Last night, Scottish rock quartet Twin Atlantic hit the stage to give fans an intimate, free, performance courtesy of the Budweiser Live ProjectRae Coppola was there for us…

Following the success of their latest album “Great Divide” and supporting of fellow rock band 30 Seconds to Mars in their latest tour, it’s no surprise that there was a capacity turnout for the foursome’s performance.

With the branding “3 nights, 9 cities, 1 unforgettable tour”, Budweiser launched the project to showcase artist’s musical talents, and offer unique free gigs to fans nationwide. Tickets however, were limited to one per person and advertising was scarce, meaning many missed out on the incredible opportunity.

Opening the event, were Stoke five piece, Community. Although, this was a mystery for some time, as the band members were so into their music it took until the third song for them to introduce themselves.

Their performance was calming, but soon became energetic as the music built up to a crescendo. Their consistent punchy bassline had everyone tapping their feet, however, the smooth vocals of lead singer Charles Baker, had the crowd feeling relaxed, until the chorus at least. Tracks “Money”, whereby the bassist played a solo stood on top of the drum kit, and “F*ck Me”, a song that gave off a sleazy prohibition vibe, were personal favourites of mine.

Despite a few minor problems with the guitar pedals that were recovered quickly their set went down extremely well with crowd, therefore the band, although unknown, seem to be one to watch.

Budweiser live projectFollowing on, were electro-pop group, Dive In from Glastonbury, who so obviously take their influences from 80’s synth. The quintet began their set with frontman, Matthew Guttridge, egging the audience on by saying: “let’s do this”, “let’s have some fun”, all the while dancing himself. The band’s energy was infectious, so it wasn’t long until the rest of the room joined in.

Musically, Dive In were hard to fault. Slightly feminine sounding lead singer, Guttridge, and keyboardist, Daniel Hayes, used their vocals together to create some incredible harmonies, never missing a note regardless of how high it was. The free gig was their first time playing in Manchester, and acted as the perfect warm up for their upcoming headline tour hitting the city in the next couple of weeks, as well as for Twin Atlantic’s looming performance.

With the support acts done and dusted, Twin Atlantic were next up.

The Glaswegians took to the stage, needing no introduction, and blasted out their first song looking and sounding tight as a band. By the second song, crowd favourite “Fall into the party”, the loud and heavy drum rhythm courtesy of Craig Kneale had everybody jumping up and down. By the chorus the catchy “c’mon, c’mon (etc.)” lyric was being chanted, a mosh pit had developed within the crowd, and a man had crowd-surfed over the barrier. Frontman, Sam McTrusty looked secretly proud that the band had already wrecked chaos, but Guitarist, Barry McKenna appeared worried for the safety of the cameramen recording the set from in the danger area.

This set the benchmark for the rest of the evening.

McTrusty, an advocator of crowd participation, continuously paused his singing and the bands instrument playing to let the crowd fill in the vocals. This worked particularly well for hit record “Make a Beast of Myself”.

As usual he also got the audience to sit down on the ground and join in a speak-and-repeat exercise. Despite the irony of getting individuals to chant “wake up everyone” while sitting, it did the job. It had everyone making noise before jumping up on his cue and Kneale’s hit of a cymbal, ready to blast into my personal favourite song of the night, “I am an Animal”.

However, before letting up, the frontman gave a shout out to a girl, crediting her for it being the 99th show of theirs she had attended. Sinead Grainger, embarrassed by the attention being drawn to her, later said: “I’ve been going to see them since 2007, they’re my favourite band,” claiming “they give [her] something to do”.

With an upcoming tour and rumours of a new album being recorded in the next couple of weeks, it won’t take long for the fan to make it to 100. If that in itself wasn’t an ego boost, McTrusty commented their packed out gig was the perfect way to raise confidence for their headline tour.

The 45 minute long set proved not long enough when the quartet’s set came to a bittersweet end with “Heart & Soul” as no encore was played, and “Crash Land” was not performed.

However, for a free gig, I’m sure there will be no complaints.

Overall, the venue was small, the audience were mighty and the Budweiser Live Project proved neither money nor size matter when it comes to good drinks and better music.

By: Rae Coppola



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