The Fleece was filled with energy as Hadouken (10/10) took to the stage with loud cheers and they swiftly launched into the first song of the night, The Vortex, from their new album. Instantly everyone was bouncing and it was clear that the audience were out for a good time as there was just a fantastic atmosphere and closeness within the crowd that I personally haven’t seen in quite a while at a live show.
This was swiftly followed by M.A.D. and after slowly finding myself nearing the edge of the crowd, I took this as an opportunity to get out of the scorching heat of the moving bodies and was able to observe from a small distance, so I could really take the whole thing in. And honestly, it’s songs like M.A.D. that really make you appreciate the amount of effort that goes into this bands live show. This is a song that I don’t like too much – the lyrics are very repetitive and I cannot bring myself to find anything interesting about it, but live is another story because the sound and visuals to go along with this band are stunning, with well-timed lights and top-notch sound able to make even the worst of their songs incredible.
It really is refreshing to come across a band whose techs can do their job at the absolute highest level. I swear their sound technician can make them sound CD-quality even if the venue is renowned for bad sound (note: this is not referring to The Fleece but rather another show of theirs I attended!) and their light technician just makes the show come alive. Most bands just have the lights flashing at intervals or have them panning the crowd, but Hadouken’s lights are planned down to a T. The lights flash precisely in time with the music and not in a way that blinds or ruins the experience for the audience; it is done in a purely aesthetically pleasing way using the “big” lights rather than the strobe ones. They also make great use of laser displays which add a lot of ambience to the already visually pleasing. Their lighting technician deserves a lot of recognition and praised for the quality of the work they do!
As a whole, the set was filled with a fantastic blend of old and new, catering for all their fans, but it really was the songs from their album Music For An Accelerated Culture that went down the best. Get Smashed Gate Crash and That Boy That Girl were both crowd favourites, greeted by immense cheers as the openings kicked in, the whole room singing along with them from start to finish.
Turn The Lights Out, which singer James announced was his favourite Hadouken song, was probably the strongest song of the night, the enthusiasm from band and audience alike unmatched by any of their other songs. The set ended with Parasite and as it was everyone’s last chance to party for the night, it went wild. The band left to jubilant cheers from the crowd, knowing they’d put on a show that everyone would remember.
(Also, as a side note, I would like to commend the band’s sound technician – and possibly other members of their stage crew on the other side of the room as I couldn’t see right across the room! – who at semi-regular intervals sprayed water from a bottle into the crowd. As it was extremely hot inside and there were a lot of people dripping with sweat in the middle of it all, it was an extremely ingenious idea and it would be fantastic if more people and bands did that in the future. Way to look out for the fans!)