Fightstar - Manchester Academy 3 - 28.5.08

Tonight’s London based openers, We Are The Ocean, hit the stage to a roar of applause. Their Alexisonfire style blend of hard and soft vocal melodies intertwined with energy driven guitar sounds prove popular with a large number of the young crowd present tonight. It is rare to find an audience so energetic for an opening act and from the numerous large circle pits that take place it is clear that We Are The Ocean’s popularity is only going to grow in the forthcoming months. We Are The Ocean’s energetic and tight set certainly shows that the band are easily capable of headlining a venue of this size on their own steam.

Next up are Brigade, who are no stranger to support slots with Fightstar, as their lead singer happens to be the older brother of Fightstar’s Charlie Simpson. This aside, they are certainly in no need of handouts, their sound is more polished and well structured than openers We Are The Ocean, having just released their second album “Come The Morning We Fight” before the openers have even released their first album. Unfortunately though Brigade lack the energy of openers WATO and the atmosphere that WATO created has quickly diminished.

The energy quickly returns to the room however as Fightstar take to the stage. Opening with Palanhuiks laughter it quickly becomes apparent that the constant hard work that Fightstar have put in is beginning to pay off. It wasn't long since heckles of busted chants were thrown Charlie Simpson’s way but today the only words coming from the crowd are the lines to every single song Fightstar play. Tearing through a fast paced set of tracks both old and new including ‘We Apologise For Nothing’, ‘Waste A Moment’ and the latest single ‘I Am The Message’ both the band and devoted fan base cease to tire. The vocal harmonies return to form tonight after the previous absence of guitarist Alex Westaways’ vocal talent due to throat infection on their previous tour, the catchy melodies and hooks never fail to keep people singing along and the impressive consistency of the band shows they are quickly becoming one of the most impressive live acts around. It is when Charlie Simpson puts down his guitar that the band seem at their most comfortable, playing the heavier songs from the latest album 'one day son, this will all be yours' the band come to life. Finishing the night off with the Deftones-esque 'Deathcar' with its epic sing along chorus and terrifying but excellent screaming sections the crowd go wild and so too do the band. Could this be a display of where Fightstar are heading in the future? If so it is somewhere that’s sure to keep Fightstar an important part of the UK’s rock scene.

Words: Ed Lewis
Photos: Mark Forrer

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