New Found Glory
As you get off the Underground at Brixton tube, excitement and anticipation linger in the air from the swarms of kids hanging outside the academy for the past three hours. Ironically, and trust me this is by no means a regular occurrence at a Hayley Williams and co gig- the t-shirts of those queueing, show a variation as opposed to a blinding array of Paramore attire. New Found Glory are also in town perhaps?
The night kicks off with what could easily be referred to as nicety prior to their performance. Paramore’s guitar techs band “Conditions” are the first of the fab four- warming up the stage for those to follow and getting the few in the warmth bouncing about. They actually do really well considering they played to little, most of whom were Paramore die hards who had been waiting outside for hours to get to the front- where I will add they remained right through.
Next up came “Kids in glass houses”. The beauty of the Riot! Tour came through in this act alone. For once, a 3rd band that actually get to play to an audience- not that Kids in glass houses would struggle to grab a spectatorship on their tod. Opening with latest single “Easy Tiger” and finding plenty of time for other awesome tunes such as “Me me me”, the popular Welsh boys (not so popular after a gloat regarding the earlier rugby score I might add), pop rocked their way through their set. A little short lived would be my only criticism but the youngsters who played Reading and Leeds last year looked far short of wanting to leave the stage at such haste.
From here onwards, things were set to get serious. Leaving the crowd for a toilet or beverage break would have been school boy and as the audience swayed from side to side due to sheer population, it was clear that nobody intended on sitting back and admiring the acts to follow.
New Found Glory’s set failed to disappoint. Featuring new, old and covers, the boys showed they haven’t lost the taste of London and the crowd made it clear they appreciated the enthusiasm on stage undoubtedly expressing that Paramore weren’t the only attraction to the ‘dark’ side of London this evening. The highlight of the show had to be the fantastic cover of Bob Dylan’s “It ain’t me babe” which saw a surprise performance from scarf wearing Hayley Williams- her appearance appreciated by the sweaty crowd. Most of NFG’s tracks on the night were taken from new album “From the screen to your stereo part two” including covers of Iris (Goo Goo Dolls) and the new single Kiss Me.
It was a good performance but didn’t manage to blow me away. NFG’s stage set up was odd and saw the guitar tuner almost look like another member of the band; a rare and un-convincing attribute. He got a mention though which is always nice. The American punk pop band definitely pleased the crowd of followers but to those who probably didn’t know as much material and had attended for the younger generation of punk pop artists Paramore- NFG sold themselves as cover merchants with realistically only one memorable tune “My friends over you”.
And that set the stage for Paramore, who did in fact the opposite. Bringing out tune after tune taken from both “All we know is falling” and the new album “Riot!” Hayley Williams sung pitch perfect, wowing the crowd not only with her fanciable figure, but her wondrous charm. Josh on the other hand became the envious character on stage and as per usual played the guitar in a way that other men stood back and allowed him to have the girl. I could go on for hours describing how brilliant their show was, but I was there reviewing the band before and everybody else is already singing the adolescents praises. Covering Jimmy Eat World’s Sweetness and ending the encore with “Misery Business” were too very smart moves and sent the academy wild. NFG may have brought in a fair few, but the majority were there for Paramore.
Only two days into the show and everybody was on form- time will tell if age plays its part or the incredible experience of Californian punkstars New Found Glory will come out on top.