Gym Class Heroes – Leeds Cockpit

By paul

Gym Class Heroes (supported by Madina Lake and Hangar 18)
Leeds Cockpit

The oddly matched rapping duo, Hangar 18 from New York, set the evening off brilliantly. Virtually every single person in the venue came to witness their light-hearted rhymes and party it out on stage with beer in hand. The audience “shook their ass” to what turned out to be one of the main highlights of their set, in which the audience were split into two halves, (one for MC Alaska and one for MC Windnbreeze) and joined in with song ‘Baking Soda’. This had a similarly lively response as when they decided to change song ‘Bar Hopping’ to ‘Pub Crawling’ resulting in chanting and hands waving to the beat. Quality fun, but lacking enough substance to gain them much more than an opening slot. (6)

The second support act of the evening was Chicago four-piece, Madina Lake. A total musical contrast to the night, but one that really livened things up! Frontman Nathan announced the band like they’d been playing forever, despite only having played Leeds once, (in support of Paramore last October), and then proceeded to tear up the stage harder and with more passion than your average well-preened alternative rock group. The second song played, ?Adalia?, demanded ?the biggest moshpit ever!? and by ?One Last Kiss? the jumping turned to slamming and then to chaos in the pit. However, a couple members of the audience didn?t appreciate the music and loudly heckled the band. Angry, Nathan announced that they as a band had ?played with loads of bands from different genres? and that they?re ?just here for the music? so fuck you?. The conflict demanded a certain amount of respect for the band, but was too intense for some, as a number of the crowd dispersed. The show continued with ?House of Cards?, which resulted in crowd-surfing, a circle pit and to add to the craziness, 3 large balloons were thrown out which eventually burst on the hot stage lamps, scattering confetti everywhere. Regardless of the evident talent and passionate playing, this band is your marmite- you?re going to love them or hate them, with pretty much nothing inbetween. However, having sold out of albums on the Paramore tour, with a slot secured at Give It A Name and a headline tour in sight for Autumn, this won?t be the last you?ll hear of them. (8)

Tonight?s New York headliners Gym Class Heroes are best known for being Fall Out Boy?s labelmates. Main vocalist Travis subtly refers to the FOB related exposure and notes that there is a misconception that they are a ?new band?, as they?ve actually ?been touring for 3 and a half years, non-stop?. Regardless of the exposure, it is clear that the fans are genuine as the whole crowd shouts enthusiastically along to song ?Taxi Driver? with arms up, dancing away. Music comes to these boys as naturally as breathing. This is what they do and they do it well. Travis owns the stage and the audience with his vocal skills, humour and honesty. This was evident from him saying ?the last song recorded for their last album?, ?On My Own Time (Write On!)?resulted in a few ?nervous breakdowns? as he?d ?run out of things to write about? and so decided to write about ?how hard it is to write a song?. Instead of rapping, Travis sings (and sings impressively) for this and there is an awesome guitar solo. For ?Cupid?s Chokehold? FOB?s Patrick?s intro vocals are leaked through the speakers and receive a huge crowd response complete with Gym Class flag waving. After which they mellow it out with the melodic ?Scholastic Scandal?, which Gym Class claim to be their final song. The audience refuse to budge and chant for an encore. The band pile back on stage and finish on the phenomenal ?Clothes off!? giving the audience just the high they?d wanted. (9)