The night had sold out in advance and the room was pretty filled up before Grayscale kicked off. With the crowd already starting to crowdsurf within minutes of the band playing, the keen fans were obviously ready for showing the supporting acts a good time. They embodied the ‘typical’ pop punk aesthetic with each member jumping and spinning around on stage, providing a lively stage presence which warmed up the crowd nicely. As It Is frontman Patty Walters bounced onto the stage for Come Undone, to which the crowd predictably went wild. A strong set to open the show. [8/10]
As with Grayscale, Like Pacific carried on the energy with Jordan Black’s harmonic vocals, driving guitar chords and upbeat drum rhythms. The tightness of their recorded music was present throughout the set, being displayed in tracks like Richmond, 22A and Commitment, which went down a treat with the onlookers. The crowdsurfers kept coming over the barrier, only growing in number for each supporting act – an exciting prospect for the headliners’ set. [7/10]
The main support came in the form of Liverpool pop punks WSTR. Boasting catchy guitar licks and a slightly heavier pop punk sound than the previous bands, they took to the stage with captivating stage presence as they displayed their experience. Playing material from their Red, Green or Inbetween including Footsteps and Nail The Casket with confidence took even the most reserved audience members into the pit, and the retention of older material from EP SKRWD had the fans bouncing around to South Drive and Graveyard Shift. WSTR know how to please fans of both the old and new, and they may well have won over a few more that night. [8/10]
Finally, headlining act As It Is graced the stage. Adorned with cut outs and plans of the Okay. album artwork for the OKAY. UK tour, the stage was set for the eagerly awaited return. The band got up on stage a tad too early for their intro, but having to redo their big entrance didn’t slow them down for a second. Each member ran onstage to a roaring crowd, and the fans wasted no time in bringing a formidable amount of energy for their set. Newer tracks No Way Out and Curtains Close show the pop punk prowess developed in the eight years of honing their craft, while older tracks Bitter, Broken Me and (the now incredibly rare addition to the setlist) Often showed the hysterical crowd how far they have come in that time. Until I Return saw Patty encourage a circle pit and the crowd happily obliged – willingness to get involved in the pushing and jumping was a given at a pop punk gig.
CO2 jets setting off streams of smoke perfectly timed to the beats of the song brought the set together as a more polished whole. Patty Walters asserted his usual lovable, animated stage presence, putting the mic to the crowd and bouncing off the energy from the crowd throughout the entire set. Crowd surfers sailing over the top of the barrier in succession, an endless loop of die-hard fans, singing and finger pointing as they reach the stage. Patty slowed things down for a second, he presented a heartfelt monologue about getting through hard times before their track Still Remembering. Lastly, concluding with an encore of Okay and Dial Tones, As It Is finished their momentous set with a bang – a fitting way to end an era. [9/10]