It’s not easy to be a band from America trying to crack the UK/Europe touring circuit with some suffering from not being heard enough over here, therefore suffering playing to a half empty room. Ohio’s own Citizen aren’t ones to suffer from this, however. By the time the band come on stage and launch into ‘Youth’ favourite ‘The Summer’, the crowd at the Classic Grand surge down the front to sing their hearts out.
Before all that, Fade  take to the stage to perform some outstanding melodic riff-rock, which seems to go down fairly well with the crowd. Playing tracks that pick from their trio of EPs they have in their roster, the Deftones-esque noise that the Leeds quartet produce is fantastic. With instrumental sections that sway from the twinkle of a single guitar to the utter onslaught of fuzzy distortion, tracks like ‘Identity’ and ‘One With Serenity’ encapsulate the band’s grunge meets melodic hardcore excellently.
Riding off of their new LP ‘Peripheral Vision’, Virginia Beach based four-piece Turnover  are met with a roar from the ever-growing crowd. Mostly sticking to material from the new album, the band also play two new songs from an upcoming EP release. ‘Diazepam’ and ‘Cutting My Fingers Off’ evoke a big reaction to the Classic Grand, with die-hard fans singing passionately while others cry: a perfect summary of just what Turnover can do to peoples’ emotions.
When the first line of ‘The Summer’ kicks in, bodies hurtle themselves from the stage into the crowd while Citizen  bash out a superb rendition of the song. The noisy style of hardcore punk that their latest LP ‘Everybody Is Going To Heaven’ comes across in a live setting really well. ‘Cement’, ‘Stain’, and ‘Numb Yourself’ bring a slightly bigger and different sound compared to the ‘Youth’ cuts.
Over the whole set, fans go ballistic and stage dive at any opportune moment, while others scream along to Mat Kerekes‘ vocal lines with a passion that could match some of the bigger bands on the touring circuit at the moment. As the band come back for an encore, Kerekes‘ voice is quite noticeably hoarse, explaining he had been suffering from a cold earlier on, so he encourages people to help him sing by getting onstage. This prompts one fan to take to the offer and deliver the first few lines of the song very well. This type of thing shows that Citizen have that something special about them, allowing them to travel all those miles and be met with such a glorious crowd.
Written by Ewan MacDonald