Saosin

support Lights. Action!
author PP date 04/05/07 venue Metro Club, London, UK

The Metro Club is a tiny and trendy venue in the heart of London, fitting only 175 people at sold out capacity, making it an ideal venue for label showcases and secret shows, as well as exceptionally intimate shows for bands that otherwise would be playing at venues twice the size, perhaps more sensibly four or five times the size. Saosin definitely belongs to the latter category, so expectations were understandably sky high for their headlining set, especially because they had brought along the young london hopefuls from Lights. Action!, who this time next year are probably headlining venues much bigger than The Metro.

Lights. Action!

And indeed, the latter took to the stage with the confidence of a band hungry for massive success. Dressed exactly the same way as during their December support slot to Moneen and Cancer Bats, Lights. Action! had the look of a band that knows how much image means to the early success of a band. While this can be a negative aspect during these emo-black-hair times, it certainly isn't the case with this band. With songs like "Satellites" and "Us Against The World", Lights. Action! can safely build their success on an image, as it is backed with quality song writing. Even though there were few people tonight who knew of the band beforehand, and the amount of people singing along to the lyrics or nodding their head could be counted with both hands, I'm sure many were turned over by the eclectic performance of especially the latter song. Frontman Currier wasn't as crowd-interactive as he usually is - he didn't plunge into the crowd to dance and sing his songs - but he did occasionally throw out a move or two reminding me of the best poledancers at strip clubs, however exaggerating that statement may be. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, watch out for this band, because if their debut album is going to be anywhere as good as "Us Against The World", they will be massive.

Saosin

In all honesty, I can not even begin to describe the experience that was Saosin tonight. While attempting to not sound too cliché, Saosin will never sound as great live as they did tonight. It will be impossible to try to replicate the unique atmosphere a tiny venue like the one in Metro in the future, as it is today Saosin is at the verge of a massive breakthrough. From the very first moment of the Metro gig, it was clear that the band would top their mediocre Give It A Name set and play the kind of show that makes kids realize they have to pick up a guitar and start a band of their own.

The speciality and uniqueness of the gig was depicted from the very beginning as frontman Cove Reber appeared on stage wearing an emo scarf, a hoodie and a bandanna, with eyes wide open ready to embrace the crowd, and directly broke into "It's Far Better To Learn" supported by unbeliavably big crowd applaud given the venue size. And boy, must I tell you, Cove has never sounded this good on clean vocals before. Nailing note after note, Cove mastered the lower notes in the beginning of the song, and sublimely reached every single forthcoming high note at a range possibly even higher than on the record, bringing chills to the crowd from front to back and raising a thought that maybe one day Cove will even top Anthony in terms of range, however far-fetched that may sound at the moment. The song was performed with passion and rage never before seen from the band, and immediately after the teasing first notes of "Sleepers" blasted through the speakers, inciting the crowd into further riotous state. What was clear from the very first song was fortified by "Sleepers", that every single member of the audience tonight would know not just the chorus to each song, but the verse, the bridge and the opening and closing words too, making the show an ever so special meet of the most dedicated fans in the world.

"Translating The Name" incited a massive singalong, but it wasn't until "Bury Your Head" that the venue completely lost its touch with reality. Even though I was standing at the very front line and could've touched Cove with both of my hands if I wanted to, I had serious trouble hearing his vocals above the absolutely amazing singalong that was taking place, and let me reiterate that I'm not just talking about the chorus. Piece after piece, Cove kept removing his 'cliche emo' outfit as the mercury at the venue rose into higher and higher temperatures, until the point where every single soul near the front was dripping of sweat from front to back.

To highlight the speciality of this show, there was no extra showmanship like crowd control or other ridiculous gimmicks. Instead, Cove directly engaged with several members of the audience, speaking to them through the mic, as well as making a number of jokes on how European audiences are far better than American ones among other similar ones. And while he performed his songs, he did so with eyes wide open and using various hand signals to depict the lyrics he was singing. But you might still think this is business as usual for the one band that hasn't broken through to the levels they should have long time ago. So consider the following: what made the show even more special was the incredible addition of songs the band hasn't played for years in the US, and never before in Europe. We are talking about songs the band has never even released to the public, but even so it seemed like the entire venue knew every single lyric to "I Can Tell There Was An Accident Here Earlier", a song during which the entire band went ballistic and mental.

