Against The Current / As It Is – Leeds Stylus – 24/09/16
After the release of their debut album ‘In Our Bones’, the Poughkeepsie pop rockers Against The Current have a decent arsenal of tracks to finally throw a much anticipated headline tour packed with absolute bangers. So it’s no surprise to see them straight back over to the UK for a full headline run this fall.
Tonight at the Leeds Stylus it falls to another pop rock band to make sure the early crowd are well and truly set for a show to remember. It’s not been that long since As It Is (7) were just down the road playing to a packed Academy at Slam Dunk Festival in the summer, and judging by the early turn out for them tonight they certainly made quite the impression!
‘Cheep Shots & Setbacks’ is the chosen opener from the Brighton lads to get the crowd and themselves moving, as they bounce off the stage like they’re launching themselves off a set of mini trampolines. You expect nothing less than an explosion of energy from As It Is live, and that’s exactly what you get, particularly from front man Patty Walters who cant stand still for a split second. If he’s not jumping and dancing around, he’s swinging his mic around somehow impressively managing to avoid knocking any of his band mates out on a rather contained stage. As It Is cram in as many of their pop rock tracks into their short set to rinse every second available to them, to make damn sure this crowd remember exactly how much fun they are live as they work up an early sweat.
With their second album due out early next year, the band drop into the fresh sounding ‘Okay’ which has every element to be a typical As It Is live track. It’s a rollercoaster of fast paced bouncy riffs, and crowd participating moments, which leave you with no excuse but to get involved. It certainly leaves us desperate to hear more new material, hopefully sooner rather than later!
The set progresses with its pacey pop rock and before we know it we’re left bouncing around for one last time with the lads for the fantastic ‘Dial Tones’. As It Is have well and truly mastered being a main support band for the big guns, and with a brand new album lined up next year we’re more than confident these guys will be pulling out a headline tour of this size for themselves very soon!
After a short wait the restless crowd finally get what they’ve been waiting for. The lights drop and Against The Current (7.5) literally hit the stage running with the fantastic ‘Runaway’, to kick things off with a track infectious enough to have everyone dancing from the very start. Front woman Chrissy Costanza darts around ensuring not an inch of the stage is left uncovered throughout the energetic ‘Forget Me Now’, which proves to be a fan favorite early on.
A trip back to their second E.P ‘Gravity’ keeps things in high spirit as the trio tear through the bouncing ‘Talk’ and ‘Paralyzed’ displaying some handy work with some slick riffs from guitarist Dan Gow who remains a little less animated than Chrissy, but none the less more than makes up for through his guitar, making his stage presence well and truly heard.
We don’t have to wait too long before lead single ‘Running With The Wild Things’ from ‘In Our Bones’ has everyone singing along at the top of their voices. The drum driven track has Will Ferri pounding out a thunderous performance leaving the room bouncing along on their tiptoes. Having toured around the world with bands such as All Time Low and Good Charlotte, it’s expected that Against The Current would have picked up quite the stage presence in the past year and know exactly how to work the crowd. However you can’t take away the fact the pop rock trio are so tight as a unit they don’t put a foot wrong throughout the entire set, including Chrissy who’s vocals have been absolutely flawless all night long.
After making a name for themselves through some spectacular covers in the past, they predictably throw one in the mix for old times sake in the form of a rather reserved version of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Teenagers’, which goes down rather well with the crowd. A couple of stripped back performances of ‘Infinity’ and ‘In Our Bones’ follow, finding the band taking a seat front stage armed with an acoustic guitar and tambourine to test the crowds vocals as they sing right back to the band to much of their delight.
The set picks straight back up with ‘Wasteland’, and the fantastically cheery new single ‘Young and Relentless’ that is easily one of the highlights of the set. However after a couple more moving sing alongs in ‘Brighter’ and ‘Dreaming Alone’, it is the set finale ‘Gravity’ that has the night at it’s peak. Chrissy’s opening vocals send shivers down our spine before the huge chorus deafeningly fills the room for one more final time.
It’s certainly a performance well worthy of a headline slot on any stage, and if Against The Current can keep climbing with their infectious pop rock, it won’t be long until they find themselves on much greater stages faced with a bursting crowd chanting right back at them!
Check out our live photos of Against The Current at Leeds Stylus HERE!
Photography – © Danny Peart Photography