Live Review: Tokio Hotel – Islington Assembly Hall – 6th March

tokio-hotel

For the first time in 5 years Tokio Hotel took to the stage in London, with a career spanning over 10 years their show at Islington Assembly Halls is the smallest of their current tour, the ‘feel it all’ tour, but it was hard to realise with the electric atmosphere in the room.

The show began with a spectacular projected lights show followed by Bill Kaulits (lead singer) gracing the stage in a flamboyant gold cape and matching crown, claiming the stage as his own.

From start to finish the show show was packed with energy and enthusiasm from both the band and the fans, who could not have been more excited to be there, many having travelled from the likes of France and the bands home country of Germany.

Throughout Bill changed his outfit a variety of times, from gold plated trousers to flamboyant white shirt with flared sleeves and everything in between. Giving chances for his bandmates, Tom Kaulitz (Bills twin), Bass, and Georg Listing, Drums, to show off their own musical talents as the battled it out in a drum solo.

VIP fans joined the band on the small stage for Kings of Suburbia, which added to the energy that was already creating an incredible atmostphere within the room.

The band slowed things down allowing enthusiastic crowd to catch their breath, with an acoustic rendition of Rescue Me, which was very well received by the crowd who sang every word back, which were followed by Invaded and Run Run Run. Things slowly picked up again for the remainder or the set.

Heart Get No Sleep saw Bill fire a CO2 gun above the crowd, making it snow, before heading back to his mic to finish the show.

The set came to a close with the German hit Durch Den Monsun and Great Day,

It may have been a while since they last graced a UK stage but they certainly staked their place as one of, if not the, best live German band around.

SETLIST

We Found Us

Girl Got a Gun

Darkside of the Sun

Covered in Gold

Feel It All

Louder Than Love

Never Let You Down

Noise

Kings of Suburbia (with fans on stage)

Invaded

Run, Run, Run

Rescue Me

Automatic

Screamin’

Stormy Weather

Masquerade

The Heart Get No Sleep

Encore:

Love Who Loves You Back

Durch den Monsun

Great Day

Written By: Samantha Stott

Festival News: Reading and Leeds 2015 Line-Up

With two of the 2015 Reading and Leeds line up already being announced, Metallica and Mumford and Sons, the final headline act has been the announcement everyone has been waiting for.

That wait is finally over. Today it was announced that The Libertines would be the final headliner for the events, which take place from August 28 to 30 across the two sites.

Also announced today are All Time Low, Royal Blood, Panic! At The Disco, The Maccabees, Bring Me The Horizon, Limp Bizkit, New Found Glory, Frnkiero Andthe Cellabration, The Wombats, Marmozets, Pierce The Veil, Frank Turner and many, many more. The full list can be found below.

rl_2015line-upfebruaryWritten By: Samantha Stott

Live Review: All Time Low & You Me At Six – Motorpoint, Cardiff – 9th February 2014

YMA6-ATL

After touring the USA together last year, You Me At Six and All Time Low decided to tour the UK with a double headline tour – a decision that has seen sold out arenas across the country. including London’s O2.

All Time Low - Cardiff - 9 Feb 15-31

All Time Low

All Time Low were the first of the two bands to hit the stage – and this they did this in their own inimitable highly charged and energetic style. They played a host of their hugely popular songs including Weightless and Lost In Stereo and Stella.

The crowd, as well as being treated to the usual party antics of the boys, including the ritual collecting of ’gifted’ underwear to decorate the mic stands with, were treated to the live debut of Something’s Gotta Give, led by Jack Bakarat.

Alex Gaskarth treated the audience to a solo performance  of Therapy with the audience all holding up mobile phones to light the arena. and the request for fans to join the lads on stage was met with great enthusiasm for a lively performance of Time Bomb.

The hi-octane performance from this ever popular and fun loving US band culminated with Alex and Jack jumping into the crowd and whilst managing to survive the clamouring fans they finished the show with Dear Maria, Count Me In


Setlist

1 A Love Like War

2 Lost in Stereo

3 Heroes

4 Stella

5 Damned If I Do Ya (Damned If I Don’t)

6 Forget About It

7 The Irony of Choking on a Lifesaver

8 Weightless

9 Therapy

10  Somewhere in Neverland

11  Backseat Serenade

12  Time-Bomb

13  Something’s Gotta Give
(live Debut)

14  The Reckless and the Brave

15  Dear Maria, Count Me In

You Me At Six

You Me At Six - Cardiff - 9 Feb 15-24

You Me At Six, lead by a hobbling singer Josh Franchesci who was suffering from a broken ankle, opened their set with their 2014 hit Room To Breathe from the album Cavalier Youth.

The ubiquitous rendition of Loverboy was met with great enthusiasm  with the whole auditorium singing along, shortly followed by Underdog – undoubtedly one of their most popular songs.

This set the scene for an incredible evening and crowd continued to display their word perfect vocal support during Reckless – a fantastic performance that lifted the roof, swiftly followed by Crash.

You Me At Six were on top form throughout and the ever popular Bite Your Tongue kept the fans on their feet – Josh Franceschi singing with a confidence and authority rarely before seen.

The musical talents of the whole band were incredible and together with the superb vocals added up to a fantastic night’s entertainment – the ardent fans could not have asked for more!

