Every Time I Die, Comeback Kid, Knocked Loose & Higher Power at Manchester Academy 2, 28th November 2017
This is the first ‘proper’ show I have been to in well over a year, for no reason in particular I have just haven’t been going to any live events. However, after the release of Laugh Tracks, the debut album by Knocked Loose, I’ve been waiting to seize the opportunity to catch their live show. I had never gone of out my way to listen to Every Time I Die, Comeback Kid or Higher Power, and leading up to this show I intentionally kept it that way so that I’d have almost no idea what to expect. Of course, I’ve heard the odd song over time on playlists and such, but I’ve never sat down and listened to a record from any of these bands.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get there in time to catch the openers Higher Power, but I got there just in time for my favourite band on the bill Knocked Loose. They were just as tight as I expected them to be, their brutal guitar tones rang in my ears while the drums punched me in the chest. Playing tracks such as Billy No Mates, Counting Worms, Deadringer and more album favourites I couldn’t have asked for a better set. Their stage show coincided with the sheer heaviness of the atmosphere they created, along with an energy that no one could ignore. There was a surprising lack of hardcore kids kicking each other in the face which was almost a disappointment, however there was still a constant pit from side to side towards the centre of the crowd. The band exceeded my expectations, and considering it was the last day of their 20-day tour with no days off in between, they managed to uphold their huge presence.
Onto Comeback Kid, who is a band I’ve obviously heard of over the years as one of the best high energy modern punk rock bands out there. Formed in 2000, they bought with them the older crowd who very clearly loved seeing the band again, and it was very visible people were feeling nostalgic. I thoroughly enjoyed their set and bearing in mind I have never listened to them before they have some fast paced sections and the open note riffs that I couldn’t help but move to. I think this is just something that comes with punk rock, but they lacked some diversity in their set and with the sound for some reason not being too great it was hard to make out a lot of the riffs and vocals. The drums were far too loud, and it was the same issue for Every Time I Die. The headliners opening song was pretty much completely overtaken by the drums, the guitars and vocals were almost non-existent, and it really ruined the set for me. Not many other people around me seemed to mind too much, however they looked like they were die hard fans of the band, and knew every lyric even though we couldn’t hear them.
Their set overall was very impressive, for a band that’s been going for as along as they have I’d expect nothing less. There were some sections that I can only describe as monstrous, and I just had to bang my head. I feel as if I would have enjoyed the show a lot more if I was a fan beforehand, so the approach I took of not listening to anything by them before the event maybe wasn’t so effective. On the other hand, it did mean that my experience was completely raw and new, and what I took from it is that musically and visually the show was amazing, and I can definitely see why this band has a lot of long time fans. Although, like I’ve mentioned, the sound took everything away from the show for me, I couldn’t make out anything that wasn’t kick drum, and the main parts I enjoyed were the more simple, heavy sections and luckily Every Time I Die had plenty of them. For the bands lower on the bill this wasn’t an issue at all, but as the night went on it got worse. Don’t get me wrong, the show itself was full of energy, but I can’t say much more based on the music. I’m definitely going to start listening to these bands on record, and would highly recommend checking them out live.