After twelve years of non-stop touring, four full-length albums and two EPs, Wales’ finest rockers The Blackout are sadly deciding to call it a day. But, before they bid their last goodbye, the band return to play one final show in their hometown of Merthyr Tydfil, with a set filled with career spanning hits, which they also film for their first (and last) live DVD.
Support band The Arcadia Verses (***) have a tough crowd before them. Whilst everyone seems to enjoy the music on offer, all of their minds are clearly set on the upcoming final performance from the evening’s headliners. However, their set passes quickly, and before long dozens of balloons with The Blackout‘s logo are up in the air as the crowd wait for them to make their entrance.
When the lights go down, the whole crowd chants “We are the dynamite” as The Blackout (*****) take to the stage. From the opening of ‘Wolves’, both the band the crowd give everything they’ve got, jumping, moshing and screaming every word; knowing that it’ll be the last time these songs get played. The band tears through songs old and new, from a medley of hits from their 2006 debut ‘The Blackout! The Blackout! The Blackout!’ all the way to ‘Liars’ from their latest EP, ‘Wolves’.
As the show is a special goodbye and is being filmed, the band bring in some extra special production in the form of pyro, which nearly takes Sean Smith‘s eyebrows off. The pairing of Sean and Gavin Butler is one that has always worked well, with the dual vocals standing out, and their chemistry helping the banter to bounce back and forth.
A huge circle pit ensues for ‘Children Of The Night’ before the band slow the tempo with fan favourite ‘Life And Death In Space’, which sees some of the more emotional fans couldn’t help but shed a tear as their favourite band say farewell.
When The Blackout end up on closing song ‘Save Our Selves (The Warning)’, there’s a sense of finality in the air as the career of a band that has been a staple of the Welsh rock scene is coming to a close. The lyrics “This is where it all began / This is where the story ends” feels apt tonight as the sextet say goodbye in the town where it all began. It’s a fitting farewell as the final “Woah-oh-oh-oah”s of the song bring to a close the career of one of the UK’s greatest modern bands.
Written by Rhys Hawke