The Blackout - Manchester Academy 2 - 20.5.09
Support: The Urgency/ Hollywood Undead / Silverstein

The Manchester Academy 2 is the perfect venue for the Blackout, the acoustics compliment the huge sound they produce and the size of the room is just small enough to make it feel full to the brim with fans.

The main support for the night was ‘Silverstein’ and the band seemed to attract their own audience. Playing a set of both old and new songs, they pleased both old and new fans. Although the older ‘Silverstein’ tracks display a heavier sound, the new songs have a much lighter feel and stray towards that of pop-rock music. Bouncy guitar riffs and ‘Taking Back Sunday’ esque vocals combine neatly to produce a tightly performed and satisfyingly catchy live performance.

As the show was an early start with four bands performing tonight by the time ‘the Blackout’ took to the stage the crowd were already fatigued. However, this didn’t stop ‘The Blackout’ recharging the excitement in the room. Led by Sean Smith and Gavin Butler, the welsh rockers showed off their usual charm and finesse. The typical ‘Blackout’ energy was on show tonight, throwing themselves, their instruments and their microphones around the stage.

The last time I saw ‘The Blackout’ it was at a larger venue and a larger capacity crowd, this may be the reason I feel ‘The Blackout’ were not as excited to play at the smaller venue this evening. For those that do not know ‘the Blackout’, the formula is very simple yet very effective, the welsh six piece rockers keep it up-beat, fast tempo and fiercely energetic. The two frontmen (as discussed earlier), Sean Smith and Gavin Butler, bounce vocals off one another, sharing melodic and screaming moments. Tonight, their brand of ‘bordering on metal-pop-rock’ was performed as tightly as ever, however, the usual bursting-at-the-seams level of excitement seemed to be absent. Despite this, ‘The Blackout’ still proved they are probably the best band of their genre around. Songs from the first EP ‘The Blackout, The Blackout, The Blackout’ still proved to be hugely popular with die-hard fans, ‘We are The Dynamite’ material seems to be ever improving in front of a live audience, and the new tracks ‘the Blackout’ played tonight displayed a less heavier string to their bow, (or should I say guitars.) All the new material went down extremely well with the crowd, even to the point that new single, ‘Children Of the Night’ received the biggest sing-a-long of the show. The highlight of the evening for me came in the form of the largest circle pit I had ever seen in Manchester Academy 2. I’m not exactly sure the security were having as much fun as me, watching the 2,000 excited teenagers throw themselves at each other, but I’m one hundred percent sure the protagonists themselves were.

Photos: Mark Forrer

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