Hit The Lights

support Furthest Drive Home + Lights Action
author DY date 30/11/06 venue Barfly, London, UK

After a 2 hour journey from West Sussex to my destination venue, the Barfly in Camden, I realise just how much I take for granted the fact that London is usually only a half an hour journey away from my home in Surrey. However, I was confident that Ohio based pop-punk outfit Hit The Lights would make the trip seem like a minor inconvenience. As I climbed the stairs to the main hall, coming down the stairs were drum stands and guitars. Incredible astuteness led me to draw the conclusion that maybe I had missed the first support band, Furthest Drive Home, for which I blame Southern Railway for being delayed.

Lights Action

Spirits still high, I looked forward to the main support act, Lights Action. The five-piece from Brighton began their set with plenty of energy, making an obvious impact on the small crowd that had bothered to make their way from the pub downstairs to watch them.

The energy was lost after the first song unfortunately, to technical difficulties with the band’s “new gear”. Front man Patrick Currier laughed off the embarrassment claiming “we’ve been given 30 minutes but we only have 20 minutes of material anyway”.

Once they kicked off again we really got a chance to see what this band was about; good solid rock foundations, layered with catchy melodies and garnished with an electronic finish to get you dancing whether you like it or not. The stand out track from the band’s set tonight was without doubt the awesome “Us Against The World”, which, with its chorus’ throbbing pulse got the crowd jumping as Patrick’s vocals soared above claiming “you just can’t trust anyone to get it right!” Looked to me like they were getting it spot on.

7

Hit The Lights

At the very first Hit The Lights headlining show in the UK, the band were bound to be pumped up, especially as it was sold out, and they were. They exploded with the first song, “Talk Us Down”, from their debut full length album “This Is A Stick Up…Don’t Make It a Murder” and the devoted crowd inside the 200 capacity venue went mad, creating a great pop-punk party atmosphere. Unfortunately, typical of the venue, the speakers could not cope with the ear bursting volume the band was playing at and the result was that unless you were standing dead centre, you were subject to a distorted mushy sound. Luckily this didn’t affect the mood much as everyone was having too much fun bouncing and moshing around to care.

The party continued with the band pounding out favourites “3 Oh 9”, “Call Out (You Are The Dishes)” and “Speakers Blown” as well as “At 6:00 We Go Live” from their EP with plenty of enthusiasm, making sure to stop and thank the crowd for their support along the way. Vocalist Colin Ross spent most of the night halfway on the stage and halfway in the crowd, surrounded by ecstatic fans screaming the words into his microphone. The intimacy of the venue was perfect for a show like this that was all about having a good time. The guitarist (who made me think of Coheed’s Claudio Sanchez with his big hair and unexpectedly high voice), looked genuinely overwhelmed at the passion he could see in the faces of the crowd, and made a point on several occasions to let the crowd know how much fun he was having and how great it was to see the crowd doing the same, saying “I don’t see how any other show will be able to top this, you guys are incredible!”

It’s always great to see a band that looks genuinely happy to be playing and grateful for your support.

After 9 blinding songs the band left the stage, or at least started to before being heckled by an adrenaline filled crowd for not playing arguably the band’s most popular song, “Bodybag”. The band then returned for what was obviously a planned encore, but why a band playing their first headline show feels they need to do an encore perplexes me.

Nevertheless, as it was a “special occasion” the guitarist and singer decided to play the acoustic bonus track from their album, which seemed to go down better than I anticipated with the crowd, who perhaps were thankful for a breather. The band then said their farewells and played the song we’d all been waiting for, sending the crowd and yours truly into a three minute frenzy.

Hit the lights really hit the spot tonight, giving everything they had and having a damn good time doing it and I left the venue with a smile on my face.

That is until I remembered I had a 2 hour journey home…

Setlist:

  • 1. Talk Us Down
  • 2. Until We Get Caught
  • 3. Save Your Breath
  • 4. Call Out (You Are the Dishes)
  • 5. Speakers Blown
  • 6. These Backs Are Made For Stabbing
  • 7. At 6:00 We Go Live
  • 8. 3 Oh 9
  • 9. Make A Run For It

- Encore

  • 10. Untitled Track (bonus on album)
  • 11. Bodybag

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