Ocala, Florida’s A Day To Remember seemingly like coming over to the UK. After an overwhelming headline tour earlier this year, an appearance at the Reading and Leeds Festivals this past summer and with their next visit to Britain already set in stone for next years Download Festival, they’ve treated fans to another UK tour, yet this time round they’re playing somewhat smaller venues compares to their last run, which saw them play London’s Alexandria Palace. Tonight’s show at Nottingham’s legendary Rock City venue could prove to be one of the last times we see ADTR in such a venue, as it’s clear they’re destined for bigger things.
Nevertheless before ADTR we’re served a double dose of two of the UK’s best rock acts. First up is Decade. Fresh off the back of supporting We Are The Ocean last month, tonight the Bath quintet have the opportunity of playing to a bigger crowd. Their brand of pop-punk alt rock is decent enough to keep this sold out crowds attention and eases them in for the rest of the night. Songs such as ‘Brainfreeze’ and closing number ‘British Weather’ have distinctive hooks that get the crowd moving and leave a strong impression. (3/5)
Next up is Lower Than Atlantis. Whilst there recent self-titled effort had mixed results, tonight they’re more than willing to back up the hype. From the start it’s clear they’re more than comfortable playing a venue as legendary as Rock City. Their mix of radio-friendly alt-rock numbers have enough bite to win people over, and thankfully LTA have them in abundance. Opening with ‘Love Someone Else’ and ‘If The World Was To End’, the quartet quickly make their mark with an energetic display. Whereas recent singles ‘Emily’ and ‘Kids In America’ are capable of leading the mass crowd to clap and sing along in unison. LTA’s downfall tonight is as soon the quartet get the crowd fired up, their time up. Nevertheless ‘Here We Go’ is a punchy as always and ends the band set on a high, leaving a minority of the crowd a bit more.
Arriving on stage to the Space Odyssey theme (‘Also sprach Zarathustra’
and instantly jumping into ‘Downfall of us All’ with confetti bursting from above, it’s clear ADTR want to give fans a night they won’t forget. They quickly keep the momentum with the fiery ‘2nd Sucks’ whilst ‘Right Back At It Again’ sees Rock City shaking, literally. Following ‘City of Ocala’ and ‘I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?’, the Florida group give a rare airing of ‘Another Song About The Weekend’ to an appreciative crowd.
ADTR definitely have enough “mosh jams” in their arsenal to keep this crowd on their toes. From ‘Violence (Enough Is Enough)’ to ‘Mr. Highway’s Thinking About The End’ to ‘Dead and Buried’ to ‘Have Faith In Me’, there’s no let up. Add to that beach balls, smoke machines and toilet paper and you’re left with an outstanding and entertaining show.
They end their main set with the always brilliant ‘All I Want’ before returning for an encore made up of the bittersweet ‘If It Means a Lot to You’, and the insanely catchy pairing of ‘All Signs Point to Lauderdale’ and ‘The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle’. You really can’t fault A Day To Remember as they have a wealth of strong songs that justify all the praise they’ve received over the years, and tonight they did just that.
Whether they can make the step up to arenas permanently on these shores is still something to doubt. Sure ADTR put on a memorable show and they would flourish is such a setting, but brand of “moshcore” may loose that needed urgency in a bigger venue. Nevertheless on tonight’s showing the rise and rise of ADTR is set to continue for a long time to come. Next stop: Donington in June. We’ll see you then. (4.5/5)
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)