October 3rd 2013 | Norwich Waterfront | Gigs
Words: Liam Forkes | Photo: Charlotte King
There was an air of excitement around the Waterfront on the evening of October 3rd 2013. That night, five-piece melodic metalcore band Bury Tomorrow, hailing from Southampton, were headlining the venue. After bringing the roof down as main support for Architects at the same venue back in November, many people were excited to witness the spectacle once more, and they did not disappoint.
First band to play were Bournemouth five-piece Heart In Hand. Their unique brand of hardcore instantly got the crowd interested, and despite being the first band on, vocalist Charlie Holmes wasted no time in getting people to move. Consistent urging of the audience paired with the impressive stage presence very quickly built a good atmosphere. Movement could be seen across the room, in various forms (some more violent than others). Blasting through a setlist mostly composed of recently-released album Almost Home, the band never failed to impress musically, with every note matching every other note, with special credit going to Holmes’ vocals, which instantly set the bar for the rest of the evening. Overall, a surprising introductory act who set a high standard and managed to instantly build an atmosphere.
Next on the bill were Empress, a four-piece progressive band from London. From the get-go, it was clear that the atmosphere built from the previous band would not be carried through. Front-man and vocalist/guitarist Ollie Loring did little to get the crowd going other than ask how they were once or twice, and on-stage there was almost no movement from any of the members. Despite Loring’s scream vocals being above-average, his clean vocals were anything but. Whilst the rest of the band played to a good standard, the whole thing just felt boring, with little motivation coming from the band. Overall, the band did little but play the music, and even this was not done to an amazing standard, leaving the crowd feeling very unEmpressed.
Main support came in the form of five-piece Kent-based hardcore band Feed The Rhino, and there was zero time wasted in getting the crowd going. Frontman Lee Tobin took the stage and completely made it his own, with constant demands for circle pits, walls of death and flying fists. The crowd, still eager for violence after the disappointing predecessors, responded enthusiastically and immediately, with the atmosphere Heart In Hand created being not only restored, but outdone. Musically, every song the band played was exactly on par with what has become expected of their live shows. Climbing both into AND onto the crowd, Tobin made the experience feel less like a band playing to an audience and more like a group of people celebrating music together. The crowd felt at unity with the band and the experience was greatly strengthened. Overall, a stunning set from a fantastic band which created a fantastic atmosphere which paved the way for that night’s headline act.
The stage darkened as, one by one, Bury Tomorrow composed themselves on the stage. Breaking straight into the set with Redeemer, the intro to 2012-released album “The Union Of Crowns”. Instantly, the crowd went wild, with the atmosphere skyrocketing to heights even Feed The Rhino had failed to reach. Blasting through their set, lead vocalist Dani Winter-Bates consistently encouraged the crowd to punch, kick and swing their way through the songs the band played. Musically, the band beat any expectation set by their last show, with every note from every instrument backing up the powerful vocals perfectly. Once again, special mention must go to Dani, as his vocals are what set Bury Tomorrow above all others. Blasting through a set consisting of music from both The Union Of Crowns and the band’s first album, Portraits (2009), all members of the band move around the stage with a disorganised sense of recklessness, the band merely reacting to the music they play so well. One highlight of the set is when the band splits up the crowd into two, males into a circle pit, and females into a “twerk pit”, for the beginning of “You And I”. The band clearly take not even themselves seriously, and this charming yet humorous spectacle gave the crowd a sense of endearment.
As the set drew to a close, and the band topped of their set with an encore of “Lionheart”, the band took the time to thank the fans that helped them go from main support in November to headline less than a year later. As they finish up their set, the crowd exert every last bit of energy they can in order to prove their support for such a spectacle that had befallen them. The band closed up, and the crowd had nothing but praise to give them.
Overall, even a poor support band could not ruin the atmosphere set by the rest of the bands. Two fantastic support bands paved the way for a stellar headline act which gave the audience exactly what they were looking for: a fantastic atmosphere and great music. Tonight, the headline act succeeded by all counts.