After a long, tedious day at work, I was excited to be heading off to my all-time favorite venue, The Asylum in Birmingham for a night of emo goodness. Hawthorne Heights were kicking off their UK tour with a small, intimate show playing their most beloved album The Silence In Black and White in full with support from Decay and Like Giants. As I was waiting for Decay to hit the stage, the room was filling fast and I knew it was going to be a good night.
Within their first few notes, the opening band Decay set the tone for the night. What proceeded was a collection of melodic hardcore/Emo songs that all had the band wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Coming all the way from Liverpool, the band proved just why they are growing so fast with their aggressive, emotional and insanely tight performance. On top of all this, their sound reminded me of an awful lot of Casey, one of my favorite bands. The set was a fantastic way to open the night and got both myself and the audience all in the mood for everything to come. Decay has found a new fan here, that’s for sure!
Next up were the main supports, UK Pop-punk 5-piece Like Giants. Other than the mild whiplash in terms of sound between the last band and these, I was yet again insanely impressed by the performance with my attention being captured instantly and effortlessly. The audience was treated to an incredibly tight set full of good vibes, songs about the band’s home town and great energy that was infectious to all in attendance with the room quickly bouncing along to the songs without even realizing it. Another great set and to say I was excited for Hawthorne Heights after the previous two acts would be an understatement.
After two fantastic sets that got both me and the crowd equally eager in anticipation, the act everyone came to see hit the stage. Hawthorne Heights started their set in a hail of cheers as their first chord hit the ears of the room. Before long, the room was singing along to every word, heads were banging and to say people were loving it would be an understatement. One thing that was an incredibly pleasant surprise was how much heavier the music sounds live, with a heavy influence of hardcore in the sound. The best part of the show though was the setlist. With Hawthorne Heights playing the entirety arguably their most Popular album the silence in black and white in full, emo kids of all ages were singing their hearts out to songs that shaped their teenage years. My personal highlight is torn between Silver Bullet or Ohio is for lovers, with the small, intimate room exploding in unison with the choruses in both.
As Hawthorne finished their set, I was disappointed that the night had come to an end. The short hours spent at The Asylum last night were some of the best I’ve had so far in 2020 with all the bands blowing my expectations out of the water by miles, and from the smiles, laughs and overall positive energy from those in attendance as they were leaving showed to me that I wasn’t alone in my feelings.
Review & Photography: Daniel Stapleton
Pulse Media Photography