LIVE: A Day To Remember @ House Of Vans, London

By Adam Rosario

It’s been a long time since tonight’s headline act have played in the UK. Their last full tour culminated in a near sold out Wembley Arena in front of 10,000 people – tonight they play to an audience of just 850.

Following Dan P. Carter’s opening DJ set, with a remix of Marilyn Manson’s ‘Fight Song’ and Blur’s ‘Song 2’ being the highlight, ADTR take to the stage and launch into a crushing ‘2nd Sucks’, setting the tone for the night. The band are in fine form, sounding tight and energetic; front man Jeremy McKinnon stalks the stage, switching between his signature growl and singing voice with ease. ‘Right Back At It Again’ contrasts with the opener, showing the history of the band and their ability to switch out metalcore for straight up, fun pop punk. The chorus is screamed back at the band in a room that is heating up with every second that passes.

The three song run that ADTR then embark on puts many bands who consider themselves to be metal to shame. From the punk thrash of ‘Paranoia’, to the ludicrously heavy ‘Mr Highway’s Thinking About the End’, finally leading into a song that has been essentially pulled out of the vault – McKinnon credits their guitar tech as the reason that ‘Sticks & Bricks’ gets a rare outing, but the reaction the crowd gives shows that it should’ve been in the set all along.

The band have so far released two new tracks this year, and both are played tonight – the first being Marshmello collaboration ‘Rescue Me’, which goes down a storm with the diehard fans and sees the guitars really come to the fore in this live setting, giving the song a bigger sound against the electronics. Second new track ‘Degenerates’ has been out only days by the time of this show, but the crowd already knows all the words. Having signed with Fueled By Ramen, this song really emphasises the band’s pop punk side, full of bounce and melody. That said, whilst these new songs are integrated well into the set, it’s the old classics that really take centre stage.

‘Have Faith In Me’ gives way to ‘I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?’, which sends the crowd into hysteria, whilst ‘Sometimes You’re the Hammer, Sometimes You’re the Nail’ opens the pits up the biggest of the night before the closing double act of ‘All I Want’ and ‘The Plot To Bomb the Panhandle’. The encore of ‘If It Means a Lot to You’ starts with McKinnon acoustically solo before bringing the full band in at the climax, sending shivers down the spine. A crushing ‘The Downfall Of Us All’ closes the night and really puts ADTR in good stead for their sub headliner position at Reading & Leeds.

During the set McKinnon announces the band’s new record label, as well as letting slip that the new record will be out “at the tail end of the year” and will be titled ‘You’re Welcome’. ADTR have a history of writing intricate albums, bursting with big songs – if ‘You’re Welcome’ follows this trend, they’ll have to start playing even longer sets to be able to fit in the multitude of classics they have in their catalogue. They’ve sub-headlined at Download and will sub-headline again at Reading & Leeds, so it’s almost certain this band are destined to be a headliner in their own right. “The heaviest pop punk band” may also be the best pop punk band.


Header Photo: Derek Bremner