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  • Frank Turner (w/ Billy Bragg, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Beans On Toast)

    19 avr. 2012, 15h45m

  • Death Is Birth EP - Gallows

    5 déc. 2011, 12h22m

  • Here And Now - Nickelback

    19 nov. 2011, 3h41m

  • Bring Me The Horizon (w/ Parkway Drive, Architects, The Devil Wears Prada)

    1 mai 2011, 18h00m

    Thu 28 Apr – Bring Me The Horizon, The Devil Wears Prada, Parkway Drive, Architects

    Forget your Iron Maidens, Judas Priests and Black Sabbaths, this was a night about the future of heavy music. A combination of the synth-tinged metalcore of The Devil Wears Prada, the melodic hardcore with a mathcore edge from Architects, the punishing Australian hardcore of Parkway Drive and of course, the headliners that divide opinion like no other, Bring Me The Horizon, may not have been to everyone's taste, but for the sold out Academy crowd, it was an incredible bill.

    The Devil Wears Prada
    Having never listened to The Devil Wears Prada before the gig (with the exception of Danger: Wildman), I had no real excitement for them, and there was a nagging concern in my head that due to the prominence of autotune on their records, they would be a poor live band. I was fully converted by the end of their set though, as they barely let up from beginning to end, playing a great opening set to crowd appreciation that some headliners would envy. The breakdown in Escape still sticks in my head as sounding monstrous, and the clean singer had no autotune (from what I could tell) and still sounded good, which begs the question, why use it on your albums? Before the last song, the lead singer had a short speech about the band's Christian beliefs, which was met by strong boos from the Birmingham crowd, something I thought was in really bad taste, he wasn't trying to convert anyone, simply honouring his faith. A slightly sour end to an otherwise solid set. 7/10

    Setlist:
    Danger: Wildman
    Escape
    Hey John, What's Your Name Again?
    Dez Moines
    Anatomy
    Outnumbered
    Assistant to the Regional Manager

    Architects
    I first saw Architects last year with A Day To Remember and wasn't really a fan at the time (I never got into Hollow Crown), but I loved their latest album and was looking forward to hearing tracks from it live. I wasn't disappointed, as their short set was comprised entirely of songs from The Here And Now and Hollow Crown, which may have annoyed older fans who swear by the old material, but their set went down great from where I was standing. Opening with Day In Day Out, lead singer Sam Carter looked almost blown away by the volume of the crowd singing the first line back at him. The singalong of Follow The Water was every bit as loud and impressive as I expected, but including two ballads in their short set (Heartburn and Hollow Crown) wasn't a great idea in my opinion, one of them could have been swapped out for an older song from Ruin or Nightmares to appease the old school fans. Regardless, it was a great set from Sam and the rest of the Architects guys, would have been nice for slightly more, but with two more bands to come, it was understandable they didn't play for long. I also think Early Grave is a better set opener than closer, but that's just nitpicking. 7/10

    Setlist:
    Day In Day Out
    Delete, Rewind
    Follow The Water
    Heartburn
    Learn To Live
    Hollow Crown
    Early Grave

    Parkway Drive
    God damn. There was a lot of talk before the gig from disgruntled Parkway Drive fans who were unhappy they were only support whilst BMTH headlined, but if it were judged on performance, Parkway definitely would have been worthy headliners. Opening with the intro track from their latest album, the incredible Deep Blue, I couldn't believe how powerful Winston McCall's voice is live as he burst onto the stage with the ferocious call of RESISTANCE IS SUFFERING and didn't let up until the final strains of Carrion rang out across the Academy. With a setlist encompassing all three albums, anthems like Boneyards and Romance Is Dead slotted in perfectly alongside newer cuts such as Unrest and Sleepwalker. Whilst the breakdown of Boneyards (THERE'S BLOOD... IN THE WAAAAAATEEEEEEEERRRR) was an insane moment, the highlight of their set was definitely Idols And Anchors, and you could tell the band loved it as well; Winston had a huge grin across his face as the crowd chanted along to the main riff. A technically sound, crushing performance from Parkway and easily the best band of the night. 9/10

