MANCHESTER was the opening night of Room 94’s ‘Lost Youth’ tour and it was certainly a night to remember; not just because the shrieks of teenage girls could be heard for miles either. Quays News entertainment reporter Coral-Jade Daniels went down to soak up the atmosphere…
Compared to their previous tours this one had a much heavier punk/rock edge that showed off the new direction of their latest release ‘Lost Youth’, which is soon to be their third top 40 album in three years.
That is a massive achievement for an unsigned band, without the support of extensive radio plays and press coverage. The atmosphere was electric from the supports to the main act which is rare to find on the first night of a tour.
First to take to the stage with their song ‘Runaway’ was the adorable Aussie Quartet: Hollywood Heartache. They were fresh-faced pop-rockers with buckets of energy that got reflected in the audience’s response to them. In their set they covered One Direction’s ‘Best Song Ever’, Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ and Fountains of Wayne’s ‘Stacey’s Mom’.
All of which had everyone moving and singing along between their own songs: ‘Summer Romance’, ‘Carly’, ‘Sarah Says’ and ‘Avalanche’, which were met with enthusiasm from the crowd but the lack of familiarity with the songs meant it appeared people were not as fond of their own material as the covers.
They are a promising band to keep an eye on and if they tone down the energy and focus more on the vocals they have the potential to be great, especially as they seem to be experts in winning people over, as early in their set they said the audience looked “so damn sexy” and pointed out girls in the crowd who they thought were attractive, which is an instant winner when the room is full of young girls who love a boy band and cute accents.
Next up was Autumn Ruin, a local bunch of lads with a heavier and more alternative sound than Hollywood Heartache, which saw a start for the evening’s moshing. Their highlight had to be their cover of Bring Me The Horizon’s ‘Drown’ which was a great cover and a popular choice amongst the audience who all knew the song.
They also played some of their own songs too: ‘Brave the Fall’, ‘Forward’, ‘Forgive/Forget’ and their most recent single ‘Tales’, which premiered on Kerrang TV. The quintet’s songs were let down a bit by the fact it was frequently difficult to hear vocalist Alastair over the instruments, turning their set into more of an instrumental, which was disappointing, but, when he could be heard they were excellent and makes the wait for their album even more exciting.
They put on a good show and even had the first “take it off” chant start in their honour which did seem to embarrass bassist Rob a little. Towards the end of their set the crowd began to get restless in their wait for the main act, Room 94. One cheeky fan even reminded the band that Room 94 were due on in five minutes when they revealed they only had a couple more songs left, which must have been disheartening considering the effort they were clearly putting in.
Manchester that was AWESOME!! Leeds tomorrow come down and let’s do it all over again ???? pic.twitter.com/zTChsqMkN8
— ROOM 94 (@ROOM94) March 24, 2016
It was then time for Room 94, the reason everyone had been waiting, even queuing for hours in the rain beforehand, in the hope of being the closest to fan favourite Kieran- the lead vocalist. The wait was worth every minute of the rain sodden queuing and from the dramatic entrance they made to their last song ‘Chasing the Summer’ the room was bouncing.
Their set list was the perfect balance of old and new; mixing up the earlier pop-rock sounds of ‘Tonight’ and ‘When I was a Teenager’ with the more aggressive sounds of ‘Suffocating’, showing a darker side to the band, with the vocals verging on screamo in parts and leaving them breathless.
Half way through the set Kieran’s acoustic guitar came out for one of their older songs ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ and a couple of short covers of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ and 5 Seconds of Summer’s ‘She Looks So Perfect’. This offered a nice breather for the band and the fans.
The Room 94 fans are definitely some of the loudest, with eardrum smashing squeals, every time a band member asked “Are you still with us Manchester?” and the “Kit is Fit” chant that left the bassist blushing. The secret to having such a wild and loyal fan base seems to be the dedication to fan interaction that the band have had over the years and maintain, whether that’s a quick like on Twitter or a conversation and photo after a gig, the band give back as much as they can to the fans, even if that is a daft game of Bean Boozled in the middle of their set.
They try to make it special for everyone, which is a lovely quality they should keep as that fan base grows and they get the recognition they undoubtedly deserve.
By Coral-Jade Daniels