Saosin

support Gallows + Adam Lazzara
author TL date 19/11/06 venue Barfly, London, UK

After the somewhat disappointing appearance the day before at Taste of Chaos, it was with hopes of witnessing quite the redemption (and with a head feeling like an anvil in use due to being hit by a crowdsurfer) that I went to see Saosin's headlining show Sunday night at The Barfly. With the advantages of being the headliners, I was expecting the sound of the band to be a lot better, and as an effect, to be able to hear the screams I so dearly missed the day before. Due to some problems with tickets that took some time resolving, I did unfortunately arrive a bit too late to catch the beginning of the first support act. Something I have since regretted to great extent considering the nature of this act.

Adam Lazzara

If the acoustic appearance of Adam Lazzara was an oddity the night before, tonight's full solo set by the emo superstar was completely unheard of. Even though he had warned us that he was going to be present at Saosin's show, I don't think anyone in their wildest dreams would have imagined seeing the Taking Back Sunday frontman at The Barfly with a guitar and a harmonica as his only companions on stage. When I arrived he was just rounding up a song I guess was one of his own, and he continued to play "Make Damn Sure", and just as the night before, he also covered The Killers' "When You Were Young" before going off stage. To be fair, there's a reason Adam usually only does vocals for TBS, as he is, to be subtle, not exactly a professional guitar player. A fact he never failed to point out or make fun of himself, making tonight's display even more intimate than it already was. Adams little slip-ups only added to the character of show though, and the room was filled with the uplifted mood, coming from the crowds knowledge of just how special this moment was. The atmosphere was great, and with the simple arrangement, Adams fantastic voice made quite the impression. A unique performance by a modern rock star, somewhat away from his usual surroundings.

7

Gallows

Then it was time for the main support. I must admit that until the day before, I had no idea who was supporting, and thus I hadn't checked out Gallows before going to the show. Having done some post-show research I can however tell you, that the local boys had amp'ed up their hardcore punk quite a bit. They kicked straight into one of their full speed punk 'n roll tracks, and immediately, all sorts of madness started taking place on the stage. The guitar- and bass-players moved around in a very energetic manner, throwing classic rock 'n roll moves in the show for good measure, while the frontman did his best at raising hell in the entire room. Now I think what must be mentioned about Gallows is, that live what both holds them up and keeps them down, is the behaviour of the frontman. Personally, I cannot think of a person who I ever seen act in a more repulsive manner than this man did tonight. He did do cool things, like jumping from the stage to the moshpit and joining in on the fun, but he also did more original things like ordering the crowd to try and punch him in the face. The word 'gutter-punk' comes into mind when this guy just does everything he can to get in your face and disgust you. Something that might appeal to some, but unfortunately not for me. His manner doesn't however, have as much to do with the grade I give them, as the fact that aside from the energetic delivery, there didn't seem to be that much more to be interested in. Pretty straightforward punk, not bad at all, but nothing really special either.

5

Saosin

After Gallows had left the stage, the all too familiar wait for the headliners commenced. As usually, people moved closer and got all sweaty and personal. A situation you should be all too familiar with if you've ever attended a gig in your life. Saosin came on strong, opening with the same set of tracks as the night before, and as soon as "It's Far Better To Learn" began, so did what was to become an all night sing-along fest. Contrary to the night before, the people here had obviously come to see Saosin, and just as could be expected the mood was raised by a few bars on this account alone. Furthermore, the sound was also way better, again as expected, and guitars as well as vocals stood out much more clear than they'd done at Brixton Academy. Again, we were treated to a mix of songs both new and old, and popular tracks like "Voices" and "Sleepers" kept the crowd on their toes.

However things were still nowhere near perfect. Cove had to admit, that he had picked up an illness and had a sore throat as an effect, and this could be heard more than a couple of times throughout the show, which he kept apologizing for, but this didn't matter much, as the crowd seemed more than willing to cut the much debated frontman some slack. Also, the screams that are present on some of the songs on record, were absent again tonight, and one can't help but to fear, that the band has simply decided not to do them anymore. If this is true, then that really is a big shame, and I do hope that it's just a matter of time before the guys put them back in there. Because no matter how much of a legend Saosin has become on the internet, people must make no mistake. This is still a VERY young band, and apart from Warped Tour appearances, they haven't been the tour-maniacs you've come to expect your emo-upstarts to be.

The band was obviously happy to be there though, and seemed to be very relaxed about tonight, which created a nice atmosphere that was mirrored in the faces in the crowd. A mood that could really be felt, when Chris proclaimed that "There's one gay song on the new album, and it's called "You're Not Alone" and we're gonna play it now", or when Cove continuously thanked us all for being so supportive even though he was messing up the vocals because of his throat-problems. People crowdsurfed their way up to high five him, and when Chris extended a microphone to the crowd, it was grabbed, and a fight basically ensued to get close enough to scream along to the lyrics in it. When the band closed the set with the classics "Seven Years" and "They Perch On Their Stilts, Pointing And Daring Me To Break Custom", from arguably the best emo release of all time "Translating The Name EP", it was ecstasy. Every soul present left the show feeling like you should feel when you've just seen frekkin' Saosin live. A feeling that is to be cherished, seeing how the band still has loads of work to do before their live shows start closing in on their material in terms of sheer magnificence

Setlist:

  • 1. Far Better To Learn
  • 2. Sleepers
  • 3. Translating The Name
  • 4. Bury Your Head
  • 5. Follow And Feel
  • 6. You're Not Alone
  • 7. Collapse
  • 8. Voices
  • 9. Seven Years
  • 10. They Perched On Their Stilts Pointing And Daring Me To Break Custom

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