Despite usually being a one-woman band, singer/guitarist Alyse Vellturo is joined on stage by a 2nd guitarist, a bass player and a drummer for this live show, all sporting a selection of white and blue boiler suits.
The venue may only be half full as the band take to stage at the early start time of 5:45pm but the cheers and claps at the end of each song are strong. It has to be noted, it is a fairly young crowd tonight and doesn’t feel too unlike a bustling college common room.
The opening song is a gentle melodic tune with emotional lyrics conveyed through Alyse’s refined and yet powerful voice. Everything about this music is perfectly arranged with each instrument complimenting the next. Even the gentle sway-dancing of the musicians brings just enough movement to the stage.
Alyse introduces herself as from New York and briefly introduces her additional musicians this is well received by the crowd. The second song is introduced as being “about not being good enough” it has stronger beats and a slightly more Indie-Pop feel to it. You could quite imagine it being on a sound track of a feel-good teen film. Infact, there are hints of early ‘90s bands such as Blink/ Lush and The Cranberries throughout the set. There is a heavier feel to the music by the third song, whilst the 4th has a more solid bass line as well as lots more tuneful guitar melodies. The final song starts with a strong drum beat and is reminiscent of Jane Wiedlin’s ‘80s hit ‘Rush Hour’. This results in some big cheers from the audience who are now nicely warmed up. Pronoun’s New album I’ll show you stronger is out 24th May 2019.
Find out more at: www.musicpronoun.com
Next up are the Southern Californian 4-piece. This band have an obvious following in the audience and when they begin to play, the leaping about begins, not only in the crowd but on the stage also. This band are animated throughout their set.
When vocalist Patrick Miranda interacts with the crowd after the 1st song it is surprising how soft and friendly his voice sounds “Give it up for Pronoun” he encourages – and of course the crowd does – perhaps he is conserving his vocal power for delivering the not-so-soft vocals that the 2nd song demands. With a chunky guitar and bass riffs supplied by Ira George and Austin Cressey, alongside a solid drum tempo provided by Spencer York, the singer launches into a barrage of impressively strong scream-rap which denotes why the band are categorised as Post-Hardcore. This song earns loud applause and cheering from the venue which is just over two thirds full now. The set continues in the same vein. After checking in again with their audience, Patrick introduces a song as ‘Colorblind’ from their current album Feel Something. It is the band’s 3rd time playing in the UK and they thank the headliners for having them along on their tour. They also do a quick check to see how many new listeners they’ve acquired at this show and they aren’t disappointed. With a steady flow of crowd surfing even during their slower songs it’s clear this band are a hit and this is further demonstrated when the crowd sing back the chorus of the final song, unaccompanied by the singer. Find out more at: www.movementsofficial.com
THE WONDER YEARS
With the stage in near-complete darkness, a silhouette of singer Dan Campbell jumps high into the air and lands to the thud of the song intro. Lights come up to reveal no less than a 6-player band comprised of 3 guitarists; Matt Brasch, Casey Cavaliere and Nick Steinborn, bass guitarist Josh Martin arranged across the front of the stage and drummer Mike Kennedy somewhat hidden behind but with a sound that is most definitely noticeable.
The band introduce themselves after the first song to a rapturous audience who have been happily singing and clapping along. There is a slower end to the second song but by the third it is back to jumping and then a massive tempo change mid-song but nothing to stop the surge of crowd surfers that keep the security staff busy throughout this band’s entire set.
Singer DC, stood atop a flight case, casually asks the crowd if there is anyone from Wales at the gig – there are – and he explains that the band have been playing there since 2007 and goes on to dedicate the next song to a pub in Newport.
Despite filling the stage with their many and substantial forms the band manage to move about seamlessly and flow to using different instruments with ease; such as when Matt Brasch takes up the glockenspiel during the one of the slower songs which has the audience hugging their loved ones with one arm whilst raising a lighter flame or lit mobile in the other (at the bands request). It’s pretty. Or when MB swaps to playing an additional drum kit whilst guitarist Nick Steinborn switches to keyboard playing during one of the later songs in the set. The band are adaptable and hardworking, that’s for sure and their audience repays them with plenty of singing back, throwing of hands, clapping and cheering. Find out more at: www.thewonderyearsband.com
As tonight’s headline act take to the stage there is a notable shuffling amongst the audience as fans push to get closer. Singer Derek Sanders is last to enter and as he strides to his position, barefoot, he points to the crowd in front who go crazy as he begins to jump about to the music.
“Alright Bristol? Are you ready to have some fun?” he calls out after the first song and the stacked dancefloor full of fans certainly are.
It’s a succession of melodic pop-rock with lyrics that the fans appear to relate to well and its visible that that they are evoking all sorts of memories throughout the tight clusters and pockets of friends that are busy dancing and singing along. The venue is packed to capacity and the band are loving it.
As guitarists Alex Garcia, Brooks Betts and Jason Lancaster flings themselves into their playing and make sure to greet every part of the audience from every inch of the stage, vocalist Derek Sanders twirls and whirls his way between them whilst belting out his emotional lyrics, supported by drummer Jake Bundrick and with backing vocals from Jeremy Lenzo who swings his bass guitar quite literally above his head as he strums with meaning. “Lets just have some fun, lets enjoy this” the band instruct their crowd.
An acoustic guitar is brought out for DS and the fans oooh, ahhh and aww in all the right places. Especially when DS asks “Do we have any fans of Emo music” and playfully works a couple of lines of
My Chemical Romance’s ‘I’m not okay’ into the mix. Then back in to blasting music and DS loses the acoustic guitar just in time to begin bouncing along with the crowd who seem to be soaking it all up and singing their hearts out.
A keyboard is now brought on to stage for the singer and he tells the fans “It means the world to play in front of a crowd like this in the UK after 13 years of being in this band. We’re going to chill things out a bit now” The song is called ‘Stay’ from their self-titled Mayday Parade album. Then it’s time to rewind 13 years to the first song they ever wrote ‘Three Cheers for 5 years’ from their first album Tales Told by Dead Friends.
There are many more guitar changes and tunings, crazy strobing lights and relentless dancing. Every single member of this band has boundless energy and it’s hard to tell if the crowd are feeding off of the band or if the band are feeding off of the vibrant crowd. Possibly both. Whatever it is, all the Pop-Punk and Emo needs have been satisfied. Mayday Parade’s new album Sunnyland is out now. Find out more at: www.maydayparade.com
Review : Suzi Bootz
Photography : Emma Painter
Pacific Curd Photography