It’s the last day of the tour and there’s a buzz throughout the crowd that slowly builds as people file into the relatively small venue. People of all age groups are here; from thirteen to thirty reflecting both the diversity of Funeral For A Friend’s genre-spanning career, and the sheer diversity of the line-up itself. Metal with a “lighter side”, I Divide take the stage first to a slightly thinned out crowd. Despite this they give a sterling performance, displaying powerful vocals, melodic instrumentals, an energetic on-stage presence and ultimately, they bring fun to the show. They interact with the crowd, humbly thanking them for making them who they are today and actively encouraging everybody to get involved, with one guitarist storming round the room and playing, making people dance and raising smiles all round.
Pop punk band Major League’s sunny style directly contrasts with I Divide, and emotions run high as they mark the last night of their first ever UK tour, showing themselves out in fantastic style. They showcase what is making them increasingly popular in the pop-punk scene, from older hits like Head Up Kid to newer and more polished material like Walk Away. They win over a crowd who they assume “don’t even know who the fuck they are”, and end on a climactic high with Final Thoughts from debut album Hard Feelings, fighting back the awe of a room full of people dancing along.
In contrast, final support band Such Gold display a visceral sort of anger that would not be out of place on a hardcore record. Mixed with up-best and positive lyrics, it works surprisingly well. Fighting through “head, ears and nose colds”, much like Major League they show why pop punk is battling its way back into popularity as they run through latest album Misadventures, along with various EPs to demonstrate the diversity of what they can write. Whilst joking around and interacting with the crowd, they take time to connect on an emotional level from their song’s meanings, to who they want to reach out to. Pop punk isn’t just songs about your exes, friends and high school, Such Gold show its about so much more.
Despite technical hitches leading to drum solos and dancing, Funeral For A Friend confirm their reputation as one of the best live bands around with a heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping, ear-splitting set that could get any skeptic of their new material racing round the circle pit like nobody’s business. FFAF have always caused a bit of controversy over the diversity of their albums, though they display a range of styles through the best of their career, from Juneau to The Distance and History to Alvarez, all met with a flailing, yelling and bone-crushing crowd united in their admiration of the band. The set ends in a moving rendition of Snapcase’s Energy Dome with a stage invasion from the other bands on this eclectic tour. This small act demonstrates the sheer inspiration that FFAF cause, all the bands on the tour cite that they listened to the band growing up, and now they are on tour with them and they are simply in awe. They inspire passion, fun, and a family atmosphere that makes all these people seem like one big unit, and shows the love that goes behind each and every one of their shows.