By this time it was already more than established that Cove has never sounded better live, and then came the screams of "Seven Years", previously taken care by Justin live (though I am not entirely sure of this) but as seen handled by Cove at Give It A Name a week earlier. Again with all honesty, I must say that Cove sounded absolutely massive during those screams. They had both volume and strength, and they by far toppled anyone else trying to scream long to the lyrics at the venue. Strangely enough, during "They Perched.." it was Justin/Beau again screaming, alternating with Chris (? please correct me if I am wrong), showing that just about anyone in this band is capable of shrieking through the microphone like a maniac if need be, which is perhaps a promising detail when predicting what their next album will sound like.

The novelty didn't wear off here though, as the band kept playing hit after hit, massive song after another followed by equally massive singalongs. As the band was about to announce their last song, the crowd kept screaming "play Lost Symphonies!!" at the guys as well as "Mookie!!!". Visibly overwhelmed, the guys discussed within themselves whether or not "they [the crowd] should be given the option" but were again toppled by screams of "Mookie!!". Cove & co continued their earlier crowd interaction by sincerely saying they have no idea how to play that song, and especially Justin was struggling to remember even the basic riff for the song. This posed seemingly no problem, as he asked the crowd "does anyone know how to play it? I promise we'll let you play it but you really must know how it goes and someone has to help us out on the guitar" and a surprising number of the crowd plunged to the stage but it was only one, a guy called Matt, who was convincing enough to take on the rhythm guitar to an enormous cheer from the 175-man crowd. I must add this was completely unplanned for, as the band has never done such an oddity before, and Cove even had to shout out "Dudes our label is here tonight and they're probably gonna hate us for this but so what", further adding to the magical feeling between the crowd and the band, who felt 100% at home tonight.

They then proceeded into the song, and though Beau and Chris had a hard time remembering what the hell they were doing in that song, the band pulled off a version at least reasonably alike to the original version. But by this time, the crowd had already gone so nuts they didn't care even if Beau and the crowd member Matt had dropped D-chords throughout the set, this was clearly something that would only happen tonight, and never again in the history of this band! Needless to say, the rarely played "Some Sense Of Security" saw people vaulting on stage, crowdsurfing on top of each other, and hitting their heads on the ceiling, until at the end of the song when there were probably more people on stage than on the bar and dancefloor combined. The whole incredible experience culminated in a massive group hug/high five session with Cove, prompting him to scream to the mic "DON'T STEAL MY STUFF GUYS!".

Realistically though, it is probably not possible to describe the kind of atmosphere and importance of a gig like this in a review. These kind of experiences are few and far in between, they are the kind of shows that change lives, make people start bands and create some of the most loyal fans a band can ever have - I mean 90% of the crowd here would be ready to shine Cove's shoes on a daily basis after a show like this, and it says a lot about the band that after tonight's connection with the crowd, they would much rather have all of them on stage playing instruments instead. Returning readers will know how immensely difficult it is to gain an amazing grade at our magazine, but yet I still feel a perfect score is an underestimation of the events that unfolded tonight. I think it says something when the undersigned has been to over 70 shows and can say this was the best one of them all without a doubt. One final comment says it all - it is these kind of performances that we run this site for.

10

Setlist:

  • 1
  • 1. It's Far Better To Learn
  • 2. Sleepers
  • 3. Translating The Name
  • 4. Bury Your Head
  • 5. I Never Wanted To
  • 6. I Can Tell There Was An Accident Here Earlier
  • 7. You're Not Alone
  • 8. Follow And Feel
  • 9. Seven Years
  • 10. Voices
  • 11. They Perched On Their Stilts Pointing And Daring Me To Break Custom
  • 12. Mookie's Last Christmas

13. Some Sense Of Security

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