Alter The Press!


Live Review: Emarosa, All Forgotten and Yashin - O2 Academy, Birmingham - 05/12/2010

Despite living in Birmingham for what's coming to 4 months, i've still not paid a visit to the O2 Academy. The venue itself is very postmodern and feels more like a lounge bar than a venue and the prices for drinks are incredibly overpriced. £4 for a pint of Carlsberg is far too much. The first band of the night to come on was All Forgotten, the band were a good opening band and I can see them going quite far in the near future. The band mostly played songs from their 'Transitions EP', during their song 'Love From a Mother', the lead singer, Dan Lawrence, stood hunched over a microphone whilst the front row of the crowd were bobbing their heads in curiousity. The band got applause from all areas but failed to make the crowd move at all.

It seemed from a lot of the t-shirts being worn that Yashin were the favourite tonight, a few people were saying they came for this band and this band alone, the band entered onto the stage before one of the singers decided to spring up with his hood up, the next singer jumped on with a leather jacket, it was not long before the hood came down and the leather jacket was off and all hell broke loose. Despite never even listening to Yashin before coming to this gig, they automatically strike me as a band who have potential to be something amazing but instead go the complete opposite direction and write a song like 'Friends in High Places' which is their obligatory song about striving for fame. However, the crowd screams lyrics into the microphone that Harry Radford is forcing in their faces, whilst the rest of the band are all headbanging in perfect synchronization. Kevin Miles announces that the band have recorded a video for the next song, perhaps the highlight of their set. 'Stand Up' is very reminiscant of 'Rooftops' by Lostprophets and is the ballad of the set. The crowd were confused at first but eventually grasped the lyrics to the chorus by the end of the song. During the last song of the set, the band made an attempt to create the biggest wall of death ever, I was literally pressed against the bar whilst ordering another expensive £4 beer. The entire crowd was locked in anticipation whilst trying to watch the band at the same time and when the last chorus kicked in, about 1/8 of the people went for it, the rest just stayed where they were.

Emarosa's Guitarist, Jonas Ladekjaer, is stood alone on stage playing a distorted wave of feedback, the lights dim and a small light can be seen in the corner of the room where the band is standing, the band burst onto the stage and as soon as Jonny Craig bursts onstage, complete carnage ensues, the band open up with 'The Past Should Stay Dead', the opening track from their debut album 'Relativity'. The crowd pushes towards him as a single entity, Having met Jonny prior to this gig, my impression of him was that he came off as shy and with his head in the clouds, he is the exact opposite onstage, it's as if that's a complete different persona. Despite lack of sleep from flying into the UK at 7am, this doesn't stop the band at all, Jonny pretty much controls each note he sings with the flick of his wrists.

The ambience of the opening track to their new album, 'The Toast to the Future Kids', causes a mass singalong, the audience in harmony with Jonny. The band announce their last song 'We Are Life', the closing song on their new album, A wave of boos ensues, Despite having two albums worth of material as well as solo material from Jonny, Emarosa fail to showcase more of it, the band partake in a group hug before they split off. Lukas Koszewski's pounding, complex drums paralell with Jonas Ladekjaer's guitars, create a wall of sound and when the chorus finally kicks in, the crowd just goes wild.

One more song the crowd chants. Jonny comes to the stage and throws everything on the table; "I don't give a Fuck if you like my band of not, I just want to see you go fucking crazy" he screams before the rest of the band joins him for 'Set It Off Like Napalm', the entire room screams their hearts out to the lyrics, especially to the bridge where the entire room, arms in the air shout; "I am the boy that sets your girl on fire, When she dances, oh, she knows its right, We'll send them all to hell." The mosh pit goes wild with drunks being thrown around from side to side. After the show Jonny and the band stood beside the merch stand to meet, a brilliant gesture of a charismatic band who are trying to interact with their fans and keep the scene alive.

George Gadd

Alter The Press!