Alexis' shine, as always.
Alexisonfire have always been one of those bands (like Biffy Clyro) that have had a dedicated fan base, but over the years, haven't been given the critical praise they deserved. They often seem to get written off as "that screamy band that sounds like all the others apart from the really good singer". So tonight it's really good to see them getting the attention they've so long deserved.
The electric atmosphere in the venue comes not only from the audience, but also from the fact that the band are enjoying themselves so much on stage, and it's not surprising that they're so happy; a couple of years ago they were playing to half this amount of people in venues half this size, so playing to this sold out Cardiff Uni crowd must make them feel like they're on the road to getting where they want to be.
Vocalists George, Dallas and Wade really know how to play the crowd: claiming that tonight's audience is so great that they've killed off any competition so far on the tour, and saying how much they love playing in Cardiff really gets the fans eating out of the palm of their hands. Whatever the reality, it's a joyous, high energy performance from a band that are on top form. George especially seems at times to be almost over excited; urging the audience to join in with little vocal skits and clapping, and tearing off his t-shirt after a couple of songs and running about the stage like a man possessed.
The Alexis' set tonight is a mixed bag of songs from all three albums; favourites like '44.Caliber Love Letter' from "Alexisonfire" get a massive reaction as does 'Accidents' from "Watch Out", but really tonight is all about the new album "Crisis" and the bulk of what seems like an incredibly short set comes from this. Although the set seems too short it is perfectly formed: as always, they are technically near perfect, pulling off the tricky guitar parts with ease. Dallas voice soars above it all, the counterpoint to George's scream and Wade's low drawl, and their trademark sing along sections sound as good as ever, when they're not being drowned out by the crowd's combined voices.
This gig really shows why they're so popular; they don't just play the songs well, they perform them. It seems like the enjoyment is mutual: the on stage banter between the three vocalists is endearing and funny and George's interaction with the audience makes everyone there feel like they are part of something special.