LIVE: You Me At Six @ O2 Forum, Kentish Town

By Adam Rosario

You Me At Six have been touring relentlessly year after year, rapidly making their way through London venues of all sizes and having now headlined almost every major venue the capital has to offer. Tonight, they play to a huge sold out crowd at O2 Forum in Kentish Town, London. 

Opening proceedings are Worthing’s Noisy. Having joined the tour late, after having their van and all their equipment stolen, they kick off the night with a bang and, bringing the attitude and rap stylings of The Streets into the year 2021, they power through an eight song set, to a rapturous crowd. ‘Bring The Drums Back’ and ‘Put a Record On’ are the notable points of the set, before a thunderous ‘Young Dumb’ threatens to be the performance of the night. In the face of the worst possible event to happen to a band, they triumph. Noisy are a band who are going places and they aren’t going quietly.

Glasgow’s Saint Phnx are the main support and bring a more pop offering to the night. A three-piece band, they play music reminiscent of OneRepublic with Imagine Dragon influences sprinkled in. They get the crowd going, but the venue seems drained after Noisy’s set. ‘Happy Place’, a tribute to a late father, has just reached 1 million streams and is the main highlight of the set, but it’s hard not to feel like the night would have benefited somewhat had Noisy played as the main support.

It’s been two years since You Me At Six last played a London show and they’re very clearly eager to impress. A storming ‘Nice To Me’ sends pints full of beer flying, the scene becoming a mess of arms all over the place as Frontman Josh Franceschi directs the crowd to lose their minds collectively. ‘MAKEMEFEELALIVE’ follows and continues the pandemonium, before crowd favourite ‘Reckless’ inspires the biggest singalong so far, though it’s the middle of the set that has the best run though. When You Me At Six want to get heavy, they really can and ‘Bite My Tongue’ starts a strong four song run, with carnage erupting everywhere in the crowd. ‘What’s It Like’ follows, with Chris Miller’s expert guitar playing leading the crowd through the chorus.

‘Give’ is quite possibly the highlight of the bands performance, however, with Franceschi changing his pitch at the perfect moment every time, and giving the crowd their first real cathartic moment with the band. ‘Room To Breathe’ does the opposite of what it says on the tin, with the crowd screaming the chorus back at the band. This was a shining moment of tonight’s performance and should be a signal to the band that this is a song that should find itself on every setlist for the foreseeable.

A thunderous ‘Straight to my Head’ and ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ bring the main set to a close before the band re-emerge for their encore and go into their newest ballad ‘Glasgow’. While the performance is great, it doesn’t scream opening encore song, which may be the only criticism of this set. Thankfully, they pull it back and end on their signature anthem ‘Underdog’ and close on ‘Beautiful Way’.

You Me At Six have been plugging away for nearly two decades now, and have really honed their live performances. They’ve long since been a band that never fails to impress in a live environment, and with a back catalogue bursting with classics and new songs that are pushing their boundaries, they’re still a band to watch out for. They’re continue to evolve and take that next step, writing their history however they want to.