LIVE: A Day To Remember @ First Direct Arena, Leeds (28/01/2017)
January 30th, 2017
Let’s be honest here, the past few years for A Day To Remember have admittedly not been all that easy, especially around the time surrounding their fifth record ‘Common Courtesy’, and the public lawsuit with Victory Records that accompanied that. Three years later, and it finally seems like the band are through the thick of it, out the other side on a world tour for their latest LP, ‘Bad Vibrations’.
Opening up are a band who are well catered to administering all of the feels. Moose Blood’s  rise in such a quick time has been, well, exceptional, but with cuts like ‘Boston’ and ‘Glow’, it’s not too hard to see why. With a slightly more pop-esque take on the Brand New sound, their emotionally and romantically driven palette is relatable, and Eddy Brewerton‘s timid presence between songs that are delivered with a heart on his sleeve are what makes such a winning formula.
Similarly, Neck Deep  have managed to climb up the echelons of the pop-punk elite fast and hard, with only two albums under their belt and being spoke of in the same breath by their fans as the likes of The Story So Far and The Wonder Years. They’re filled with energy; guitarists Matt West and Sam Bowden are seen running and jump kicking past one another at one point. At another point a fight nearly breaks out near the front during ‘A Part Of Me’, to which frontman Ben Barlow threatens to come down to them and kick their ass if they don’t stop, before proceeding with nothing but positive vibes with the one-two closer of ‘December’ and ‘Can’t Kick Up The Roots’.
Few bands have been at the game, and consistently killing the game, as hard and as long as the rightfully dubbed godfathers of pop-punk, New Found Glory . They may be starting to show their age a little bit nowadays, but what does that matter when you’re the same band who created the sugary sweet sensation ‘Hit Or Miss’? Fresh offering ‘Happy Being Miserable’ proves they’ve still got that magic touch, and their take on ‘Kiss Me’ even gets the very few non-fans in the room singing along. Jordan Pundik rallies the fans into calls of arms with their hit after hit, and come the final moments of set closer ‘My Friends Over You’, their title of godfathers remains safely intact.
Ocala’s kings of the breakdown A Day To Remember  call themselves the heaviest pop-punk band ever, and, you know what? They’re probably right. From the off they throw us right into ‘Mr. Highway’s Thinking About The End’, and from the chug-a-thon that follows after Jeremy McKinnon‘s roar of “disrespect your surroundings”, the crowd erupts, and the Floridians press on to deliver one of the best sets and performances of their career thus far.
Indeed, with a total of six albums to their name now, A Day To Remember have a substantial supply of bangers at their disposal, and with this they manage to cater to fans of any era and of any style from the band’s career. Those craving the dissonant, heavy and fast cuts lap up ‘Bad Vibrations’ and ‘2nd Sucks’, and those seeking a more melodic pop-punk bite get their pogo legs in full motion with their friends by their side during ‘Right Back At It Again’, ‘All Signs Point To Lauderdale’, and ‘Naivety’.
What helps to set A Day To Remember apart and above many of their contemporaries is just how fun and care-free they are. By no means is this exclusive to them; their unleashing of confetti cannons throughout the evening and several inflatables during ‘We Got This’ isn’t anything new. But, what they provide is conviction, and with the goosebump raising ‘If It Means A Lot To You’, and the infectious “d-duh d-duh duh-duh” chants of ‘The Downfall Of Us All’ drawing things to an end, it feels like we’re still yet to scratch the surface of the band’s potential.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)