I, Prevail + Trash Boat + Blind Channel – O2 Academy, Birmingham on 19th March 2023


Although Finland’s Blind Channel have been around for over a decade (and, apparently have represented their country in the 2021 Eurovision contest) this is my first time witnessing them live, and they attack my senses like a vitamin shot. A unique mixture of organic and electronic sounds, they certainly know how to pump up a crowd and ‘Alive Or Only Burning’ certainly gets pulses racing. From here to closer ‘Dark Side’, the band are all over the stage like a rash and their twin vocal attack makes for an intense visual and aural experience. The band are rocking the stage like headliners and cuts such as ‘FLATLINE’ are making the walls breathe and the ground quake, and they’ve emblazoned themselves on many a memory bank tonight.

After the musical pyrotechnics of Blind Channel, St. Albans’ Trash Boat take a more low key approach, yet it’s no less powerful and as soon as they hit the first note of ‘Synthetic Sympathy’, the faithful at stage erupt in a frenzy. In fact, such is the effect they have on the crowd that the show is stopped briefly while a fight in the pit is quelled by security. Things get straight back in gear with an explosive ‘Silence Is Golden’, on which the band are joined by I, Prevail’s Eric Vanlerberghe who adds some unclean vocals and makes a heavy song…heavier. Over the past decade, Trash Boat have assembled an envious discography and their set is an embarrassment of riches, yet they still find room for a cover of Linkin Park’s ‘Given Up’. Vocalist Tobi Duncan raps from the stage about the unfair merch prices inside the O2, then invites the crowd to buy from them direct. Therefore, I’m not sure if they’ll be invited back anytime soon, but if not, ‘He’s So Good’ finds them bowing out in style.


Currently blazing a trail across Europe as part of their True Power tour, tonight’s headliners I, Prevail appeared on many people’s radars via a cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’. That video went viral and racked up an unbelievable amount of views and could quite easily have overshadowed the band’s other work, or rendered them a novelty act at best. However, I, Prevail are certainly no joke and opening shot ‘There’s Fear In Letting Go’ lands like a left hook to the jaw. They’re another band specialising in a twin vocal attack, it makes for an arresting spectacle; it’s like having two frontmen riling up the crowd, and they both attack the mic with great gusto. Brian Burkheiser’s clean vocals are the ice to Vanlerberghe’s fire, and the two in tandem initiate all sorts of frenzy, as circle pits erupt and waves of crowd surfers crash over the barrier.

Both support acts did an amiable job in warming up the crowd, but I, Prevail prove themselves a major step up in class. It seems their brutally heavy sound is in perfect sync with our troubled times, and tracks such as ‘Self Destruction’ and ‘Choke’ capture the prevailing zeitgeist. The band have a take-no-prisoners ethic, they attack the stage like an invading army, and leave a trail of smoking speakers in their wake. It’s ‘Scars’ (the opening track from their debut album) that closes the show in cutting style, but the crowd demand “one more song”, and the band are more than happy to oblige, not with one encore, but two: a volatile ‘Gasoline’ and a brutal ‘Bow Down’. I, Prevail have operated a scorched earthed policy that leaves the crowd battered, bruised, but happy.

Blind Channel Set List:

1. Alive Or Only Burning
2. We Are No Saints
3. Over My Dead Body
4. Bad Idea
6. Balboa
7. Dark Side

Trash Boat Set List:

1. Synthetic Sympathy
2. Silence Is Golden (featuring Eric Vanlerberghe)
3. Vertigo
4. Bad Entertainment
5. Given Up (Linkin Park cover)
6. Delusions Of Grandeur
7. Alpha Omega
8. Don’t You Feel Amazing
9. He’s So Good

I, Prevail Set List:

1. There’s Fear In Letting Go
2. Body Bag
3. Self Destruction
4. Bad Things
5. Come And Get It
6. Hurricane
7. Feel Something
9. Breaking Down
10. DOA
11. Choke
12. Deep End
13. Scars


14. Gasoline
15. Bow Down