To say I was excited to be heading down to catch You Me At Six on their Night People tour is an understatement. Having been listening to this band for over ten years, you could say I’ve grown up with them, and despite not being the biggest fan of their latest album I was still very much looking forward to seeing their live show as it’s always an unforgettable night.
First on stage was Exeter trio, Black Foxxes. These guys have a huge rock sound and a confidence about them that’s worthy of the growing SEC crowd. Vocalist Mark Holley has a voice which is reminiscent of Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance); he can belt out big angsty choruses and juxtapose this with delicate, quivering verses. However, Black Foxxes isn’t all about the vocals as they shared with us a few instrumentals which also allowed the guitars, bass and drums to be showcased.
My only criticism in what was an overall decent set, is that they milked their ending for all its worth. Now I’m a fan of a big build up and suspense until the final crash of the cymbals and slam of the guitar, but this one lasted a bit too long for my liking (and the crowd’s, if the slight drop in the atmosphere is anything to go by).
Next up were my favourite Aussies, Tonight Alive. Playing a mix of songs from their sophomore album, The Other Side and their 2016 release, Limitless, these guys had the crowd jumping, fist pumping and singing along from start to finish.
Vocalist Jenna McDougall’s energy and stage presence is that of someone born to be up there – she had the crowd in the palm of her hand and responding to every command whether that be run, jump, or give her the middle finger! She also took the opportunity to share her thoughts around self-empowerment, emotional freedom and choice. Tonight Alive are definitely a band who live through their lyrics and believe wholeheartedly in the power of the human race.
The band also allowed us a sneak peak into their next chapter in the form of their recently released track, “World Away”. The song feels like a halfway house between their older, punkier stuff and the last batch of more radio-friendly, pop-rock that Limitless brought us. Nevertheless, hearing the new song live has certainly helped me like it that little bit more. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings for them.
On to the main event, and the reason the SEC has a real buzz about it. 9.30pm comes, the lights go down and You Me At Six stride on stage before jumping straight into the intro of Night People. Aaaaand we’re off – the crowd were roaring with excitement and screaming every word, especially a group at the front centre-stage, with their saltire draped over the barrier. Despite almost cancelling the show due to problems with his voice, frontman Josh Franceschi was in fine form. He brings with him a degree of charm that allows him to ask outright that the crowd help him through the set, which they did. He also pinched a camera from one photographer in the pit, and proceeded to take some snaps of band mates Chris Miller, Matt Barnes, Dan Flint and Max Heyler.
We were treated to a great mix of songs, new and old, spanning their five albums – yes, we even got to hear something from Take Off Your Colours. Before we got to hear it in all its throwback glory, Josh explained how he’d given the venue security a heads up to expect lots of crowdsurfers before this particular track.
If you’re ever wondering which five words to use to bring forward teenage, emo Lara and make her lose her mind: “Save It For The Bedroom”. This one kicked the atmosphere up another notch, which I didn’t even think would be possible after already hearing the likes of “Underdog”, “Bite My Tongue” and “Reckless”, which included an outro of “When We Were Young” by The Killers.
In an all-round sterling production like this, there’s often a hero that remains unsung; the lighting designer. The electrics which accompanied this show were incredible and very well thought out – each beat of the kick drum was paired with a change in light sequence and/or colour, which all made for a very entertaining evening.
It’s clear that You Me At Six are very appreciative of the love and support they receive from their army of dedicated Scottish fans, as shown by the number of times Josh thanked the crowd and also the fact he proclaimed that as usual, Glasgow had been the best show of the whole tour. Josh also shared that his late Grandad was from Kinross and that he only wished he could see him now, living his dreams in front of thousands. He went on to take a moment and give a bit of a speech around a few contentious subjects such as Donald Trump’s presidency, the judgement of people purely based on their faith or who they fall in love with, and the media’s attempts to warp our thinking around these subjects. The speech was met with rapturous applause, and the song choice which followed was perfectly apt – “Take On The World”.
With a three-song encore and a tease of a 10th anniversary Take Off Your Colours tour for 2018, the band exit the stage to head-splitting cheers, whistles and claps, leaving the sweaty crowd still buzzing, still smiling, and still crying out the anthemic “Here we, here we…” chant, even after the lights go up.
Photos by Lara Fullerton Photography