With the gig downgraded from Academy 2 to Academy 3, the bands could feel a little disheartened but they don’t. Everyone onstage seems to be playing the gig of their life. With energy flowing and music playing, Academy 3 is electric.
Nick Santino’s set is rock’n’roll mixed with a country twang. Never have I seen one man and his guitar win over a crowd so quickly. He plays songs about love, loss and heartbreak – something we can all relate to. His voice sores around the venue, sounding like the perfect combination of broken glass and spun gold. As each song finishes, more and more people are watching in awe – with a few misty eyes spotted too.
For a band that are enjoying their first time playing here, Lydia certainly seem shocked by the amount of fans they have in the crowd. Leighton Antelman is an unlikely frontman but wins everyone over with his awkward charm and amazingly powerful voice. Keyboardist, Matt Keller, is a captivating man to watch. He seems to be playing like a man possessed. With ‘This Is Twice Now’, the crowd are completely hooked and singing along. This is a band that I cannot wait to grace our shores again.
With a crowd rushing towards the stage before you’ve even started, applauding the roadies, and generally becoming more impatient with every passing second, you know you’re onto a winner. The Maine are a band that have certainly grown with every album they’ve put out, and tonight’s show goes to prove it. Playing old songs with a new spin, showing just how much they’ve progressed. They are definitely a band that proves that you can stay true to your roots, without being scared to take chances and try new things. Unfortunately for the band, the venue’s sound quality starts off shaky and just doesn’t match up to their talent, leaving them sounding muddy in places – not that the rabid fans seem to mind, they’re clambering at the stage as if their lives depend on it – thankfully though, this seems to resolve itself after a few songs and it’s all good from there on out. The Maine are a band that really know how to captivate an audience. Everyone in the venue is dancing and singing along – even the parents waiting at the bar can’t resist tapping their feet along to the music. ‘Vanilla’ certainly has the crowd in the palm of their hand – even I can’t stop myself from dancing to it. Having played this venue 7yrs ago with The Academy Is…, the band play an amazing set filled with songs that other bands wish they’d written.
Check out http://shop.81twentythree.com/ and grab a copy of all three artists’ albums.
By Megahn Keene, SSR Music and Creative Industries Student