On Friday 15th March 2019, As It Is arrived in Brighton for the final date of their The Intimate Depression Tour, in support of their latest album release, The Great Depression. The band were supported by Modern Error, Bellevue Days and Klae. It was an extra-special evening, not only because it was the last night of the tour, but it was a return to the city they started in! Here’s what we thought of the evening…
Klae are five-piece, female-fronted band from Brighton, who kicked off the evening with their blend of gritty pop rock. They have a tight, commercial sound to them, and clearly a loyal following is already building for them. They’ll be a local band to keep an eye out for with their atmospheric, airy guitar melodies and honest lyricism…though at times, some of the dancing seems a little contrived.
Next up, was the rather slick Bellevue Days – their performance was flawless and they have obviously honed their songwriting skills to perfection, with little fills and quirks in all the right places; whilst it makes their songs stand out, at times they change pace a little too often, meaning you can’t quite get into the groove, or the song appears to end, just as it seems to be building up to something more.
Personally, I preferred the backing singer’s voice, when he took the lead on ‘Faith’ and think he should definitely take the lead a little more, however, between the three vocalists, their harmonies are sensational!
They’re very much Weezer meets Brand New with a little Blur thrown in…one song in particular was almost like a carbon copy of Brand New though. All round, they’re a great live band and certainly have a good stage presence…even if the drummer did look petrified throughout the performance.
The last support to take to the stage was the intense, high-energy, Modern Error – an in-your-face, scream-metal band with solid production (in the form of atmospheric backing tracks) interwoven seamlessly with their skilful performance.
The band are nicely topped off with the lead singer’s screaming vocal which seems to come so effortlessly – though his attempts at more melodic singing weren’t quite as strong.
It’s clear that this band have found inspiration in the likes of Underoath‘s album, They’re Only Chasing Safety, as far as synth sounds merging with post-hardcore or metal sensibilities go.
The band’s octane-infused set really ignited the audience into a frenzy, creating swirling circle-pits and people manically moshing around. Modern Error are a well-rounded band with a clearly well-rehearsed stage presence and really know how to work a crowd; the only criticism…a little too much reaching out with one hand.
As It Is
Finally, As It Is took to the stage! Although each of the supports were well-rehearsed and their performances polished, the quality of this band is truly next-level impeccable, instantly demonstrating just how professional they are at this.
It might well have been the last night of their UK tour, and by their own admission, they were exhausted, but you definitely couldn’t tell…the energy they brought was magical, captivating even. The band are very much at home on stage – standing on speakers, thrashing round wildly, swinging the microphone round, for some perfectly-timed manoeuvres and Ronnie Ish even pulled off a little crowd-surfing…simply put, they owned that stage!
Having started out in this very city, the band shared their gratitude (a few times) for finally being able to headline their own show at the iconic Concorde 2, having watched some of the bands that inspired them, performing on that very stage. It was special thanks that went out to their fans, throughout the show, for getting them to where they are today and you could tell, their appreciation is genuine.
They may have visually changed their style since their last record, and their sound may have got a touch heavier than before, but at their core, they’re still quite the pop punk band they always were – they just have a little more ’emo’ edge to them now. They’re writing and singing about more taboo subjects, like anxiety, depression, self-harm, etc. but are managing to do so with sincerity and integrity. You can tell that their fans admire it too, singing back every word with equal the passion that Patty Walters sings out to them.
Watching this set, truly felt like watching the early days of the iconic punk rock/pop punk/emo bands I used to love, growing up – the likes of Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, My Chemical Romance, The Used, etc. It was really something special and I’m certain that if this show was anything to go by, this band are only going to continue to grow to new heights in their career, from here. I would highly recommend seeing them live – they’ll draw you in and have you moshing around in an instant!
- The way the band use the whole stage, to jump and spin around, interact with each other and even swing the microphone round, made the show something spectacular to behold.
- Whilst the set was predominantly filled with material from their latest album, The Great Depression, there was also a good deal of older songs to please fans old and new.
- Patty Walters‘ honest out-pouring of emotion and sharing of personal anecdotes with the audience, let them know that this is more like a family than just a band and their fanbase, even referring to them as family. His speech around mental health, and the way talking about this is sometimes perceived within the genre, was actually very touching and heart-felt – things like this can so often be cringey, when delivered by someone in his position, but actually, I found myself hanging on his every word, and if this is enough to save even one life, then it can only be a good thing!
- The audience’s love for this band is raw and emotionally-driven too, making the atmosphere in the venue, electric. A few people were even brought to tears by their presence, their lyrics and the passion the band pour into their art.
- It was actually a highlight in itself, just to see this band (who could so easily sell out a larger venue) performing to a smaller audience, in a more intimate setting, but without compromising any of the quality of their set and stage presence. It was a truly marvellous event!
The Wounded World
The Two Tongues (Screaming Salvation)
The Great Depression
The Handwritten Letter
No Way Out
The Fire, The Dark
Cheap Shots & Setbacks
Such Great Heights (The Postal Service cover)
The Truth I’ll Never Tell
You, The Room & The Devil On Your Shoulder
The Question, The Answer
The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry)*
* This song can be viewed in the YouTube video, below.
Finally, I want to say a big thanks to Patrick Marsden at Lout Promotions for enabling this review to happen but also to As It Is, Modern Error, Bellevue Days and Klae for making the evening such a special one!