So today, I went to my first gig of the academic year. I went to see my favourite band (You Me At Six) perform at the O2 Academy in Leeds as part of their “Night People Presents…” tour and this was my 6th time seeing them.
After a long day of uni, I met up with my friends and then headed to McDonald’s for a pre-gig meal. Pretty standard for uni students really. We then went to catch our train to Leeds and then we walked to the O2 Academy, where we were greeted by a long line of eager teens waiting to get in to the venue. This was the bands first UK tour since their co-headline tour with American pop-punk favourites All Time Low, back in February 2015. Following this tour, YMAS played a couple of festivals and then ‘disappeared’ without saying much. Fans were left wondering if they were breaking up, however, they were just taking a break as well as travelling to the US to write their new album, Night People. So obviously, for the die-hard fans, they were eager to see their favourite band again.
After queueing for about 20 minutes to get into the venue, we all got a drink from the bar and shortly after, the support band came on stage. YMAS had selected VANT to support them on this tour, who are a four-piece indie rock band from Brighton. They powered through the first couple of songs before introducing themselves, saying that they are “From planet earth”. They tried to liven up the crowd with several “tests”, which involved activities such as bouncing and showing their appreciation for YMAS. They ended their set with “DO YOU KNOW ME?” and then left the stage. Personally I enjoyed them and have added them onto my Spotify playlist.
Finally at 9:15, the lights went off and the intro of “When We Were Younger” began playing and one-by-one, members of the band joined lead singer Josh Franceschi on stage. It was a strange song choice to open with, as it is a fairly slow song. However, the next song was the big fan favourite from 2011, “Bite My Tongue” and this really got the crowd going. Following this, they played several other fan favourites such as “Stay With Me” and “Loverboy” before playing a song from their new album. This track was “Plus One” and is the second single which had only been released just 2 weeks before. Following this was “Reckless,” where front man Franceschi excellently merged with “When You Were Young” by The Killers.
Before the next song, Franceschi addressed the crowd with a short speech, saying that they are at a gig for the same reason, for the music and that they should “leave the bullsh*t” outside of the venue. After this, the band played “Forgive and Forget” which was a very relevant song to Franceschi’s speech. The band powered through more fan favourites as well as premiering an unreleased song from the new album called “Swear”. Several times, Franceschi paused during times to allow the audience to sing lyrics and I certainly got a few goosebumps when I could hear 2000 other fans sing some of my favourite lyrics.
One of my favourite parts of the gig followed this, where Franceschi addressed world issues and expressed his feelings about a “messed-up world” with direct blame towards Donald Trump. Following this touching speech, Franceschi and rhythm guitarist Max Helyer performed a stripped-back version of “Too Young To Feel This Old” before leaving the stage.
A few moments after, the band came back on stage to a huge applause for their 3 song encore. The band decided to end the show with the first single from the new album “Night People”. They decided to end with this as they believe that the band are entering a new era, showing how they have matured from the cheesy hits from 2008 album “Take Off Your Colours” and are now moving into a new era where they are much more of a proper rock band.
I definitely enjoyed this gig, and I definitely can’t wait to hear the new album and see them again next year when they tour the new album.