Over the past nine years The Kerrang Tour has built a reputation for being one of the highlight’s of the gig calendar. It has been a launching pad for some of the biggest acts in rock today, with bands such as Biffy Clyro, Bullet for my Valentine, Bring Me The Horizon, and Black Veil Brides all using it as a launching pad to go on to bigger and better things.
The 2015 iteration of the tour seems to be following the same trend, and whilst its focusing heavily on emerging British talent with Don Broco, Bury Tomorrow and Young Guns leading the charge, they also managed to recruit two of the fastest rising bands in the states in the form of Beartooth and We are the in Crowd.
Beartooth draw the short straw and find themselves in the unenviable position of opening tonight’s proceedings. Much has been made of Beartooth over the last 12 months, especially after they visited these very shores last April to support Of Mice & Men, before going on to release their debut album “Disgusting”. I have to be honest and say that when I saw them support Of Mice and Men, I wasn’t particularly taken, they just didn’t really do anything for me. Tonight however with a shorter set time and an extra year of touring behind them, they really impress this evening. Caleb Shomo has a way to go as a front man and could do with finding a bit more of his own personality, but they do sound tight and vicious this evening, and they manage to set the bar for what’s to come, the final song of their set ‘Bodybag’ in particular leaves a lasting impression proving that Beartooth could in fact just be getting started.
Bury Tomorrow are tonight’s hometown kings and are greeted with a heroes welcome as they stride onstage, garnering the biggest crowd response of the evening. Its nice to see them getting this kind of reaction,as over time due to constant touring and a massive step up in their songwriting ability Bury Tomorrow have become one of the best and consistent bands in the scene today. Its clear that time on the road has helped most importantly in the live arena, as evident tonight, they play a focused set, that is pure unfiltered energy, there’s no reason why soon they won’t be headlining venues of this size themselves. Showcasing the kind of live show that they have always threatened us with from the very beginning, and showcasing the likes of ‘Man on Fire’, ‘Am Honourable Reign’ and ‘Lionheart’ they should not only maturity, but room to grow still, and right now they seem to be on an unstoppable path to the top.
Young Guns got added to the tour late in the game, and have both the easiest and hardest job of the night. Given only 15 minutes to play three songs, and still make some kind of impact. Luckily they don’t fuck about and use every last second of their stage time smashing through new single ‘Speaking in tongues’ as well as a mammoth sounding ‘Bones’ it seems every time Young Guns go away and come back they sound bigger and more confident than they did before. Based on even the tiniest bit of evidence from tonight they will be the next British band to conquer the world.
We are the In Crowd fare possibly the worst of all the bands on the bill tonight, and sadly it’s not their fault. Between a disinterested thinning crowd and sound problems plaguing their set, tonight they have an uphill battle ahead of them, but they forge on ahead regardless. They play with all the zest and enthusiasm you’d expect of them as they run through a set filled with pop punk perfection, its just a shame that its largely met with apathy from a lethargic crowd who has piqued early this evening. Still you have to give We are the in Crowd crediting for not relenting and soldiering on through, sound problems and all, sadly this wasn’t to be their night, which is a shame as they played a blinder in spite of everything.
Tonight’s headliners are the purveyors of handsome man rock themselves Don Broco, a band that you are just as likely to hear in Liquid or Oceana as you are coming from your local rock club, they are one of the fastest rising bands in rock today and they are set to drop album number 2 later this year, with this their biggest headlining shows to date they out to prove a point.
Luckily for the Broco boys they have more jams than a Robinsons factory in their repertoire, as well as having the ability and energy to play as if they are being chased by fire at all times. They give us a taste of some new material with singles ‘Money. Power. Fame’ and ‘Fire’ both of which go down a treat, its a tantalizing tease of what’s to come on album number. The older material from ‘Priorities’ also sounds huge tonight, and like its been injected with extra swagger. The highlight of the set has to be an airing of old school classic ‘Thug Workout’ complete with circle pit and people doing push ups in the crowd.
Much has been made over Don Broco, and many people seem to be split down the middle on them, tonight has gone a long way towards solidifying what they are all about,and given that they are possibly the lightest or at least one of the lightest bands on the bill they have put in one hell of a performance that proves that can carry themselves in front of any crowd and on any bill
I think Don Broco have every right to be confident right now, with massive sounding new material on the horizon and proof that they can headline venues of this size with ease, they are only going to continue to rise and get bigger and better, I anticipate this will be the smallest show you see from them in a while.
Kerrang doesn’t often get things right, but as tonight has once again proven they know how to pick a tour bill. Another year over and another successful year for the kerrang tour, one where I would expect every band on this bill to now go onto much much bigger things.