A Day To Remember, The Used, You Me At Six UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney – 28/02/2012

Jeez I must have been one of the few over 18s at this event, but who cares. I’m not ashamed to admit my love for this sort of music though judging by the horde of 14-16 year old girls reaction when UK lads You Me At Six hit the stage, I don’t love it as much as them. The screams would have muted a landing 747; it was as though Bieber and the whole Cullin family had come on stage. Much like their set at Soundwave, You Me At Six totally rocked out; their brand of pop punk is simple – so catchy and translates great to a live show, covering all three of their albums, including their latest single Lover Boy. Their set was a hit which climaxed with crowd favorite Underdog. Note worthy Bite My Tongue where frontman Josh Franceschi belted out some impressive growls, somewhat different from his normal, though equally impressive, clean vocals. Their young charm causes a riot in the crowd that’s highly infectious. Warning, this is not a band to go see if you don’t enjoy screaming along every single word.

This marked the first time I’ve witnessed The Used live. These guys provided the soundtrack for so much of my angsty teenage years. Though I’ve grown out of that terribly awkward stage, their music still resonates with me – it’s so catchy! This was the greatest set of the night, easily. Despite having a number of releases after their hey day in the early 2000s, they played a number of classics including I Caught Fire, All That I’ve Got, Pretty Handsome Awkward. It was so good. The angsty teen inside me enjoyed the nostalgia of the music and the grown up boring adult I am was impressed by just how well these aging rockers handled themselves, now balding and a bit wrinkled, they went hard. Bringing a member of the crowd up on stage to join them for a couple of songs, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was meant to know who this guy was. No name was said and he butchered his vocals…everyone seemed to find this a bit weird, and all 4 members wearing their own merch is a bit weak, but hey, they sounded great and put on a killer show; very happy to say I’ve ticked The Used off my list now.

A Day To Remember…. Where do I start? Being in the media implies a sense of neutrality and I’d lose my job if I didn’t tread carefully here, so lets try a compliment sandwich. A great set list, opening with songs off their older records Homesick and For Those Who Have A Heart including A Shot In The Dark. Now for the negative part: Once you take away the auto-tune, pitch correction technology and massive production budget, what you’re left with is a skeleton of a band. The stage antics, the beach balls, smoke, mirrors and awkward dancing are such a distraction from their music that lacks any real substance. They opened with Down Fall Of Us All? Didn’t see that coming…it pains me to see bands like these succeeding after acts such as Four Year Strong and Blink 182 did all the heavy lifting. The fact that they were headlining over The Used was an abomination, but hey the kids kept screaming the whole time and maybe I’m out of touch. And to finish off the compliment sandwich…The drummer was cool I guess.

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