It may not come as a surprise to anyone that I’ve been itching to see The Lagan ever since completely falling in love with their debut album Where Is Your Messiah Now so it was only a matter of time before I finally caught them live.
Although The Lagan were only opening the night (which subsequently meant they didn’t have an awful lot of time onstage), they completely stole the show and proved that they were just as awesome live as on CD!
Opening with an incredible rendition of Sailing East, which seemed to sound even better than the album version, they then moved onto Staring The Devil In The Eyewhich was also amazing to see. The band just seemed really together as a whole which made for a really engaging and enjoyable set, but it was near-enough over as soon as it began as they ended things with a personal favourite of mine, Same Shite Different Night.
With an extended introduction and outro that were both either masterfully improvised jamming sessions or a well-rehearsed “alternative” section, it was the highlight of their short-but-sweet set and was the best way to end it all.
Up next was The Roughneck Riot, who lived up to their name as they were an absolute riot live! It didn’t really matter that I was largely unfamiliar with their music because there was just a huge party atmosphere throughout and it was simply wonderful to see. The band’s energy was off the scaled and it felt very rewarding to watch a band as engrossed in their performance as The Roughneck Riot! This is a band to watch out for because they’ll surely be taking the world by storm very soon!
Following these was Austrian band The Forum Walters. Keeping the pace going, they played a fast-paced set littered with a whole host of memorable song and were subsequently a very engaging band to watch. Frontman Phillipp was a character and at one point of the set, where everyone was instructed to crouch down on the floor a-la Slipknot style – even climbed up high onto a precariously stacked (and slightly wobbly!) amp and performing from there!
Unfortunately, the night flagged a little when headliners Continental took to the stage. Their music was good, make no mistake of that, but there just wasn’t the energy nor the excitement onstage that the other three bands had exhibited, which was a little disappointing after seeing three incredibly fast-paced sets from the other bands. It meant the night ended on a semi-lacklustre note, and the show that had previously been hurtling towards a full score of 10/10 veered off course a little, which was a tremendous shame.
It was still a fantastic night all the same, so I can’t really complain – it just would have been better if the gig had ended with the same energy it had begun with!