    Setlist (not quite sure about the order, I swear Karma was later in the set, but this was what setlist.fm had for me):
    Samsara
    Unrest
    Boneyards
    Sleepwalker
    Karma
    Idols and Anchors
    Romance Is Dead
    Dead Man's Chest
    Deliver Me
    Carrion

    Bring Me the Horizon
    I don't want to say Bring Me The Horizon were bad, because they weren't, not by any stretch of the imagination. They started brilliantly with It Never Ends and Fuck, with the clean vocals on the latter being handled fine by the crowd without any need for the talents of Josh Franchesci. This was one of my gripes with BMTH's set though: the amount of times Oli used the phrase 'now you sing it!'. I'm fine with letting the audience sing the occasional line or even chorus, but when you're handing the microphone over for half the freaking song, things get a little bit stupid. Bring Me were also hit with some pretty fierce technical difficulties from the looks of things, with the wait between songs sometimes reaching close to five minutes, killing any momentum they could build with the crowd. Although obviously, this wasn't the band's fault, it was slightly aggravating, especially considering there was around a half hour wait between them and Parkway. When they did play, they pulled it off well, and Sam Carter performing his vocal duties on The Sadness Will Never End was no surprise, but was a great thing to see live. Sam wasn't the only Architects member on stage though, as their drummer is pulling double duty for the remaining portion of the tour, after Bring Me's drummer broke his arm in an inter-band football match, which helped to explain the shorter setlist, and it was an impressive feat for him to learn the majority of the set and play with his own band earlier in the night, so my respect goes out to him. Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed with Bring Me's set choices either, a rare performance of Suicide Season may have been a surprise, but I'm not a fan of it on record, and felt like it dragged along a little live. The omission of anything from Count Your Blessings was glaring as well, especially with the crowd chanting for Pray For Plagues after every song. Still, I don't want to be too negative, as it was an enjoyable set, and Anthem and Blessed With A Curse built up to Chelsea Smile well, with the majority of the band taking to the balcony to finish in impressive style. Overall, a somewhat disappointing headline performance, but most of which was due to circumstances beyond the control. 6/10

    Setlist:
    It Never Ends
    Fuck
    The Comedown
    The Sadness Will Never End
    Diamonds Aren't Forever
    Football Season Is Over
    Alligator Blood
    Suicide Season
    Anthem
    Blessed With A Curse
    Chelsea Smile
  • Good Charlotte (w/ Four Year Strong, Framing Hanley, The Wonder Years)

    18 fév. 2011, 18h42m

    Thu 17 Feb – Kerrang! Relentless Energy Tour

    Pop-punk was the order of the day in Birmingham as 2011's Kerrang tour hit the Academy, bringing with it a great lineup encompassing a varying level of melody and heaviness, as well as placing the old guard against the future of the genre.

    The Wonder Years
    Being right at the front, I'm not quite sure how many people were around at 7 when The Wonder Years hit the stage, but judging from the size of the queue outside, they must have pulled a decent crowd. Their upbeat, melodic hardcore-esque sound draws obvious similarities with Four Year Strong, however the strength of their songs wasn't quite to the same standard. They made up for this with an energetic live performance though, bringing some much needed movement and energy to the crowd after the freezing cold weather outside, which is exactly what you want from an opening act. They were good fun and entertaining, and whilst they may be a band that aren't suited to the full Academy stage just yet, I wouldn't mind seeing them again headlining Academy 2 or 3. 7/10

    Setlist:
    Mike Kennedy is a Bad Friend
    Logan Circle
    Melrose Diner
    Keystone State Dude-Core
    You're not Salinger. Get over It.
    My Last Semester
    Washington Square Park
    All My Friends Are In Bar Bands

