist & bassist of The Plain White T’s) together with Eric and Darren Vorel, and they did a fantastic job of getting the crowd going, as I think everyone could relate to their songs on some level. I will definitely be keeping an eye on these guys and will go see them live again.
Next up were Nottingham-based alt-rock quartet Lacey, who I had heard great things about and they did not disappoint. Playing tracks from their 2015 fan-funded debut full-length album Under The Brightest Lights plus their 2016 EP I Don’t Owe The World A Thing, they put on a great show and seemed popular with the ever-growing crowd.
As Madina Lake took to the stage the crowd roared with excitement, and cheered heartily as each band member came into view. Opening with “In Another Life”, the band played a superb set featuring all the crowd favourites including “Here I Stand”, “House of Cards” and “One Last Kiss”, as well as cheeky covers of “Song 2” by Blur and “What’s My Age Again” by Blink 182. Bare-footed frontman Nathan Leone took a dive into the crowd and was thoroughly entertaining and engaging throughout the set, and his band-mates put in an equally passionate and energetic performance.
It was plain to see that the Madina Lake’s return to the stage meant a lot to their fans, and I overheard many saying that From Them, Through Us, To You had been the soundtrack to their teenage years. It was clear that ten years on those songs still meant a great deal to the fans, and there was a real feeling of joy in the room.
At 9.59pm music venues all across Europe held a minutes silence to remember those who were affected by the Manchester attack, followed by a minute of noise to show that we are not afraid and will continue attending live music events.
All photos by Katie Frost Photography