The anticipation for the night was clear as soon as the doors were thrown open on the London venue. You Me At Six have been away in a studio for the last year and a half and it seems they mean business more than ever in their tenth year as a band, and it is clear they have come this far with very, very hard work. The crowd on the O2 Empire was a fraction of the size of the arena shows they were playing early last year with All Time Low, but the atmosphere was far more electric in the smaller room.
Opening up for the Surrey rockers was Vant, an indie rock band from the city itself. Their fairly aggressive and rough styling in their tracks like The Answer and Time & Money went down well in the room, and there is almost a sense of early You Me At Six about their presence and sound. They finished up the set with fan favourite Do You Know Me? which actually gained a small singalong from those die-hard fans making it to the show to support the /band, ending a very successful set for a band who are only yet to grow further. [7/10]
With the crowd ready and waiting with huge excitement, You Me At Six came out with a slightly surprising choice of playing When We Were Younger which grabbed audience attention and started the build-up of the set. Next however came a slightly disappointing rendition of Bite My Tongue where Josh left Oli Sykes’ vocals to the crowd as opposed to doing them himself as he has previously. They then proceeded to play Fresh Start Fever which started to seem like they were getting back into the swing of their style.
After a little speech greeting the audience for the first time and acknowledging the tenth year of existence as a band, the instrumental for Loverboy was being played by the band behind Josh. The crowd were back on their side after being harassed by bright lighting and extremely muddy sound for the first three tracks and when it broke out fully it was not disappointing, leading to the first huge singalong of the night.
You Me At Six burst through more tracks, hitting a high of the night so far at Stay With Me which led to more singalongs before bringing out Plus One which was its London debut this far. Perhaps surprisingly, this track got an enormous reaction and the crowd were getting more and more into it, especially with the recent release.
Many other fan favourites including Reckless (which ended in a brief When You Were Young Killers cover), Underdog and set-finisher Too Young To Feel This Old played out to an increasing participation, before the encore of No One Does It Better and Room To Breathe which led to one of the biggest emotional experiences the Empire could have ever seen. They finished with a talk about the new horizon the band now see and a rendition of comeback single Night People and a promise they would be back for a tour next year including a date at Alexandra Palace. It seems the band only see themselves getting bigger from here on in…
Overall, a good night by everyone’s standards that clearly marked the beginning of a new era. You Me At Six have proven themselves to be shifting their sound further and progressing fully. The title track of Night People sums up the era when it says “we get what we need”: the band get everything they want from the crowd and so much more, and their fanbase are carrying them through seamlessly to this incarnation.