    Framing Hanley
    I was considering going to meet the lead singer of The Wonder Years at the merch stand, because I really wasn't interested in watching Framing Hanley, but figured I'd stick it out to keep my good spot for when Four Year Strong came on. The screams and voices of the female portion of the crowd were deafening from the moment FH took the stage, and although they do nothing for me on record, I quite enjoyed their set, but that may have simply been due to the good atmosphere of the crowd; it was hard to resist. There was a bit of a contrast between their slightly more post-grunge, alternative sound than that of The Wonder Years, but even with songs which are pretty much all written about heartbreak, there was still a decent amount of movement. A pleasant surprise for me. 6/10

    Setlist:
    Lollipop
    Home
    Back To Go Again
    Livin' So Divine
    You Stupid Girl
    23 Days
    Hear Me Now

    Four Year Strong
    Sure, they were only the main support band, but Four Year Strong were the band I was really there to see. I've been addicted to Enemy Of The World for the past couple of months, and so a setlist centered around that was fine with me. Opening with On A Saturday (it was a Thursday, but I'll forgive them) was a great choice, although the sound was slightly murky to begin with. This problem had all but been rectified by the time they burst into What The Hell Is A Gigawatt, as the opening riff got everyone jumping (and I think I shredded my throat shouting along to RISE UP AND O-VER-COOOOOOOME). The Birmingham crowd was in great voice and great spirit, something which obviously helped the band to up their game, as they sounded on top form. The singalongs continued throughout One Step At A Time and a couple of tracks from Rise Or Die Trying in the form of Maniac (R.O.D) and Heroes Get Remembered..., as well as the opening track to Enemy Of The World, It Must Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now, which everyone in the place seemed to know. Finishing with the anthemic Wasting Time was a great way to end, but their set seemed incredibly short at only 7 songs. As a main support act, I'd have expected at least a ten song setlist, so I was a little disappointed in that aspect. Other than that though, I could have no complaints. 8/10

    Setlist:
    On A Saturday
    What The Hell Is A Gigawatt
    One Step At A Time
    Maniac (R.O.D.)
    It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now
    Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die
    Wasting Time (Eternal Summer)

    Good Charlotte
    I literally can't say enough good things about how awesome Good Charlotte were. They definitely rank highly amongst the best bands I've ever seen live, which is no small feat. I expected them to be good fun as a nostalgia act and not a lot else, but their performance was brilliant, and the enthusiasm of the crowd made it all the more enjoyable. Opening with the classics Anthem and Girls & Boys, these were just a couple of the many tracks they played from their magnum opus album The Young And The Hopeless, in what was essentially a perfect setlist. New track Like It's Her Birthday fitted in perfectly with the older material, and was actually one of my favourite songs of the night. Every single song had the audience singing along, jumping, clapping their hands, it was a really fun atmosphere, and it showed that even 10 years down the line, Good Charlotte are still relevant, and are way more than a nostalgia act. Saying that though, the old school tracks are still the best, and going all the way back to 2000 for Little Things off their self-titled debut was great, but a lot of the crowd seemed slightly clueless for it. The two title tracks from their finest albums Chronicles... and The Young and Hopeless followed by The River (if M. Shadows and Syn Gates had have come out I think I'd have died of happiness, but alas) got a fantastic crowd reaction, but putting Dance Floor Anthem and Sex On The Radio so late in the setlist wasn't a great idea, as they aren't the strongest of tracks. However, the crowd's choice of Hold On which was followed by a real surprise in The Story Of My Old Man which included a cover of Blink 182's Dammit (GC played it better than Blink did themselves at Reading) brought the place to a fever pitch for the obvious set ender of Lifestyles Of The Rich And The Famous. Joel and Benji were shouting all night about how much they loved the Birmingham crowd, and whilst I figured it was just regular stage banter, looking at the other setlists from the tour, we got at least 2 or 3 more songs, so I guess they weren't lying. Come back soon guys, we love you too. 10/10

    Setlist:
    The Anthem
    Girls and Boys
    My Bloody Valentine
    Silver Screen Romance
    Riot Girl
    Like It's Her Birthday
    Keep Your Hands Off My Girl
    Predictable
    Little Things
    The Chronicles of Life and Death
    The Young & the Hopeless
    The River
    I Just Wanna Live
    Dance Floor Anthem
    Sex On The Radio
    Hold On
    The Story of My Old Man (included Dammit - Blink 182 cover)
    Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthiggsphoto/ - Photos from the gig, courtesy of MattHiggs
  • A Day To Remember (w/Bayside, Pierce The Veil)

