Breathe Carolina – Birmingham Academy

By paul

Breathe Carolina Birmingham Academy 3. 20 January 2010

Lights and Sounds are up first and they’re the sort of band I love – they feel like summer and make you smile from ear to ear. The venue was almost full by the time these guys came on stage so it was clear that they are already attracting a lot of interest. Lights and Sounds scream optimism and Max and Alex’s charming vocals work in harmony to produce a nice clean sound. Keys, played by Alex are skilled and definitely bring a special something to the mix and carries the cheery mood. Light yet effective drumming and relaxed guitar and bass combine to make instant singalong favourites. The half hour set breezed by and included new tracks which the band plan to record soon. The guys were clearly at home on the stage, relaxed and confident and were a great opening act. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Lights and Sounds.

Me Vs Hero were up next and burst onto the stage to an introduction any super hero would be proud to have as their theme and instantly provided us with an English version of the hardcore pop punk combination which has been popular with American bands for some time. They are not the most original sounding band and their similarity to the likes of Set Your Goals and Four Year Strong is very apparent with familiar thunderous bass leading fast passed guitars and drums. Melodic vocals were loud and just about backed up by grittier shouting which struggled in the mix and disappointingly was largely inaudible. Energy is something these guys are not lacking as they confidently bounce around the cramped stage. Tracks off tribute CD ‘This One’s For Our Friend’ were played with such passion and enthusiasm that the crowd were hooked and bouncing along in time.

Breathe Carolina have previously conjured up a neon nightmare for me and under normal circumstances I wouldn’t go near them but it turns out I was pretty wrong as these guys know how to put on a show. The set was accompanied by an impressive light show meaning I couldn’t actually see the band and I felt more like I was at a club rather than at a live show which was a little disappointing. The 40 minute set was made up of a mix of tracks off both albums and included ‘Welcome to Savannah,’ ‘Gossip,’ and ‘Show Me Yours.’ The crowd almost filled this small venue and seemed to rise and fall in unison as they bounced along to this electronica band whose sound was highly produced, with synthesised vocals and beats and was backed up by guitars, drums and keys. From what I could tell the stage was pretty cramped and at one point the band had to stop due to injury. Breathe Carolina finished with ‘I.D.G.A.F’ which was the big crowd pleaser.

Whilst they are certainly not everyone?s cup of tea, Breathe Carolina really surprised me and put on a great show and the bands really complimented each other. This tour has something for everyone, and whilst it isn?t groundbreaking it?s pretty harmeless and I promise you will leave on a high.