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It’s a cold, dark and wet Thursday evening but this hasn’t stopped eager fans from flocking to Nottingham’s Rock City to witness a very promising line up of live music. However, the presence of four support bands has meant doors open at the very early start time of 5.30pm, leaving openers The Bunny The Bear with a fairly small audience. Whilst they deliver a sound performance, there are just not enough people there to see their show.
Next on are The Amity Affliction who are fortunate enough to be playing to a slightly bigger crowd. The Aussies bring an interesting blend of post-hardcore mixed with synthesised effects and pounding double bass. But despite doing a good job in getting the audience warmed up, their set is generally received quite half-heartedly.
The last support band, and certainly the most famous, are American rockers Escape the Fate. Their crunching vocals, fiddly guitar solos and wild stage antics sit well with the fans, resulting in the first mosh pits of the night. Vocalist Craig Mabbitt wins the hearts of many by inviting his daughter onto the stage for her fifth birthday, prompting a unison performance of ‘Happy Birthday’.
But tonight is all about the headliners, Funeral for a Friend, on tour to promote their new EP ‘See You All In Hell’. The Welsh titans confidently fill the stage with their intense energy which is present all the way through their set. On more than one occasion this nearly results in head on collisions between all three guitarists, much to the amusement of the fans. Not even four songs in and Rock City has already seen a circle pit spanning almost the entire area of the venue floor, as well as wave after wave of pumping fists.
The first half of the set consists mainly of songs from the new EP which show a definitive move back to old school Funeral for a Friend; sounding very promising indeed. The second half is based around older hits such as ‘Streetcar’, ‘Into Oblivion’ and ‘History’, all of which are received with enthusiasm. Despite vocalist Matt Davies-Kreye making a stirring speech about the pains of losing loved ones to introduce ‘Roses for the Dead’, the band were able to maintain the impenetrable energy that has carried this gig so far. The night is ended with a rendition of ‘Escape Artists Never Die’, providing for an impressive amount of crowd surfing and leading to countless bodies flying over the security barrier. Funeral for a Friend ultimately proved they are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to live performances.
As a very successful gig comes to a close, there is an atmosphere of union amongst the fans as they exit the venue. Somehow the weather doesn’t seem so bad anymore!