Download-goers are in for a treat – I promise you that for free. This tour is absolute genius, the ego-filled hardcore bands work together to turn each and every member of the crowd into a complete sweaty mess. The night had every intention of kicking off, being a complete sell-out, and anyone who missed out should be kicking themselves…HARD.
ALESANA proved to be the best choice to start the night, allowing the crowd to warm up for the madness ahead. Each of their tracks evoked different responses. There is no doubt though that these lads from Raleigh in the States are a good band, it’s just that the incredible bands following after them happened to be better and managed to completely blow them out of the water. Best song “This Conversation Is Over” managed to convey the true potential of the band. If ALESANA were headlining their own tour, then Stoke would have given them a night they would have seriously remembered.
Next up was THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, during their set it appeared that most of the crowd had come to see this Christian metal band. Coming onto the stage with true style, dramatic music accompanied the darkness, then as the band stepped on stage to a chorus of whistles and cheers, their opening note acted as the spark to ignite the potential madness that lay ahead.
The early appearance of “Texas Is South” proved to be one of the highlights of the entire night, as the opening lyrics were screamed back at the band “Good Evening, Good Evening. Good Evening, MISS!”, this was the one song that everyone had come to hear, by the end hearts were pounding, sweat was dripping from each and every hair, to sum the performance up in a word would be: epic. Other huge appearances in the set include “this song is called” and “HTML rulez d00d” however both were blown away by the finale, “Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over” which in my eyes was the pick of the night out of all the bands.
People complain that with bands like TDWP you can’t understand what the hell they’re saying or that everything sounds exactly the same, well with a strong middle finger towards these stains on society, everyone managed to know the words and were scrambling to the front to get a hold of the microphone and screech them out. THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA played to perfection with immense beatdowns and huge crowd participation. Mike on vocals managed to be very polite and concluded each and every song with a kind “thank-you”, and to finish the night off gave an exclamation to our saviour, Jesus Christ, which just shows that these lads still know where the band’s roots are at.
“Pick up your feet!” a simple order given by A DAY TO REMEMBER in the opening track “Fast Forward To 2012” was quickly obeyed by everyone, this was showmanship at its best. My earlier assumption that it was a “Prada” crowd here tonight was wrong, very wrong.
Midway into the set there was a very surprising guest appearance by Kelly Clarkson, well that’s not entirely true, more a cover of her hugely popular track “Since U Been Gone” was fed to the audience and met with huge applause. However, who knows whether its ADTR’s version or Kelly Clarkson’s version that everyone knew the lyrics to. The band urged on crowd-surfing, circle-pits, head-banging, the whole lot and the result was a night that was unforgettable.
“Monument”, old favourite “You Should Have Killed Me When You Had The Chance” and “Show ‘Em The Ropes” made it seem that the crowd had been given the rage virus from “28 days later” as everything went up yet another gear. And then before you knew it the night was over, ADTR had left the stage and said their thanks for coming along and seeing them, but obviously this wasn’t the last of them. The fact that “The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle” was missing from the entire set meant only one thing and one thing only, an encore to beat all encores. The Florida lads came back out and played their hearts out. It was truly memorable. So now you’ll understand why I stand by my earlier vow that download-goers are to be in for one serious treat.
A DAY TO REMEMBER: 4.8/5.0
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA: 4.8/5.0
Review by Alex Duncalf
Photography by Alexander Shaw
A DAY TO REMEMBER
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
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