Twin Atlantic tackle a tricky crowd in Manchester

Twin Atlantic – Manchester Academy 2 – 10/03/20

After their intimate album launch shows in January, Twin Atlantic return with a fuller set for a huge tour across some of their favourite cities across the UK to really stamp their mark on their return. New album ‘Power’ has been out for over a month now and the TA fans are really starting to be vocal about their favourites from the album which we can’t wait to hear live.

Unfortunately, with the global pandemic currently unfolding, Twin Atlantic fans across the UK are anxiously awaiting the inevitable of their UK tour being postponed for health & safety reasons. However fortunately for Manchester it’s not been enforced just yet, so the show must go on!

A sold-out crowd gather in the Academy 2 packing it from front to back and side to side, showing the fans commitment to supporting their favourite bands through a difficult and complicated time. As the hand strikes 9pm Sam McTrusty and co hit the stage in a flood of red light to the sound of ‘Novocaine’ to get the show moving on the front foot. The crowd need little encouragement to get involved singing the chorus to one of their new favourite songs, which continues quickly into the smoother ‘Volcano’ with its bouncy chorus perfect for the live shows.

The Scottish rockers then throws us into some of their older material which never disappoint. With ‘No Sleep’, ‘Hold On’ and ‘Make a Beast of Myself’ the band almost effortlessly glide through each track, and through the first part of their set which on paper is as solid as it comes, but there seems to be something just not quite right.

The Manchester crowd who are known so well for turning it up to be one of the loudest and liveliest shows on any UK tour just seem a little flat. There’s no mosh pits, very little energy, and not an awful lot of singing as the majority stand motionless and watch on.

It’s something the frontman picks up on a third the way through their set and suddenly realises the band are going to have to work this crowd a lot harder than they are. Addressing it front on Sam hit’s out saying maybe he’s “about a 3 (/10)” but the crowd are “only a 6 (/10)” and encourages everyone to liven up, including the band themselves.

By the mid-point of the set things are starting to change. ‘Brothers and Sisters’ helps initiate the dial up of the crowd and all of a sudden we look like we might have a proper Twin Atlantic show on our hands again. However, there are still moments throughout the night which the band don’t look quite on it tonight still. For example, when ‘Free’ begins the frontman gets the lyrics wrong by singing the second chorus, and then halts the song dead to start over. Quickly thinking on his feet he jests with the crowd and ends up singing happy birthday to a fan before starting over on ‘Free’ which has a much welcome return to the setlist from the fans.

From here on the set rockets forward with more of the right momentum. The crunching ‘The Chaser’ really gets everyone singing and clapping along which doesn’t go unnoticed by Sam as he applauds them saying “That’s us all up to an 8(/10) fuckers!”

The lights drop back down for the golden oldie ‘Edit Me’ which goes off like dynamite in the room. Explosive and audacious it tears through the Academy reminding us just how incredible of a back catalogue the guys have to their disposal when it comes to live shows.

The crowd really find their voices for the stripped back ‘Crash Land’ leaving the frontman speechless letting the lyrics find their way to him as he grins from ear to ear, before new album opener ‘Oh! Euphoria!’ steadily eases us back into the rock show. Recent single ‘Barcelona’ and the monstrous ‘Heart and Soul’ close out the set fantastically with their trademark reprise for one final chorus to finish the show just right.

If we’re completely honest having seen Twin Atlantic numerous times, they weren’t quite up to their usual standards tonight, but in their defence, neither was the Manchester crowd. Whatever the reasons there’s no taking away from the fact it was still a great set from the Scottish rockers, who just perhaps didn’t quite reach their outrageous standards we’re so used to seeing in their live shows over the years.


Photo Credit: © Danny Peart Photography 2020
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Danny Peart
Editor / Live Music Photographer / Journalist at Soundcheck-Live

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