GIG REVIEW – AGAINST THE CURRENT – MANCHESTER 23/09/18

On their first UK headliner since late 2016, Against The Current are pushing ‘Past Lives’ to audiences new and old.

Opening the set were highly anticipated Aussie rock band The Faim (9). For a band only starting to blow up in the UK scene it’s safe to say they made many new fans during their set. With incredible energy, vocals and an overall polished yet gritty depth to their performance, the group managed to entice the audience for all 30-mins of their set. Whether it was slow or quicker paced, each track gained a reaction and it wouldn’t be surprising if we see them on more tours soon.

Headlining for the first time in 2018, Against The Current (8) brought their all after falling sick on their last Manchester headline date in 2016. Dominating the setlist were the trio’s four new singles with ‘Voices’ evidently gaining the largest reaction. However, this isn’t to say the remaining three fell behind. Hearing a crowd of excited fans shout ‘Fuck’ before the groovy bridge of ‘Almost Forgot’ is amusing, but also emphasises the bridged connection between the fans and audience established early on in the set. ‘Personal’ and ‘Strangers Again’, also falling early in the set became a highlight, but also leaves he question as to why 3/4 Of the new singles were placed so early in the setlist?

Perhaps it’s because the old songs of the set that bring possibly the greatest reaction of the night. Older tracks that the band know and love are apparent, with fiery rage bursting at the seams of ‘Running With The Wild Things’ and ‘Talk’ setting the highs of the evening. Even the calmer waves of ‘Gravity’ brought fun and excitement, a clear favourite amongst attendees of the night.

Despite the slower nature of ‘Chasing Ghosts’, ‘Dreaming Alone’ and even the live tour debut of ‘Demons’, the group can still show the immense talent vocally and playing wise together. While stage energy did perhaps lack at times from drummer Will Ferri and guitarist Dan Gow, perhaps it was these slower tracks that fit more, with the smooth melodic harmonies beautifully presented. To capture the attention of an audience fully can be tedious at times, but through unreleased track ‘Come Alive’, there was not one individual who’s eyes weren’t on the stage. All focus shifted to to the band as Chrissy Costanza’s vocals echoes throughout the venue. Did these tracks capture the night? No, but the calm before the storm of rage and heavier tracks is something beautiful, often dismissed but shouldn’t be.

What can we expect from ‘Past Lives’? Truth, emotion and some groovy tracks. With the standard Against The Current played to tonight, their next tours will be even bigger.

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