LIVE: The Summer Set @ Academy 3, Manchester (17/04/2014)

Date: April 17th, 2014
Venue: Academy 3, Manchester
Support: Paradise Fears / William Beckett


A surprisingly long line has formed outside the University of Manchester Students Union, eagerly waiting to catch US pop-punkers, The Summer Set. With tonight’s gig being sold out and an upcoming appearance at Hit The Deck Festival, it’s a busy time for the band and the fans are keen to see what they have to offer. Admittedly, tonight I look like a teacher on a school trip being over a foot taller and 10 years older than the majority of the crowd, but at least there’s no queue at the bar.

Opening tonight are Paradise Fears (****) who have an interesting style, mixing pop-rock with some light rap. Vocally they’re similar to American comedian Bo Burnham, but with song structures similar to pop heavyweight Ed Sheeran making them a very likeable band, all the while frontman Samuel Miller keeps the crowd involved and interacts with them well throughout the performance. Songs such as ‘Lullaby’, ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘What Are You Waiting For?’ go down a treat and warm up the crowd very well.

Up next is former The Academy Is… frontman, William Beckett (****), whose bluesy style is something a bit different for this show, but is delivered very well across tracks such as ‘Pick Up The Phone’ and ‘Dear Life’. He holds the crowds interest well considering it’s only him on the stage, teasing with the idea of a No Doubt cover. Set highlight comes in the form of ‘Just You Wait’ as The Summer Set‘s Brian Dales joins Beckett on stage for a top notch emotional performance.

An eardrum-shattering scream greets The Summer Set (*****) who churn out their upbeat, perky brand of pop-punk with tracks like ‘Chelsea’ and ‘Maybe Tonight’. Frontman Dales takes the lead, dancing and bounding across the stage to keep the crowd involved. It’s not all about him though, as the skills of drummer Jess Bowen become more and more prominent as the set goes on. Showing that they’re more than catchy beats and hooks, acoustic numbers like ‘Heart On The Floor’ feature fantastic vocal performances from Dales.

The Summer Set go through an incredible amount of tracks tonight including a cover of The 1975‘s ‘Chocolate’, and ‘Jukebox’ sees William Beckett returning the favour of guest appearances and takes to the stage. They maintain a high energy level throughout, the crowd love everything they do and are thoroughly entertained. Well done, The Summer Set. You nailed it.

Written by Jonathon Barlow