Date: February 5th, 2014
Venue: Academy 3, Manchester
Support: Save Your Breath / Neck Deep
A long line of dedicated fans brave the typically terrible Manchester weather and eagerly queue up outside the University of Manchester Students Union, waiting for a night of sugary sweet pop-punk courtesy of New York quintet We Are The In Crowd. I, on the other hand, being one of the few fans actually old enough to be in a bar, am enjoying a pint inside, awaiting tonight’s festivities.
Kicking things off tonight are Newport based five-piece, Save Your Breath (***), whose Yellowcard-esque brand of pop-punk attempts to warm up the crowd. Sadly, even with catchy numbers such as ‘Hold’ and new single ‘Harrow Road’, the crowd stay pretty stationary throughout the performance. Whilst the band boast impressive harmonies, there are some moments when the backing vocals actually outshine frontman Kristian Richards‘, which is unfortunate. Closing on ‘Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy’, the crowd get a little more involved but, despite their efforts, Save Your Breath fail to ignite a crowd who are clearly waiting for the headliners.
Up next are Wrexham boys, Neck Deep (****), who manage to get a lot more out of this audience with tracks such as ‘Over And Over’. Sounding similar to pop-punk heavyweights New Found Glory, this band goes down a treat and has crowd members starting mosh pits and stage diving left, right and centre. Despite being a much mellower song, closer and crowd favourite ‘A Part Of Me’ has everyone screaming the lyrics back at frontman Ben Barlow, bringing a brilliant end to a great set.
An ear-splitting scream greets tonight’s headliners, We Are The In Crowd (****), who tear into their set with new tracks ‘The Best Thing (That Happened To You)’ and ‘Manners’. Whilst the vocal performances on stage are great, it soon becomes apparent that frontwoman Tay Jardine is battling illness, but full credit to her as she powers through nd manages to pull off performances on an acoustic version of ‘For The Win’ and stripped down number, ‘Windows In Heaven’. Perhaps what’s most impressive is that vocalist/guitarist Jordan Eckes really ups his game to make up for Jardine‘s suffering voice, and delvers some brilliant vocal work.
Encoring with fan favourites ‘Both Sides Of The Story’ and ‘Rumor Mill’, We Are The In Crowd top off a great performance, even with Jardine struggling with her voice. There’s no chance that anybody in the room tonight can be disappointed and perhaps what’s more exciting is that, if this is how WATIC perform when under the weather, imagine just how good they can be at full strength. Hopefully the next time they come to the UK, we’ll get to see that.
Written by Jonathon Barlow