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The Amity Affliction - Manchester Academy 07.10.2018

Tonight is my first show in over three months, so it goes without saying I am just a little bit excited to be back and with a four band bill no less.

The night starts with openers Endless Heights. Hailing from Australia the band are a tight group, who offer up heartfelt lyrics and some great melodies. Lead singer Matt Jones not only has a great voice but uses it to command his audience. The task of opening up any show has to be a daunting one, but they take it in their stride and make a great first impression.

Next up is DREAM STATE, a band who's reputation proceeds them, they've been on my radar now for the better part of the year so as always in situations like this, I want to see if they live up to the hype.

They do.

And then some, fronted by CJ, they are holding the torch for female fronted Rock. And while yes I have read the argument that singling out the fact that a band falls into the category of Female Fronted, only adds to the stigma surrounding girls in Rock bands and that I should instead just label them as a Rock band. Bit I disagree, there is a surge of incredible Rock bands hitting the scene that are indeed fronted by females and it is amazing to see. They're strong, empowered and are casting shadows on the more sexiest points of view within the scene. DREAM STATE are leading the charge and CJ is having her battle cry heard. Her energy is infectious as she bounces around the stage showcasing her harsh and clean vocals to a crowd who laps it up. Occasionally I will come across a band, relativity new to the game and know that their journey is only just beginning. DREAM STATE will be headlining Academies in the next couple of years and it will only be up from there.

Then we have THE PLOT IN YOU, another band that have long been known to me but one I have never had the pleasure of seeing. The vocals are on point and the melodies flow but after the energy that DREAM STATE have just given, the bands set falls a little flat. Don't get me wrong, the band have got the songs and their new album 'Dispose' was on download as I was waling back to my car. But the overall set felt somewhat sombre and didn't quite bring the energy I was hoping for.

Finally the reason we're all here. To enter the beautiful yet often sorrowful world of The Amity Affliction.

I have long been a fan of these guys and have had their new album 'Misery' on constant rotation in my 'Man Cave' as I edit and write away. I had high hopes for the evening and they made sure as hell not to let me down. Lead singer Joel Birch has always left me captivated with his live performances, he lets the music take hold, he acts like a man possessed as tonight is no different as his album perfect vocals echo around Academy 2. The audience despite not quite being at capacity sing back every word. I often see the atmosphere at shows described as electric and rarely do I find myself feeling that vibe. But tonight the room ignites with an energy so pure. An energy that I believe that only a band like TAA can produce. Much like the other bands on tonights bill, it is all about the lyrics. Depression, heart ache, generally not being ok play a central theme in the world of Amity. But so does hope, acceptance and finding the way forward and I think that's why the crowd respond as they do.

Like many bands these days, fans are less fans but more family. Tonight the Amity family gave it their all and the band gave it back ten fold.

After a three month break, I'm back and fuck me what a way to get back into it.

Photo & Review - Friswell Photography

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