Somehow Slam Dunk weekend has come and sadly passed all far too quickly. Luckily enough, it didn’t the party was over just quite yet, with various different bands putting on side shows across the country. Fresh off their stint over the weekend, pop rockers With Confidence and Set It Off hit the capital on a co-headline tour, taking along Homebound and Too Close To Touch with them for a jam-packed lineup that may as well be a mini-festival.
We headed down early enough to catch Too Close To Touch, a young Kentucky band with a lot of promise. With a light synth-tinge, there was an added dimension to the band’s upbeat pop rock. The kind of tunes you can easily have a dance to, it was obvious that they fitted right in with the vibe of the evening’s headliners who are never afraid to showcase their pop roots. Sometimes it can be difficult for opening acts to truly capture the attention of the audience, but Too Close To Touch came prepared with earworms of songs and a lively performance, leaving us impressed.
Australian four-piece With Confidence‘s 2016 debut album Better Weather is so aptly titled as they hit our shores just as we’ve been graced with that summer feeling. Their tracks with the cheerful melodies are so fun-loving in nature that it’s perfect to soundtrack those days when the sun’s out. In the past few years the band have continued to show potential as a rising pop rock act, and it was evident everyone crammed into the venue walls at O2 Academy Islington were lucky to witness what is likely to be just the beginning.
A majority of tracks came from the band’s recent album, and even though tracks like ‘Voldemort’ or ‘Godzilla’, have and underlying message that isn’t necessarily joyful, the mask of catchy melodies makes it a little difficult to not have your spirits lifted. It doesn’t leave a different effect from say, more uplifting songs like ‘We’ll Be Okay’, a wonderful strength the band possess that surely won them a few new fans that evening – even though it was evident a majority were already on board in the first place.
The sea of faces smiling ear to ear whilst singing along to every word shows just how dedicated of a fanbase the band have managed to built themselves in the past few years. It is always heartwarming to see that special connection bands make with their fans, and it was evident that the band and the audience both had the time of their lives.
Set It Off were lucky enough to come on stage to an audience who were so energised and in a great mood following With Confidence‘s set, and they were determined to end the night on a high. Jumping straight into the anthemic ‘Why Worry’, it got the crowd right back into high gear and it seemed that energy levels only continued to rise throughout the night. It is no secret that in the past few years Set It Off‘s sound have unapologetically steered into a poppier direction, yet their flair for the dramatics is still there waiting to peep out.
‘The Haunting’ is very reminiscent of what some of the band’s earlier material sounds like, and along with ‘Swan Song’ off their debut album, it created a unique cinematic atmosphere. Front-man Cody Carson is always an absolute pleasure to witness up on stage, never delivering any less than his all. On the other hand, the good vibes of ‘Life Afraid’ is the perfect anthem for the weird times we currently live in. Without fail, Set It Off will always deliver with every ounce of passion they have and will not settle until everybody was bouncing off the floors.
Anybody in attendance that night was in for a right treat. With such a strong lineup, it proved to be the perfect hump day treat. Spirits were high and they everyone was increasingly enthused as the night progressed. We’re a little surprised everyone had such high energy levels after the shenanigans at Slam Dunk just a few days before, but it just means a great night was had by bands and fans alike.