LIVE REVIEW: TONIGHT ALIVE @ O2 ACADEMY BRISTOL

9 stars

Today in Bristol, it was like Tonight Alive brought the beautiful weather with them from Australia. This was clearly a sign for how good the show was going to be. The O2 Academy was set to host Tonight Alive, Our Last Night and Milk Teeth. 

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Photo Credit: Jodie-Leigh Dennis Photography

Hitting the stage in an awkwardly silent manner were the semi-local Milk Teeth. The crowd were already not looking keen to get involved in this set.

The band have just released their debut album ‘Vile Child’, so they kick off their set with the smasher, ‘Brain Food’. However this fails to get the crowd moving with them like they would like, but that doesn’t stop them from having a good time.

Unfortunately, further into the set they got, the more boring it became. The laid back and chilled vibes of ‘Kabuki’ leading into ‘Swear Jar’, just wasn’t the right choice for the room of people. However singer Becky Blomfield opened the former with a heartfelt speech about things always get better, even if it seems impossible.

Closing the set with ‘Vitamins’ seemed like it couldn’t come soon enough for some people. This really was not the right crowd for the grunge quartet. (6/10)

Our last night
Photo Credit: Jodie Leigh Dennis Photography

After a swift change over, and the odd placement of an incense stick on a bass amp (which looked ridiculously dangers as there was a towel placed directly below it. Does no one care about health and safety?), Our Last Night graced the stage, kicking off with ‘Prisoners’. Almost immediately, the crowd began singing along with Trevor and Matt Wentworth; this was a band people were actually here to see.

My eyes were drawn straight away to the most casual Bassist I have ever seen in a band. This was until he came out with the sickest bass moves. I am totally okay with that.

Unfortunately for the entire set, the guitars were basically none existent in the mix.

By the third song in, the band decided to take us back to their EP ‘Oak Island’ and play ‘Same Old War’. Yet again the crowd went off, singing the words loudly back to them. However during one of the new songs ‘White Tiger’, vocalist Trevor looked highly uncomfortable behind an acoustic guitar that had no real need to even be played. (7/10)

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Photo Credit: Jodie-Leigh Dennis Photography

After a painfully long change over, Tonight Alive burst on looking giddy as fuck with the opener, ‘To Be Free’. Unfortunately the levels of the guitars were still dreadful, so it was mostly a drum and bass show.

The onstage chemistry between the members of the band was something amazing to see, and just shows how much fun a band should have whilst playing music in front of a loving crowd. Straight after the band kicked into the second song, ‘The Fire’ causing the crowd to go nuts and sing along.

After a heckle from the crowd asking for the heavier songs, Jenna McDougall replied with ‘Give us a couple of songs to warm up and then you can get your pit going’, before kicking into ‘Hell and Back’, clearly not put off by anything. Later in the set, the band paid homage to their earlier release ‘What Are You So Scared Of?’ and played a song very close to them, ‘Amelia’.

The only downside to this performance (and this is at a push to find something) was the static manner of the drummer. He wasn’t looking comfortable playing anything all night. Shame that.

This band really cares about its fan base. It was a couple’s anniversary, so they dedicated acoustic versions of ‘Safe And Sound’ and ‘The Other Side’ to them in a very intimate, and sat down play through.

They quickly changed this around by shouting ‘I need a mosh pit’ and playing ‘The Edge’.

They finished the set with a cover of Ronan Keating going into new song ‘Drive’. For an encore they came back out to play ‘How Does It Feel’ and ‘Lonely Girl’. Finishing the night by getting the crowd to stick their middle fingers up as the song came to a close. (9/10)

Review by Mike Hayden (@mikeofmck)

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