In the second city one early October, an Australian band known by the acronym TAA (The Amity Affliction) came to play a show. Along with them they brought the bands Endless Heights, Dream State, and The Plot In You. The venue was the famous O2 Academy, or The Dome if you can remember that far back, in the upstairs room (O2 Academy2).
To kick start the night the appreciative Endless Heights played a short and sweet set of around 20 minutes. They even threw in a slower track near the end of their set. Just before closing off their set they acknowledged their early set time and thanked the audience before playing their last song which was pleasant.
Next was the turn of Dream State who walked onto to stage strong cheers as if they were the main act. It didn’t take long before the crowd started a circle pit whilst the band just continued their energetic set. Seeing a support act crowd surf is somewhat of a rarity yet Dream State pulled it off. The lead singer was very open and adamant that the crowd should lose their inhibitions and how their EP recovery dealt with addiction and mental health struggles. Dream State will surely move on to bigger and better things in the future – it’s looking good for them!
The Plot In You were next, opening out to a barebones drum beat the vocalist let out an almighty fry screamed set of lyrics which was quite impressive and felt extremely powerful. However, compared to the electric energy on stage Dream State had The Plot In You couldn’t follow which was a shame. Although near the end of the their set a surprising chant for a circle pit broke out as the crowd began to get more involved with their songs from their latest record. Thankfully the their set ended better than it started in terms of crown involvement, but overall The Plot In You gave their set a good go but the careless attitude the band had on stage did no resonate as much with the crowd.
It was finally time for The Amity Affliction to take the stage, the lights dimmed and the crowd cheered. Ivy (Doomsday) opened up the set and the crowd went wild and the smell of sweaty bodies rose from the insistent moshers in the centre of the room. TAA came out looking very serious like they meant business and they did, Joel and Ahren belted out Ivy.
Considering the small stage TAA were able to fill it up and really own it; Joel really used the front of the stage to bend over and project his unclean vocals with extreme power. This ability really helped when it came to playing one of their older songs which relied on Joel’s unclean’s. As with many bands that start their careers with heavy tracks it often means that as their career progresses they lose that unclean vocal element. The latest record “Misery” featured heavily in the set list with tracks such as “D.I.E” and “Drag The Lake” also making an appearance alongside fan favourites such as “I Bring The Weather With Me” and “This Could Be Heartbreak” – It could be said that it was a great “best of” style setlist!
Overall TAA are one of the few bands that have played live that have had their audio mixed to a high standard. Far too often bands are subject to audio mixing in small venues that just blends their sound into a indistinguishable mess. However, TAA sounded pretty much the same as they do on their albums which was a welcomed treat for fans.
The band ended their tour on one of their most popular singles “Pittsburgh”. The crowd were instructed to begin singing the opening but did not need much encouragement before almost drowning out the vocalist. The atmosphere was intense as the emotional chorus and lyrics closed out the night. TAA are not afraid to tackle the issues of mental health and abuse head on, and if anything can be proved it’s that this openness and way of writing really connects with fans as the sheer volume to which people were screaming the lyrics back with such emotion. An extremely welcome end to the night that left people feeling a range of emotions, but mainly hot sweaty!
The Amity Affliction in Birmingham could have only been improved by having a bigger more dynamic stage but not a bigger room as it was a great intimate gig!