    3 fév. 2011, 18h29m

    Wed 2 Feb – A Day to Remember, Bayside, Pierce the Veil

    My first gig of 2011 was always gonna be a memorable one (no pun intended). It was the third time I'd be seeing the A Day To Remember guys in the space of a year, and the last time I saw them play the Academy they tore the place down. Whilst the supports were slightly lacking compared to Your Demise and Architects last year, they did nothing to lower my excitement for what would be a great way to properly begin 2011.

    Pierce the Veil
    I got into the Academy after around an hour of queueing due to the gig being a total sell out, meaning I got into the crowd at the end of PTV's first song. I thought the few tracks I listened to beforehand sounded decent on record with the lead singer reminding me of Coheed And Cambria's Claudio Sanchez, but I had a suspicion they wouldn't be great live, and my fears were all but confirmed after a handful of tracks, with their brand of post-hardcore sounding fairly generic and unoriginal. Saying that, they got the crowd moving, and their short breakdown infused cover of dance-hit Like A G6 was surprisingly good. End song Caraphernelia was easily their best track, mostly due to the vocal talents of Jeremy McKinnon, who joined the band to a huge cheer from the crowd, giving a great end to what was otherwise an average set. (Although, the lead singer giving a shoutout to a breast cancer charity was a classy moment, especially as I've recently had a friend lose a fight against cancer, so I respected him for that, and I urge you all to donate generously and do a little bit to help) 5/10

    Setlist (taken from the Manchester gig because I couldn't find a complete Birmingham one, let me know if it was any different) :
    Besitos
    The Sky Under the Sea
    Yeah Boy and Doll Face
    Like A G6 (Cover)
    The Boy Who Could Fly
    Caraphernelia

    Bayside:
    Whilst Pierce The Veil impressed me on record but not live, Bayside did neither for me. I found them dull before the gig, and dull during. The majority of the crowd seemed to share my opinion, as there were audible boos as they entered, and there was a distinct lack of crowd movement, even though I'd forced my way from the back to fairly close to the front by the time they came on. I actually struggled to tell when one song ended and another began at some points due to the lack of crowd interaction from the lead singer, these guys should have definitely opened and PTV been main support; they really killed the momentum that Pierce The Veil had built up. Bayside aren't a band I'll be rushing off to check out. 3/10

    Setlist (also from Manchester) :
    The Walking Wounded
    Duality
    Already Gone
    They're Not Horses, They're Unicorns
    Masterpiece
    Rochambo
    Montauk
    Devotion And Desire

    A Day to Remember:
    Well, after the average at best support acts, ADTR didn't really have much competition, but even if the support had have been top quality, A Day To Remember would still have blown them away. As soon as FIGHT announced their arrival and they burst into 2nd Sucks, it was clear they were gonna put on a hell of a show, and they did exactly that. At 5'' 6', I'm not the biggest of guys, and soon lost my spot near the front after the pit opened wide, as the floor became a sea of movement and energy which didn't let up all night. Blasting through The Danger In Starting a Fire, A Shot In The Dark, I'm Made Of Wax... and My Life For Hire, it was obvious that even with their new album, the setlist was gonna rely heavily on For Those Who Have Heart and Homesick, which I was completely fine with. The first of the new tracks, All I Want sounded huge live, with every person in the place singing every word. The delicate balance between melody and heaviness which ADTR pull off so well is not only evident within their songs, but also with their setlist choices, as All I Want and The House That Doubt Built were offset by the sheer ferocity of Sticks & Bricks and the monstrous Mr Highway's Thinking About The End (of course, the DISRESPECT YOUR SURROUNDINGS cry was deafening). Speeding through You Already Know What You Are, Why Walk On Water... and Fast Forward To 2012, their main set reached its conclusion with Monument (the first time I'd ever heard it live and a definite highlight) and one for the old school, You Should Have Killed Me When You Had The Chance. Almost as soon as they left the stage, the chants started for The Downfall Of Us All, which I was certain they would begin their encore with, however, they threw a curveball by coming out armed with acoustic guitars and playing an incredible performance of If It Means A Lot To You. Finishing with the flawless combo of Downfall and usual set-ender The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle, I have no idea how anyone in the Academy had any kind of voice or energy left after the hardcore pop-punkers from California laid waste to Birmingham. I was a little disappointed by the lack of Heartless and I'd have liked to hear another new track, preferably It's Complicated or All Signs Point To Lauderdale, but they did nothing to ruin my enjoyment of an amazing performance from one of my favourite bands on the planet. 9/10

