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Escape The Fate - Manchester Club Academy 28.01.2016

What is officially a first for me, tonights show opens with a didgeridoo...

Yes, you read that correctly. New Zeland rockers Like A Storm have certainly decided to do things differently and rather impressivly it actually works. Who would of thought metal and old school wind instruments would meld so well. Having never heard of these guys before they've certainly grabbed my attention. Continuing to hold it is the trick and hold it they do. They're self named style of DidgeridooMetal/Voodo Metal sounding fresh, with lead singer Chris's vocals feeling raw and emotive. They play to a fair sized crowd, though I feel they are far more deserving of a larger audience. I suppose it's the reality of being the show opener, but I've always mantained if you've purchased a ticket for the night why not enjoy all thats on show. Not that the smaller crowd effects their momentum as they blast through a very strong half hour set. Even taking time to bring back the didgeridoo. Overall it's impossible to fault Like A Storm. Their catchy hooks and enthusium make for an entertaning set.

Next up is New Years Day. A band that has featured on just about every major 'who to watch in 2016' list you can think of. Which is even more interesting when I discover they've been a band for over 10 years. Their lack of progression noteably put down to their record label collapsing and numerous line up changes. Only now have they really begun to make their mark.

So having never heard their music before, I aimed to be opened minded whilst decieding if they deserve their place on the lists.

It doesn't really take long for me to whole heartedly agree. New Years Day are impressive to say the least. With them being a female fronted metal band and sporting gothic attire, it is far to easy to throw in your Amy Lee and Evanescence comparisons based upon appearance alone. But Ash Costello and the rest of the band have a lot more substance to them than that. They actually fall more comfortably into the Pop Punk genre. They are a tight, energetic and entertaining band with a great sound and a fantastic focus and they play pop punk tunes with passion. Their guitar work is exemplary and the rhythm section drives their songs along at a breathtaking pace. Their set felt to be over all to quickly. I hope to catch them again in the future.

Fearless Vampire Killers take to the stage next to many a cheer. Their faithfull fans now confidently occuppying the barrier. It doesn't take long for them to break into song. Never skipping a beat they sing in unison with co-songers Kier and Lawrence. The energy of the band never lets up as they immerse their audience into the world they've created via their songs. The conceptual theme of their songs amaze whilst never aiming to exclude newcomers who are not aware of the content. A strong unit, FVK never let up. Seemingly always on the road this band can only grow.

Finally we have Escape The Fate. A band with a very complicated history. With an ever fluctulating line up that I don't believe will ever truly be set in stone.

And the infamous jailing of its founding singer Ronnie Radke which lead to his dismisal from the band and subsequently to numerous back and forths between ETF and his new band Falling In Reverse. They certaintly are an entertaining band on paper. But I've always wondered how well they'd translate in a live setting and if they were merely style and story over substance.

Tonight I am pleased to say they deliver. Sporting a sizable catalouge of songs ETF relentlessy take on Manchester Academy for an energetic and fan favourite set with songs new and old. Lead singer Craig Mabbitt has very much made this band his own and his presence commands your attention. I am transfixed with him and the band as a whole. I am glad I finally got to see them live. As somewhat of a loyalist to the bands earlier days with Ronnie, I leave believing that the path the band ended up on was the right one.

Inspite of adversity ETF find themselves standing strong and taking on the UK for another tour with numerous sold out shows.


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