After being stuck in miles of traffic on the dual carriageway and subsequently not getting into Manchester by the time the doors had opened, I was a little worried that we’d missed some of the show upon arrival at Satan’s Hollow but thankfully this wasn’t the case!
Openers Palm Reader were a good choice to get things going. As they began their set, they seemed a little uncertain and lacking in confidence, but as the set progressed they improved massively and there was a great amount of movement on the stage from this lively and energetic band. Although there wasn’t much variety in their songs and most of them seemed to follow the same sort of pattern, they were an engaging band who played an interesting set – with one of their guitarists breaking a string and having to fix it onstage!
Main support Demoraliser were on top form. Having seen them support Hatebreed just over a month ago and being blown away, I was expecting great things from them and needless to say, they didn’t disappoint as this performance was a definite improvement over their Hatebreed support slot performance. They seemed to fill the small stage of Satan’s Hollow a lot better and they had a lot more confidence playing to a crowd that were more receptive and knew who they were. Frontman James just owned the stage and the whole band just has a great live presence as well as being ridiculously tight. I found drummer Mat’s style to be especially brilliant and it really added another dimension to their song. The set finished with their fantastic track Checkmate, which resulted in a lot of crowd involvement and movement about the small room. This really is a band you need to see live.
Headliners Heart In Hand certainly had the crowd behind them, with everyone getting involved from the get-go. Whilst their songs didn’t seem to “grip” me like Demoraliser’s did, their stage presence more than made up for it and frontman Charlie really knew how to get the crowd involved, with members of the audience frequently taking the microphone from him to sing into it! It was also great to see James from Demoraliser join them onstage for a song, and seeing the two frontmen dominating the crowd really was something to behold. The set finished with a stage invasion, with Charlie sharing the microphone about and at one point even joined the crowd as a punter to move about whilst fans of the band belted out the lyrics onstage!
It was a truly awesome performance and an overall great night supplemented by three awesome bands. Check them out if you get the chance.