Not many bands would have me out at a gig on a rainy school night, but Alexisonfire are certainly an exception to this rule. As soon as they announced their comeback earlier in the year, I knew I had to see them, having been a fan of theirs since their 2004 release ‘Watch Out’.
So, I dusted off my checkerboard vans and skinny jeans and made my way to Southampton Guildhall for a night of singing at the top of my lungs. As soon as I collected my photo pass and made my way into the main stage area, I was instantly surrounded with other fans, like myself, who were all clearly just as excited to see Alexisonfire.
The first support band were Higher Power, who are a punk hardcore band from Leeds. From other comments from those asked in the crowd, they were fantastic and definitely deserved a place in this line-up.
Second up, were Blackpool’s own Boston Manor, who didn’t stop moving from the moment the lights went down with incredible stage presence and energy levels! I’ve not heard much before that night but they’ve certainly gained a new fan in me. They’ve also just released ‘Datura’, their new album and played some huge songs from it. A few of my favourites throughout the set were ‘Passenger’ and ‘Crocus’ which were both heavy and catchy all at the same time. Having been nominated for multiple Kerrang awards, I can definitely see them headlining their own tour of this capacity soon.
Finally, it was time for the Canadian post-hardcore headliners to grace the stage. The atmosphere was incredible when the band walked on and it was 0-100 in terms of energy levels. The blend of the three different singers is fantastic and even better hearing them all live. The combination of Dallas Green and Wade MacNeil’s vocals intertwined with George Pettit’s heavier, aggressive style is magic. They’ve been touring the UK for the past few weeks and each night have played a different set list, a great idea and means that each show is incredibly special and unique.
After a heavy start with ‘Drinks Lovers Sinners And Saints’ and ‘Boiled Frogs’, they slowed it down with the beautiful and enchanting ‘Sans Soleil’. This song gave me goosebumps when I first heard it and I’ve fallen in love in with it all over again hearing it live. The harmonies of all three singers mixed with the powerful lyrics is a very special memory I’ll take away with me.
When I was back in the crowd, the energy around me was electric and you could tell how much this band meant to so many people, friends were hugging, everyone with their hands in the air screaming lyrics back at the band with each song. A few other stand-out songs were ‘44. Calibre Love Letter’ with its instantly recognisable intro, ‘Accidents’ and the fantastic run into the encore with the choices ‘Young Cardinals’ and ‘Happiness By The Kilowatt.’
Overall, I’ve waited almost eighteen years to see Alexisonfire and they did not disappoint. What an amazing performance! I left with a massive smile on my face and my ears were ringing from an evening of much-needed nostalgia. This band left a huge hole when they went on a hiatus but now, they’re back and even better than before.
Photo: Hannah Victoria Kenyon