“Is anyone else feeling happy tonight? Because I am.”
There’s no better feeling than nostalgia when seeing a band, and whilst Australian alt rockers Tonight Alive aren’t an old band, they bought the same energy and passion to Birmingham’s o2 Institute2 as they did when they first broke through. With Wolf Culture and Jamie Lenman supporting, the night flew by on an adrenaline induced high.
Punk quartet Wolf Culture kicked off the evening nicely, a perfect band for the opening slot. Playing to eager early-worms, the band had people hooked the moment they walked on stage with their head-bopping tunes. Their relationship as a band shone through, creating a real charm to the live performance – a band to keep an eye out for in the future.
Next up, Jamie Lenman graced the stage, preparing for an electric set that would surely get the crowd going. There was something captivating about Lenman dressed in his signature white attire, as he powered through a set that was a wonderfully weird concoction of metal, punk, and a very well-polished Queen cover. A fun and unique performance, Lenman fit the bill for the evening – raising what energy the fans had to a new level of excitement.
You know it’s going to be a good show that no matter what size the room, the intense atmosphere is almost bouncing off of the walls before the band has even entered the stage. The moment the lights went down, loyal fans began to cheer as drummer Matty Best and frontwoman Jenna McDougall took to the stage to start the first song of the set “The Other”, later joined by bassist Cam Adler and guitarist Jake Hardy. Having not listened to Tonight Alive properly for a little while, it was a sweet reminder of how breath-taking McDougall’s vocals are against the bands dynamic riffs.
A personal nostalgic moment lingered through in to their second song, as they hit straight in to “What Are You So Scared Of?” from their debut album, giving the crowd an insight that the bands set list was almost a celebration of the bands discography. It was no surprise that Tonight Alive’s fans have stuck with them, as they showed the diversity of their albums in a performance full of enthusiasm and devotion. As McDougall ran around the stage, interacting with each band mate in turn, it was clear to see that even after 10 years there was still that fortitude of hope that has pushed them through to where they are now.
“This is probably what every band says ever, but I don’t care how generic it sounds,” McDougall begins, after the band flawlessly carried out an impressive set list, consisting of a mingle of tracks that would make both older and new fans happy. “But there’s something special about being able to write songs that mean something to you and perform them to a group of people”. A sense of accomplishment shows on the bands faces, as the crowd let out a cheer of support – a proud milestone in any bands career when they hit the 10-year mark. Once taking in the fans support, the band kicked straight in to “Amelia”, a hard-hitting, emotion-filled song from their debut album that McDougall had written when she was 17.
Tonight Alive didn’t stop there, as they began to close the set with older songs that sent the audience in to a fit of frenzy. The night felt like something truly special, the energy never wavering, with Tonight Alive proving that their live shows are even more powerful than their records. Ending the night with “Temple”, the band showcased their endless amount of talent through a show that provided not only insane stamina and intensity, but also a space in which fans could come together to appreciate the bands career.
Even after 10 years, Tonight Alive still perform their songs as though they’re playing them for the first time, full of adoration and devotion. Their entire discography has taken them on a musical journey, one in which they have really found their feet as a band – a sign that means hopefully, they’re not wasting away.