    Setlist:
    2nd Sucks
    The Danger In Starting a Fire
    A Shot In the Dark
    My Life for Hire
    I'm Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?
    All I Want
    Mr. Highway's Thinking About the End
    This Is the House That Doubt Built
    Sticks & Bricks
    You Already Know What You Are
    Homesick
    Why Walk On Water When We've Got Boats
    Fast Forward to 2012
    Monument
    Have Faith in Me
    You Should've Killed Me When You Had the Chance
    Encore:
    If It Means a Lot to You
    The Downfall of Us All
    The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle
  • Deftones (w/ Coheed And Cambria)

    25 nov. 2010, 21h35m

    Sat 20 Nov – Deftones, Coheed and Cambria

    Couldn't have really asked for a better pair of touring partners for what is probably my last gig of 2010, two of my favourite bands at the Academy in Birmingham for their final night of the UK leg of the tour. I got there about half 6 after a couple of pints at the German Christmas market, and after a few minutes of queuing I was inside and finally out of the freezing cold.

    Coheed and Cambria
    Deftones may have been the headliner, but I was far more excited about seeing Coheed. I've been a huge fan for years, and this was my first time seeing them live. The Academy wasn't exactly full by the time Claudio and his men took the stage, but it was still a decent turn out as they went straight into the title track of their second album In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3, all 8 minutes of it sounding great. Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial) followed, along with the first of the new tracks, Here We Are Juggernaut. I wasn't too happy with Coheed's set though, there was too much from Year Of The Black Rainbow (or at least, the wrong songs from YOTBR, This Shattered Symphony should have been swapped out for Guns Of Summer or The Broken) and one of The Camper Velorium tracks was a bad choice, should have been A Favour House Atlantic, much more of a crowd pleaser, especially in a support slot. Still, closing on Welcome Home was an obvious choice, ending their set on a high note. Even though they were musically sound, the crowd was awful, completely dead for the whole set which took away from them slightly. Disappointing. A slightly longer set would have been nice as well, apparently it was shorter than other nights because of the club night being held after the gig. 6/10

    Setlist:
    In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
    Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial)
    Here We Are Juggernaut
    This Shattered Symphony
    The Camper Velourium III: Al the Killer
    Delirium Trigger
    No World For Tomorrow
    World of Lines
    Welcome Home

    Deftones
    Well, if the crowd were dead for Coheed, the same can't be said for Deftones. As soon as Chino showed his face the crowd went insane, as they burst into what is probably my favourite song of the last year, Rocket Skates. They followed by delving into their second album, Around The Fur, with the title track, My Own Summer, Lotion (a personal highlight) and Be Quiet And Drive. The classics continued with a handful of tracks from White Pony, before returning to their incredible album from earlier this year, with a helping of the best tracks from Diamond Eyes, interspersed with Hole In The Earth from Saturday Night Wrist (it was a Saturday night, after all). Of these tracks, Prince was a particular standout for me, but they all sounded just as good as on record, if not better. Chino was on fine form as well, leaping around the stage and engaging in some fun banter with the crowd and bar staff. The crowd reached fever pitch for the final four songs of the main set, which included a rare performance of Back To School which went down brilliantly. Passenger got the biggest cheer of the night, and proved that Chino can handle it perfectly on his own even without the help of Maynard James Keenan, and following it with a hell of a performance of Change (In The House Of Flies) ended their main set flawlessly. Returning with an encore of Adrenaline-era tracks meant the night ended in a heavy fashion, Birthmark, Engine No.9 and 7 Words ensuring everyone went home with their fair share of bruises. An amazing performance. 10/10

