In support of their fifth studio album, A Day To Remember announced their largest UK headline tour to date, focusing exclusively on arena shows. In a musical world where there are more bands active than seats in an arena, it’s hard to find acts whose appeal will allow them to play venues of this size, but A Day To Remember buck most trends and have stepped up as a bona fide arena band.
They decided to bring along three support bands (because the traditional two just wasn’t good enough). Moose Blood and Neck Deep warmed the crowds up before New Found Glory came out . Having been in a band for 20 years, and having taken A Day To Remember out on tour themselves, the band could have been a little bitter about their friends’ success. Instead they seem amazed that they’ve even been given a chance to stand on this mammoth stage themselves.
New Found Glory need no introduction as they rush straight into ‘All Downhill From Here’, and for their whole set you can hear the roars of nostalgic appreciation from the crowd, who scream along with every word. Their set reads pretty much as a ‘best of’, with songs old and new including ‘Hit Or Miss’, ‘Vicious Love’ and their final track ‘My Friends Over You’, which elicits the biggest roar of the night so far. The band are naturals and know just when to stand back and appreciate their legacy, namely through their popular cover of Sixpence None the Richer’s’ ‘Kiss Me’. It’s a set full of happiness, laughter and pop-punk goodness, which gets everyone even more excited for tonight’s main act.
It’s been ten years since the headliners released For Those Who Have Heart, which paved the way for their successful move upwards from a small town Florida band to worldwide super stars. Looking down on the standing area we’re actually pretty glad we were seated, as the crowd looked mental, with no definite boundaries as diehard fans merge together, bonded by music. The openings of ‘Mr Highways Thinking Of An End’ begin with the echoes of “Disrespect Your Surroundings”, which sends the whole arena into a frenzy, pulsing through the standing crowd so much we can’t see where each mosh pit begins and ends. With such a strong back catalogue, the band burst through ‘Paranoia’, ‘2nd Sucks’ and ‘Right Back At It Again’ which commands scream-alongs and general craziness.
Front man Jeremy McKinnon has come a long way vocally, with not only his scream filled breakdowns being hard hitting, but his clean vocals bursting out with the same intensity. The show had everything including T Shirt cannons, inflatable beach toys and a stellar soundtrack to go with it. The crowd was having so much fun they never stopped. As it was the Bad Vibrations tour there were a decent number of tracks reflecting this, including ‘Naivety’, ‘Exposed’ and ‘Justified’, but it wasn’t a new-album-heavy set, with plenty littered through to appeal to any level of fan. ‘Naivety’ provoked the standard crowd surf shout out where Jeremy encourages as many people to crowd-surf as possible. Sadly no one really manages to surfboard through the crowd, but there are some valiant efforts.
Energy doesn’t falter from either the band or the crowd as they blast their way through the 20 songs which make up their set list. A Day to Remember have certainly proved that they’re up in the big leagues with a support slot before Biffy Clyro at this summer’s’ Download Festival, and we’re not sure where the band can go from here. Will 2018 be the year we see them headline a festival? They’ve proved themselves capable, so we hope so!