You Me At Six
Big Top, Sydney
September 23rd 2017
Support: Columbus and Hellions
The last time the charming British lads in You Me At Six did a headline tour in Australia was two years ago, so to see them back on our shores with their brand new album, Night People, to promote was more than exciting and despite not having a sold out show, they proved to everyone why we’ve missed them so much by putting on a strong performance in a way that only they know how.
Columbus were the first to open, however due to some difficulties getting inside the venue, I felt it unfair to review their performance that I had missed a fair amount of, so I’ll be moving past this and right into the second support act of the night, which are Sydney native band — Hellions.
These guys were quite an interesting choice of support since their music is quite heavy, which meant they were heavier than the headliners which I found didn’t really add up to the pop-punk vibe that You Me At Six hold, however the crowd were responding well, starting to get more into the music and small mosh pits were beginning to form. I personally wasn’t too much of a fan of the band, but their performance was full of energy and the clean vocals that guitarist, Matthew Gravolin held were strong and really lifted their sound from being almost too heavy for the bill that they were on. One thing that stood out to me was that there was a particular drum that was being used during some of their songs that had a very distinct clear, crisp tone to it which added something that I just can’t describe. There were two tracks that were played that I really did enjoy, which were ‘Bad Way’ and ’24’. I found that those weren’t quite as heavy as the others and they fit in with the tone of the night perfectly.
Next to take to the stage was You Me At Six. With dim blue lights and small flickering television screens in the background, the band opened their set in a way they have never before — with a slower song from their newest album, Night People, which meant that there wasn’t really a whole lot of movement from the crowd. Although it seemed to be such a strange yet perfect way that they had chosen to start with, this didn’t last long as the guys picked it right back up in their second song, ‘Bite My Tongue’, which appeared to be a crowd favourite. The bright, vibrant, colourful lights illuminating both the room and the members themselves as well as the now fast paced song being performed seemed to pick everybody up and the mosh pit came alive. This was the start of one hell of a good show. From that moment on, the pace almost never seemed to slow back down until much later in the night.
While the band do have a new album, as I mentioned, it didn’t seem that we would be hearing too much of it as the next few songs that were played were older hits and ones that never fail to make a crowd go wild. It was during these first few songs however that it appeared there was some technical difficulties with vocalist Josh Franceschi’s microphone and it was visible that he was not happy, and was becoming increasingly frustrated and angry. Had this been any other band, and vocalist, things probably wouldn’t have played out in their favour as much but while Franceschi was
having a moment of rage, the band were able to extend the outro to a few songs. I found that it also worked to their favour as Franceschi already has quite a rough, raw tone to his voice and with the anger and frustration added in, it seemed to almost exaggerate this feature, making the song that was being sung at the time quite a bit more powerful than usual.
The energy that was brought from You Me At Six was astounding, with smiles and constant head banging (I’m surprised no one stumbled from being dizzy there was that much), it was something truly special and it was helping to get the crowd involved during the times that Franceschi wasn’t speaking to us all. At one point, everyone was asked to get down low and without protest, every single person was down low before jumping right back up when told so. There’s definitely a certain quality that these guys possess in being able to captivate a crowd and give it all they’ve got. When asked how many people had been to see the band before and who was seeing them for the first time, I have to say, I believe that the reaction was the loudest for the new fans, or just simply a lot of people who haven’t got their tickets fast enough in the past as they are usually sold out. Without a doubt, this was a classic performance from the Brits that shows if you’ve got a good thing going, don’t change it. It was by no means the exact same as every other time you’d see them live, but they don’t change much. It is obvious that they know what works and what songs are their best to play and they execute it flawlessly.
Just before playing ‘Too Young To Feel This Old’, Franceschi took a brief moment to discuss the topical subject in Australia right now which is the ongoing plebiscite for same-sex marriage. He spoke about homophobia and how there is no place for it in todays society and loving someone being a special thing. It was a well worded and short speech about it, before telling the fans that one member — despite not remembering who — had suggested that while they had been creating another album back in England right now, and they were going through some struggles, legally and with labels, that they should tour Australia because not once had they had a bad experience here. I quote directly when I say — “This is exactly what we fucking needed.” and with that having been said, the fourth slow song was played, which was the final song of the night (before the four encore songs that we were treated to).
Closing out the night with ‘Room To Breathe‘, Franceschi encouraged everybody to crowd surf and to do it the Australian way, which meant that one after the other, people were headed to the front, and as he joined in to greet the people, Franceschi also aided the guards in pulling people out.
This show is one that had myself, my friends, and the entire crowd singing and dancing and one that leaves you feeling nostalgic and singing along to their music for days afterwards. Having played so many of their older tracks and mixing in some of their new songs to give a little taste of what they sound like live. You Me At Six never fail to put on an excellent show, and I hope they come back soon to do it all again, hopefully without a two year wait.
Review by Heather McNab
Spell It Out
Bite My Tongue
Fresh Start Fever
Lived A Lie
No One Does It Better
Take On The World
Too Young To Feel This Old
Stay With Me
Room To Breathe
Revisit our interview with Josh Franceschi of You Me At Six here
You Me At Six