    Setlist:
    Rocket Skates
    Around the Fur
    My Own Summer (Shove It)
    Lotion
    Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
    Feiticeira
    Digital Bath
    Knife Prty
    Elite
    Diamond Eyes
    CMND/CTRL
    Beauty School
    Hole in the Earth
    You've Seen the Butcher
    Sextape
    Prince
    Minerva
    Back to School (Mini Maggit)
    Passenger
    Change (In the House of Flies)
    Birthmark
    Engine No. 9
    7 Words
  • Stone Sour/Avenged Sevenfold (w/ Hellyeah)

    29 oct. 2010, 21h04m

    Thu 28 Oct – Avenged Sevenfold & Stone Sour

    I arrived at the venue about 5 (half an hour before doors opened), and the queue was already stretched around the building, but I was in the crowd by 6 after buying an Avenged tshirt, so I had a decent spot for Hellyeah.

    Hellyeah
    Opening with a bang, Hellyeah stormed through their 40 minute set with some choice cuts from both of their studio albums, setting a great mood for the two co-headliners to come. Opening track Hellyeah, Cowboy Way, You Wouldn't Know and closer Alcohaulin' Ass were highlights, but I thought Hell Of A Time could have been swapped out by something heavier from the first album, Rotten To The Core would have been a better track. 7/10

    Setlist:
    HELLYEAH
    Matter of Time
    Cowboy Way
    Hell Of A Time
    You Wouldn't Know
    Stampede
    Alcohaulin' Ass

    Avenged Sevenfold
    Avenged's entrance was accompanied by a roar from the crowd, it was clear who the majority of people were here to see. An elaborate stage set up added to the spectacle, and the crowd were in great voice, drowning out M. Shadows' every word. And whilst A7X were technically sound, it felt like they were going through the motions at some points, and due to Mike Portnoy being behind the drumkit, the amount of songs they could play will have been limited, resulting in a setlist relying heavily on newer material (I'd have preferred some older tracks from Waking The Fallen/City Of Evil, like Chapter Four, Trashed & Scattered or Seize The Day). Matt engaged with the crowd towards the end though, allowing them to pick the final song from a choice of Almost Easy or Bat Country; Bat Country was chosen by a landslide. The highlight of their set was a heartfelt speech from Matt about his fallen brother, Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan, before an emotional performance of So Far Away, which almost brought me to tears. A crushing performance of God Hates Us was another stand out track from a solid set by the A7X boys. 7/10

    Setlist:
    Nightmare
    Critical Acclaim
    Welcome To The Family
    Beast and the Harlot
    Buried Alive
    So Far Away
    Afterlife
    God Hates Us
    Unholy Confessions
    Bat Country

    Stone Sour
    Coming out to a combination of We Will Rock You and a piece from Star Wars, Corey Taylor's men dominated the stage for their headline slot. Opening with Mission Statement, they combined old and new for a great setlist, blasting through Reborn, Made Of Scars and a brutal Get Inside, along with current single Say You'll Haunt Me, before Corey and his acoustic guitar took centre stage for a beautiful rendition of Bother which had the crowd echoing every line. The acoustic singalong portion of the set continued straight after with a personal highlight of Through Glass, before some newer songs brought the tempo back up. Finishing up with a one-two punch of Hell And Consequences and the anthem of 30/30-150 from the brilliant Come What(ever) May album sent everyone home bruised and battered, but in great spirits. Corey Taylor was on fantastic form as well, you can really tell he loves what he does, a true metal legend. 9/10

    Setlist:
    Mission Statement
    Reborn
    Made Of Scars
    Say You'll Haunt Me
    Get Inside
    Unfinished
    Your God
    Bother
    Through Glass
    The Bitter End
    Digital (Did You Tell)
    Hell & Consequences
    30/30-150