Where: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
American trio Beach Weather are first up this evening and, as no strangers to the UK having performed alongside Sleeping With Sirens earlier this year, much of this crowd are likely to have crossed paths with Beach Weather before. With an air of The 1975 ‘cool’ about them, these psychedelic soft-rockers are somewhere between stoner pop and hipster grunge. We’re not quite sure they’ve got the carefree, bubblegum energy to perhaps suit the rest of the bill just right tonight, but find them in a tent at Glastonbury in a few years’ time and we’re sure they’ll fit right in!
As It Is
With the amount of As It Is t-shirts that surround us and jittery squeals of excitement before their set, you could very nearly mistake this for a co-headline line-up. With a new album on the horizon and the ideal teenage crowd before them tonight, this moment is spot-on for As It Is to be warming up a venue such as Shepherd’s Bush. With relentless vitality from frontman Patty Walters, As It Is deliver a fun, punchy set full of their best hits- so far, that is. Their enthusiasm is palpable, infectious, and invigorating; to see a band emerging into pop-punk with the continued determination to bring live shows, well, back to life, in a world where we experience almost everything through a screen, is fantastic.
Against The Current
The adorable New Yorkers in Against The Current have come a long way from their must-see YouTube covers (not that we don’t still love those gems, of course!). From viral videos to a sold-out O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Against The Current must be pinching themselves at this, their biggest headline show to date.
Since releasing their debut album In Our Bones, we expect Against The Current to have put as much effort into developing their live performances as they have their studio repertoire, and we aren’t disappointed. Being able to slip such stellar songs as ‘Forget Me Now’ and ‘Runaway’ into their setlist has given them more delightful sparkle than ever before, encouraging even more bubbly pop-rock glitter into their already technicolour show. Not to mention the gorgeous lighting- props to whichever production whizz-kid helped this vibrant band shine even brighter.
Female vocals, especially those that hit the kind of notes heard in ‘Wasteland’ and ‘Dreaming Alone’, are naturally more exposed, and that is only amplified in a live atmosphere. Against The Current vocalist Chrissy Costanza has an angelic tone but, thanks to exhaustive touring, her voice struggles tonight. We hear the vocal backing track more prominently than we’d like and towards the end of the set her voice is all but a whisper. For the first time ever, we see her confidence is knocked and she seems unsure of herself.
However, the crowd are more than happy to do their part and sing along to compensate for the band’s wavering health, and during more sombre, sobering songs such as ‘In Our Bones’ and ‘Roses’, this makes for all the more beautiful moments. During the finale of ‘Gravity’, poor Chrissy’s voice is barely hanging on, but thankfully the band’s positive vibes and the crowd’s upbeat energy- plus the addition of a confetti gun- ensures the night ends with a bang.
Against The Current are a feisty little hurricane wrapped up in pretty pop packaging, and we can’t wait to get swept up in whatever they do next- let’s just hope they’re feeling a little better next time!