This was a show that the alternative music scene had been eagerly awaiting since its announcement. Last night The Royal Albert Hall saw itself overrun with hoodies and band shirts, all there to see a group of Sheffield lads take one home for the team.
First up, PVRIS took to the stage with Smoke and blazed through a set of hits from debut album White Noise. The Massachusetts group bounced around the stage, Lynn Gunn commanding the crowd to jump with her. For PVRIS fans in the room You and I was a highlight as a new track off of the newly released (just yesterday) White Noise Deluxe Edition. Regardless of being a fan or not, when St Patrick was brought out the venue erupted and it became apparent just how much of the crowd knew who PVRIS were and how far they’ve come in such a short amount of time. Rounding off their performance with My House, Gunn’s vocals really reached their high point and the energy of both the band and crowd was boundless. They’ve truly proven their relevance here.
An interlude followed PVRIS’ set during which time the crowd received a bit of an education about the Teenage Cancer Trust. A short video showed a few stories of those that had benefited from the charity before a group of young people that were benefiting from the proceeds of the show came onto the stage. A short speech giving thanks to everyone for donating and being there followed this before they pulled out the selfie sticks to take photos from the stage. This was a real tearjerker of an interlude, with most of the audience sobbing into one another by the end.
Finally the moment that everyone had been waiting for; the orchestra began an extended introduction to Doomed, which had the crowd speechless with excitement. The band made their way onto the stage to great applause and launched straight into the set. Despite this being at The Royal Albert Hall and seeing couples in Sunday best walking around the rest of the building, this show was just like any other down in the pit. Happy Song had the whole venue chanting along to the chorus and moshing like crazy, turning the floor into a seething mass of bodies. The resurrection of It Never Ends had circle pits galore and even a wall of death incited by Oli. Shadow Moses was a real high point of the night, with the biggest pit yet being opened on the floor and its anthem-like chorus sung to the high heavens of the venue. A short speech from Oli about his childhood friend having cancer and his strength to fight it followed the main body of the set. Finishing on the line ‘”cancer is a word, not a fucking sentence” the band kicked off Drown and dedicated it to those affected by cancer. Crowd surfers and a mosh pit to envy any seasoned alternative show-goer accompanied this belter from newest album That’s The Spirit.
“Easily the best show I’ve ever been to and what a great cause! A once in a lifetime opportunity, people have been talking about this all year and I imagine will continue to reminisce about it. What a triumph for the charity, individuals, band and music scene.” – Jade Falconer
If there was ever any doubt that alternative music was worthy of venues with the grandeur that The Royal Albert Hall has, it was long forgotten last night. 10/10