Setlist

1 Room to Breathe

2 Stay With Me

3 Loverboy

4 Contagious Chemistry

5 The Consequence

6 No One Does It Better

7 Underdog

8 Carpe Diem

9 The Dilemma

10 Reckless

11 Crash

12 Fireworks

13 Forgive and Forget

Encore:

14 Bite My Tongue

15 Fresh Start Fever

16 Lived a Lie

Written By: Lindsy Stott

Photography By: Samantha Stott

Album Review: Imagine Dragons – Smoke + Mirrors

ArticleSharedImage-45224Release date: February 17, 2015

Smoke and Mirrors is the highly anticipated second studio album by American rock band Imagine Dragons. This album, supposedly written by Dan Reynolds in hotel rooms on his band’s recent world tour has been self-produced by the band’s members together with the imaginative production of British producer Alex da Kid, (aka Alexander Grant), which helps to deliver the songs with their own identity. The deluxe version of the album includes 5 additional tracks and the super deluxe contains an additional 8.

After years of playing in half empty gambling clubs in Las Vegas and small backrooms across the UK, Imagine Dragons (“Imagine Dragons” is really a pseudonym, an anagram of their “real” name, known only to the band) found themselves facing a sold out world tour.  Following the surprise popularity of their single ‘Radioactive’ which turned out to be the biggest rock hit of the year Dan Reynolds, lead singer stated ”Everything went crazy.”

The group, whose songs vary from driving power pop to singalong melodies, anthem crowd pleasers to retro synthetic renditions frequently sound like a mixture of Mumford & Sons, The Killers, Arcade Fire, Maroon Five and Coldplay – a synthesis of loved commercial influences -  yet still retain a uniqueness that is instantly recognisable; this winning combination continues with this new release.

This album clearly succeeds in combining the frantic energy of life on the road to deliver an intense rawness in the band’s music. They have focused on using formulated beats to create instinctive rhythmic rock music but with a twist. This formula does however err on the side of caution that occasionally leaves a blandness and assurance that their music could not possibly offend.

I Bet My Life is the lead single from this new album Smoke + Mirrors, a triumphant song with a folky vibe and sing a long chorus that reinforces their alternative formula and, like Radioactive is likely to be heard on radio stations for many months to come.

Shots released in the wake of I Bet My Life combines electro synth and soulful yet sinister guitar rifts that have a definite air of U2, resulting in a sing-a-long that would be loved on the Glastonbury Main Stage.

The next release, Gold with it’s styled shouts and gasps to provide a background beat, features distinctive Arcade Fire harmonies set against a tribal chanting background.

This heavily produced rebellious slow number succeeds in showcasing Reynolds’ impressive vocal range and provides another guaranteed hit due to the huge hip-hop inspired chorus.

Smoke + Mirrors hints at subversive elements – introducing an element of Nine Inch Nails inspired melodies and incorporating a variety instruments and melodies from around the world but  hidden within the same trusted pop structures Imagine Dragons have previously relied on.

This said, I’m So Sorry fails to deliver, resulting in a cheesy rock song with elements that would not be out of place on a Bad Company album that is definitely not worthy of this album.

The title track Smoke + Mirrors has gentle clear vocals and is a gentle swaying track with rolling waves interspersed with ‘muse-like’ guitar rifts and a bursting chorus.

Dan Reynolds sings with the kind of fervour and his performance throughout is commendable, his alternating high-and-low vocals offering a dynamic that is clearly highlighted on tracks such as Trouble – a bright, fast paced and catchy Mumford & Son’s inspired track.

Unfortunately Polaroid, with it’s definite Coldplay influence just does not seem to get going and is disappointingly flat.

Friction with Indian influences lends us a reedy staccato yet strong vocal delivery interspersed with softer melodic breaks that makes for a fresh and catchy track.

It Comes Back To You is an easy listening, simple, melodic track, repetitive but unoffensive and one that suits Reynold’s voice surprisingly well.

Dream sees a change from electro synth vibes to that of piano, clear vocals and a strong bass drum beat throughout. The depth of this track stretches Reynold’s voice perfectly which successfully portrays angst and more feeling akin to Chris Martin and definitely shows the best of Imagine Dragons.

Trouble is bright, fast paced and catchy Mumford rendition, followed by the calypso vibes set against an ethereal backing track in Summer

Hopeless Opus is forgettable, with weak harmonies yet the following track The Fall successfully changes tempo with steel drums, strong rhythms and successful tempo changes – another Imagine Dragons classic interpretation!

Thief is fast paced and upbeat and will be a festival favourite as will Warriors which features bucket loads  of strong catchy anthemic vocals delivered with power and confidence

Release stands out for being refreshingly different to all other tracks, with a simpler, purer purer set against a solo guitar.

Smoke + Mirrors seems to find the Las Vegas band firmly in the middle of the road, covering a variety of genres, not sure which direction they really want to head in so playing safe and covering all bases.

A press release states that a deluxe edition of Imagine Dragons’ new album will be released exclusively through Target (in the USA). Included will be four bonus tracks. For the band’s more hardcore fans, an “Art Box deluxe” version, will contain lithograph prints designed by artist Tim Cantor for every song on the album and an oversized album booklet in a collectible box.

This album will undoubtedly top the charts for many weeks and tracks will be heard throughout the Summer. Whether all 18 tracks should have been released as one album is debatable but fans will certainly be getting their monies worth. The variety of material will be sure to appeal to a wide fan base and will ensure that Imagine Dragons are not pigeonholed into one genre.

Imagine Dragons certainly lead the ‘alternative’ music scene and this album should secure their continued rise to worldwide success.

Written by: Lindsy Stott

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