Review: Fightstar at O2 ABC

Mina Green

After returning from a hiatus of four years, Fightstar’s tenth anniversary tour marked a significant step for the band’s career, reviving their colourful past and paving a new way into the ever-changing realm of modern alternative rock. This step had been eagerly anticipated by fans, proven by the London Forum show being sold out with a quarter of an hour.

With a mélange of deep raspy vocals, low moaning guitar and a chunky heavy baseline, Glasgow’s abc was teeming with die-hard fans moshing their hearts out to the music. The audience ranged from late teens to early thirties and everywhere I looked, people were mouthing along to the songs in a sea of nostalgic euphoria. Clearly, these fans had been waiting a long time to see Fighstar grace the stage again and they did not seem disappointed with what they experienced. When I looked around the room beneath the flashing lights and smell of cheap vodka, I couldn’t help but reminisce on my teenage years. It was like time had rewound, I felt like I was contained in a comfortable realm of grungy-emo festivity circa 2008, a time of neon laces and black eye shadow. The remarkable thing about this gig was its unrelenting energy; it was as surprising as it was memorable.

With a pounding double bass pedal and assertive cymbal crashing, the show began. Charlie Simpson came forward to initiate the intense screamo-rock fusion of the bands most well known songs, including an incredible and electric performance of ‘Paint Your Target’, setting the scene for other powerful songs to come. The vocal performances of Charlie in songs such as ‘Sleep Well Tonight’ and ‘Palahnuik’s Laughter’ were on-point and bursting with emotion and endearing rage. The audience made it clear they were not shy, singing along to the choruses of songs, unforgiving, at the top of their lungs. Keeping the band tight and relentless, drummer Omar Abidi did an admirable job with his energy and passionate performance. Both guitarist Alex Wesaway and bassist Dan Haigh were particularly focused and flawless in ‘Tannhauser Gate’ and ‘Deathcar’.

The moment that stuck out for me the most was when Charlie brought his brother out on stage to play guitar. It was obvious that the band were ecstatic to be touring together again and every second on stage seemed thrilling and relished. Despite having spent a few years apart pursuing different projects, the band’s chemistry on stage was noticeably fluid and relaxed, as if no time had passed since the success of their 2007 hits such as ‘Deathcar’ and ‘Floods’ that had topped the UK charts. During and between songs, the band were interactive with the audience, and seemed to really appreciate the turn out after such a long time since their last tour. The relationship between the band and the audience was moving, the passion oozing both sides of the stage created an excitable and engaging atmosphere heavy with satisfied hearts.

As far as modern rock bands go, Fightstar effortlessly transcend the gap between rock and metal and punk, making them unique as far as innovative writing and performance goes. The most notable thing about this band is their energy and their commitment. As they plan on playing a few festivals and writing more material this summer, it seems like Fightstar will flourish and make a bigger name for themselves in 2015. Overall, the show was impeccable and entertaining, with a hint of wistfulness and remembrance. It was faultless and exactly what Fightstar fans needed to reassure them of the band’s success and dedication. All we need to know now is: when can we next don our dock martins with pride and get a glimpse of Charlie and Alex rocking out? What else do Fightstar have in store for us? I guess all will be reveleaed a matter of time. Stay tuned.


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