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ATP! Live Review: You Me At Six, Young Guns, The Downtown Fiction - Troubadour Los Angeles, CA (09/15/2014)

It’s 6:30 pm by the time I arrive at The Troubadour and it's still hotter than hell outside. It’s a good omen for just how sweaty the 400 or so occupants of the Los Angeles venue are about to get.

Now, before I get into You Me At Six, it would be remiss of me to overlook the openers completely, especially since they make up three-fourths of the the show. The Downtown Fiction were, admittedly, a name I was not expecting to see touring alongside the likes of Young Guns and You Me At Six, but that just goes to show how long it has been since I’ve seen the quartet because they certainly proved their place on the bill. I was pleasantly surprised and I greatly encourage anyone not familiar with the pop-rock group’s music to give them shot, because they certainly have grown since last I saw them. (For those of you wondering, that was over three years ago at South by South West, so it’s been quite a while.)

Unfortunately, Stars In Stereo were the least interesting of the lot and not for their musicianship, which was a solid rock performance, but because of the disconnect between them and the crowd. Though they tried to get the crowd into it, there just didn’t seem to be a spark. Of the three, the stand out was Young Guns, and to be honest if they were opening for anyone else, they probably would have outshone them. Of course, I may be biased as I have been trying to catch the band live for years now, but they put on one hell of a performance. Lead singer Gustav Wood covered the tiny stage like it was the biggest stage he’d performed on, and anyone that can throw that much of themselves into a performance has my instant stamp of approval. I can guarantee you that I will be seeing them again.

Now, it’s obvious from the distinct change in atmosphere that the reason people are there is for You Me At Six, and honestly, I can’t say I blame them. One of my favorite things about about seeing the British quintet is that they put on such a high energy performance that never seems to disappoint. (So high, in fact, that when I saw them on the Spring Fever tour, the crowd started moshing just in sheer anticipation of them.) The first performance of their North American headlining tour is no exception at all.

I have to say that there are very few frontmen with the same command over the stage and crowd as Josh Franceschi. Where there were moments when the openers had a tough time getting the crowd to participate - and admittedly, it wasn’t the liveliest crowd I’ve ever been in - Franceschi had no troubles instructing the crowd in what to do. At one point, he even had the whole venue kneeling down to the ground. That isn’t to say, however, that it was a perfect show. It was a first show of tour and there were moments where it did feel as if the band was just getting back into the swing of things, but it didn’t even matter because they made up for it with their stellar musicianship.

Long story short, You Me At Six’ North American headliner is an outstanding show and not one to miss. Everyone on the lineup is incredibly passionate about what they do and it is extremely apparent. It also needs to be said that YMAS could certainly be touring bigger venues, so we suggest catching them now while they’re still at club venues, because they very well may not be touring those for much longer.

Victoria Patneaude

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