All Time Low, One Night In London!

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Grindstore rocked up at Wembley Arena last Friday night to an unbalanced ratio of females to males queuing up outside, which could only mean one thing – All Time Low were in town!

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The second we sat down, American pop-punkers Real Friends burst onto the stage as Wembley began to fill up. Lead singer Dan was clearly overwhelmed by the occasion as he thanked the growing crowd for turning up early to check them out, as well as his parents for travelling across the pond to witness one of their biggest gigs to date. Though we are Real Friends fans, the enormity of the occasion seemed to get the better of their sound set-up as Dan’s vocals travelled around the arena but the rest of the band’s sound seemed muffled and stuck at their end of the arena. Sound problems aside, Real Friends definitely won over the excitable crowd.

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Grindstore favourites Neck Deep hit the stage next! We met them in Norwich last April in a tiny venue, so to see them achieve this much success in under a year is truly phenomenal. What’s more impressive is their age, as lead singer Ben bounces onto the gigantic stage in front of an intimidatingly sized arena at just 20 years of age, you would think the occasion would get the better of him, but it was as if he was back on one of the tiny stages again. The welsh five-piece smashed through hits from last years ‘Wishful Thinking’ album, opening with ‘Losing Teeth’ and even brought back Laura Whiteside for singalong classic ‘A Part Of Me’, as Wembley was lit up by mobile phone torch light. Neck Deep gained thousands of new fans and after closing their set with ‘What Did You Expect?’ …it’s clear to see that this could truly be their stage to headline in the future.

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The screams were deafening and All Time Low were still nowhere to be seen. As the lights go out and a montage of various historic moments were played on the big screen, the screams reach an ear drum bursting high as Alex, Jack, Rian and Zack sprinted into position to kick off the sell-out show. Hitting the ground running with ‘A Love Like War’, they were joined by 12,000 voices singing along and the entire arena on its feet! (Besides the odd parent sat down on their Kindle of course!)

All Time Low’s sound and lights were fantastic, which added to how great they sounded. We have seen them perform in the past but they really stepped it up a level for this show, pushing themselves into an elite group who can say they sold out Wembley Arena – even with the antics of hyperactive Jack Barakat, swinging a bra around and inviting 12,000 fans back to his hotel room!

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Half way through the show, the lights went out for a while and out of nowhere, Alex appears under spotlight on a tiny stage in the middle of the arena. With a mic and guitar, he slowed the show down with a rendition of ‘Remembering Sunday’, for which he was accompanied by Cassadee Pope. Wembley was lit up once again by mobile phone torch light for one of the best moments of the night as the crowd helped him sing ‘Therapy’ before he was rushed back to the main stage to get the crowd bouncing again with new single ‘Kids In The Dark’.

Other surprises included a cameo appearance from the bands good friend Josh Franceschi of You Met At Six, who they had recently completed a co-headline tour with around UK Arenas. Then later in the night Alex invited lots of fans on stage to dance and singalong to ‘Time Bomb’, including a fan dressed as a Hot Dog and others who had travelled from Italy and Germany. Alex asked for the fans on stage to keep their phones in their pocket as living in the moment was far more memorable than any photo of it would be which went down well with the Wembley crowd.

The Baltimore boys wrapped up a successful sell out show with ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’ before departing. An incredible night for pop-punk and rock in general!

Papa Roach Review, Norwich!

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Papa Roach and friends rolled up in Norwich this past Sunday to kick off the Face Everything and Rise UK Tour in style! We were lucky enough to catch their set at Reading Festival last year, at which they put the rest of the line up to shame with their energy fuelled barrage of hits and constant jumping – Papa Roach still know how to deliver after all these years. Supporting the veteran American rockers were London based The One Hundred and Japanese metal band Coldrain.

The One Hundred were here to win over new fans as they embarked on their biggest support slot to date. They are on the line-up for Download this summer and just completed a successful set at the ever-growing Takedown Festival, so being associated with Papa Roach can only bring positives to this young London 4-piece. Playing tracks from recent E.P. Subculture, they definitely got the Sunday crowd bouncing. Lead singer Jacob Field effortlessly drifted between throat-shredding screams, straight into hip-hop infused verses, making him stand out from other vocalists in the genre. With the addition of heavy guitar riffs and some electronica in between, there’s no doubt this band are going places.

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Next it was time for some metalcore from the Far East as Japan’s Coldrain hit the stage! Huge riffs were thrown in right from the start as every member of the band continued to bang their heads throughout the set. With the recent release of 3rd album The Revelation, these guys are starting to get noticed and they definitely had some loyal fans in the audience. Masoto – like Jacob from The One Hundred, has a distinctive and unique voice. One minute he is shouting the house down in an Austin Carlile (Of Mice & Men) fashion and then suddenly he sings through the choruses in a pitch not too dissimilar to Vic Fuentes of Pierce The Veil. In most cases, bands will have a singer and a shouter, but it’s always impressive to see someone who can do both.

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After 22 years, Papa Roach have toured the globe and churned out 8 albums. Though we may not be as keen on the latest album F.E.A.R, partly because their previous 2012 release The Connection was just THAT good, the fans took to the new tracks as if they were the classics.

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One of the biggest reasons for Papa Roach’s success, in our opinion, is Jacoby Shaddix. A true Rock and Roll frontman – full of smiles and caring more about people having a good time over anything else, he constantly high fived anyone who stuck a hand out and was a huge hit with the crowd. Three songs in, he was crowd surfing and handed out tongue-in-cheek apologies for standing on everybody’s head. Later in the show, the frontman vanished but was still heard singing clearly over the speaker system. He’d ventured backstage and entered the rear crowd entrance where he surprised the Norwich fans by singing amongst them, before climbing on a railing near the back to perform.

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A highpoint for old school fans was the inclusion of album tracks from Infest as the crowd were treated to Thrown Away, followed by the stripped back ska track Tightrope – songs we thought we would never see live. Heading into the encore, the deafening sing-along of Last Resort was a highlight, as was …To Be Loved. They then wrapped up the set perfectly with emo classic Scars before disappearing after more high fives.

Papa Roach never disappoint live and if they were this good on night 1 of their UK tour, then you’re in for a treat if you’re seeing them over the next week, as it will only get bigger and better.