Tonight is like a trip down memory lane. It’s ten years ago, and there I am standing in my over sized jeans, with pockets big enough to not need a bag (and so big you need a chain to be able to find your wallet in the Tardis sized denim!) Nu metal is at the forefront of music, even the charts, and everyone has their fists in the air ‘Rollin’. Fast forward a decade and tonight’s line up is like a triple headliner for anyone who was part of the scene the first time round, each band having an equal hour set.
Alien Ant Farm kick of proceedings with ‘Wish’ to a full room. The fun doesn’t really start until they play the smash hit of a song ‘Movies’ which see’s lead singer Dryden Mitchell jump over the barrier and head into the crowd. The band keep the interaction coming, getting everyone in the room to clap along to ‘Let ‘Em Know’. As ‘These Days’ get’s introduced everyone remembers the video by the sound of the screams, but not so much the song, as half-hearted attempts at trying to remember the chorus resonate around a sizeable chunk of tonight’s attendees. ‘Attitude’ see’s a pretty great reaction through the crowd, but although they have pockets of fans scattered around the room, Alien Ant Farm fit into the same category they did ten years ago – the almost one hit wonders who also did that cover of ‘Smooth Criminal’ (which they finished the set on) Not necessarily a bad thing, at least they were remembered!
Next up are P.O.D who open with ‘Murdered Love’ then burst into ‘Boom’ with Sonny Sandoval leaning into the front rows to a rowdy crowd. Stand out songs ‘Will You’ and ‘Set It Off’ get the room jumping, while the massive ‘Youth Of The Nation’ has everyone singing the hook ‘We are, we are, the youth of the nation’ at the top of their lungs. The set is peppered with new songs, most noticeably ‘Revolucion’ which is a catchy punky / reggae fusion. They end the set on breakthrough song ‘Alive’, which receives the biggest reaction so far tonight, with Sandoval once again joining the fans on the barrier for the mass sing-along.
Last but certainly not least are tonight’s official headliners Hoobastank, who start the set with ‘Crawling In The Dark’ to a room full of fired up fans. They play a set full of older and newer material, the former definitely getting the bigger reactions. ‘First Of Me’ slows the pace down midset, but it’s soon bought back up to speed with ‘Pieces’. The second half of the set is packed with fan favourites such as ‘Same Direction’ and ‘Remember Me’, which shows off the pipes of lead vocalist Douglas Robb, as he holds notes longer than most can dream of! The penultimate song is arguably why a lot of the audience is here tonight. ‘The Reason’ receives a warm welcome from the fans who have been waiting years to hear it live, they show their appreciation with a long round of applause and chant of ‘Hoobastank. Hoobastank’ A minute later they are stopped abruptly when Robb says ‘Shut the fuck up!…I love it but it’s a little embarrassing!’ with only warmth in his tone for the hordes of fans before him. They finish the set on one of their heavier songs ‘Out Of Control’.
The audience leave feeling adequately nourished in all their nostalgic needs. I imagine a lot of old CDs will be dusted off are played in the coming days to relive not only the night, but also everyone’s youth.
Photos and words by Carrie-Anne Pollard
Alien Ant Farm