As soon as A Day To Remember released the line up for their Bad Vibrations UK tour, my pop punk dreams came true. All four bands are personal favourites of mine and to see them all on the same night was overwhelming. I was in my element for the whole night.
This was literally pop punk paradise for me. As you can probably tell, I was a tad excited. If I could, I would replay the night over and over. Post-concert depression is a serious understatement.
Unfortunately, the start of the gig didn’t go as planned for myself as I ended up waiting over half an hour in line for the cloakroom. As a result of that, I missed half of Moose Blood’s set, which was devastating as I was finally getting to see them live after a few years. Although, when I finally got in, I heard my two favourite songs of theirs: “Bukowski” and “Knuckles”. So that really did lighten my mood after queuing. They had a really nice stage set up with pink neon borders around the amps to represent their new album Blush which I thought was a creative touch.
This wasn’t my first time seeing Neck Deep, it was my third, and I swear that each time just keeps overtaking the last. They really do have everything going for them and it’s completely understandable why they are the hottest band in the pop punk scene right now. They are honestly, hands down, one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. They’re so energetic and full of fun – Ben Barlow, lead vocalist, even did a somersault into the crowd after “Can’t Kick Up The Roots”.
I had a massive smile on my face for the whole performance, seeing them live just makes me incredibly happy. You can see that they love what they do and it warms my heart. It was stunning to see the whole venue light up during “A Part of Me” which is a beautiful track.
However, I do have one criticism: there were no songs off of Wishful Thinking, but that’s just a selfish opinion. The setlist was faultless otherwise.
To tell the truth, I was most excited to see New Found Glory on this tour for their 20th anniversary. I have grown up with My Friends Over You on repeat and they were the first band that I ever saw live, so they do hold a special place in my heart. They came out to a snippet from the hit film Rocky which I thought was really quirky.
The riff for “All Downhill From Here” started to play and I began to sing every word. The whole band were so energetic and it really made me happy to be seeing them again. However, and it really hurts for me to say this, but out of all the times I’ve seen them live, this was my least favourite. Something just wasn’t quite right, it felt like there was some sort of disconnection between the band and the crowd. But they didn’t let that stop them, they were on top form, which is no surprise from them but it just didn’t feel the same and I’m not quite sure what that was.
My favourite part of their setlist was when lead guitarist, Chad Gilbert pointed out a fan in the crowd who was singing his heart out to every song. They invited him up on stage to sing “My Friends Over You” which I thought was beyond sweet of them. It makes me so giddy when bands respect their fans so much and give them opportunities like that. I can’t begin to imagine how excited and nervous he would’ve been feeling – lucky, lucky, lucky.
After an interval of the weirdest music choices ever, which consisted of The Backstreet Boys, Snoop Dogg, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and Lil Jon, it was finally time for the main event. A Day To Remember’s stage set was incredible, full of TV screens and tapes which relate to Bad Vibrations. As soon as they came out and Jeremy McKinnon growled “Wake up!” for their opener “Mr Highway’s Thinking About The End”, a huge stream of silver confetti shot out.
The crowd never stopped: circle pit after moshpit after circle pit after moshpit, you get the idea. It was crazy! I was having so much fun being shoved around and singing (also badly attempting to match Jeremy’s vocals).
The show really had everything. During “It’s Complicated”, one of the roadies came out dressed as Stone Cold Steve Austin, which I thought was both genius and hilarious. He was using a T-shirt cannon to shoot into the crowd which was super fun even though I didn’t catch any. It was such an inventive and unique addition to the amazing show. During “We Got This”, the room filled up with loads of inflatable sharks and beach balls.
It was such an entertaining time and I really had the best night in a long time. I honestly have not had so much fun and been so happy at a gig in a long time, it was special for so many different reasons. There really was no better way to kick off my 2017!
All photos by Roisin Stewart