New Found Glory – Leeds Cockpit

By paul

New Found Glory / You Me At 6 / Conditions
Leeds Cockpit, February 7

I guess there was a blessing in the fact NFG were supporting Paramore on this UK tour as it allowed them to do a number of smaller headline shows – and boy are you always in for a treat when the Floridians are going off in a smaller venue. If you’re in a band there’s no better mentor than NFG and the gulf in class between the other acts I’ve seen in, well, ever, is pretty much huge. But more on that in a minute.

Virginians CONDITIONS open up with a very tight Circa Survive meets Amber Pacific sound. Very, very clean vocals from buffed up frontman Brandon Roundtree (awesome pony tail dude) give this band a very safe edge; they’re not so much radio friendly but they play a brand of alternative poppy rock with technical bits that is probably more interesting on record than it is live. Technically they’re very good and they manage to recreate such a big sound live, but not knowing any of their songs in advance they didn’t have the energy to really grab my attention. Still, the tracks on their myspace are decent and there’s a good chance they could take the step up. (7)

YOU ME AT 6 have been riding on the crest of a wave for a year now and their standing as main support to an act like NFG shows how far they have come. I generally think YMA6 are good at what they do – they’re like a better Madina Lake – but tonight they are nothing short of atrocious. The first song (possibly ‘Save It for the Bedroom’) is beset by technical difficulties as Josh’s mic fails and you can’t hear him. But when that gets fixed his vocals are way, way off on pretty much every song. They’re too low in the mix, an octave lower than they should be in the sound and, to be honest, it sounds like he’s ill or his throat is fucked and he’s trying to protect it. The music behind him is pretty tight and can’t be faulted – the synchronised guitar jumps were a little too much – but overall YMA6 were very, very disappointing. ‘The Rumour’ is still their best song by a long, long way and if they’re going to make the impact many are expecting they’re going to need to improve on performances like this. (3)

NEW FOUND GLORY are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. They were excellent on their first tour in 2001 and have been excellent every time I’ve seen them. They have so much energy and exuberance on stage, they look like they’re having so much fun and that rubs off on everyone around them. Primarily a greatest hits set the crowd goes off every time they hear an old favourite. And boy are some old favourites played. ‘Better Off Dead’, Head On Collision’, ‘Kiss Me’, ‘Sonny’, ‘Dressed To Kill’, ‘Hit or Miss’, ‘All Downhill From Here’, ‘My Friends Over You’… you don’t realise just how many amazing songs the band have written until they play them, one after the other. It’s difficult to express just how much fun the band are – you simply have to see them live and just witness how much fun and enjoyment they have. The best band I’ve seen in a long, long time. (10)