Review by Jo Lloyd and photos by Mark Lloyd
Tonight saw the penultimate gig on Asking Alexandria’s headline tour promoting their most recent release From Death to Destiny. Unfortunately, the early start time and the joy that is Friday Birmingham City Centre rush hour (especially in the downpour!) meant that we were a little late to see the opening bands Secrets and Crown the Empire. However, judging from the atmosphere and the sizeable crowd, I’m guessing they went down pretty well!
Los Angeles based metalcore band The Ghost Inside made their way onto the stage to a deafening reaction. After slowly but steadily making their way up the musical ranks since their name change in 2006, I was keen to see what they had to offer. They smashed their way through their first few songs including ‘Great Unknown’ from their 2012 release Get What You Give and new track ‘Avalanche’. The lively crowd were clearly already devoted fans and security did a cracking job of dragging down crowd surfer after crowd surfer. Finishing with what was obviously their most renowned track ‘Engine 45’ they left the crowd literally begging for more and headliners Asking Alexandria really didn’t have very much work to do to get everyone going.
With an impressive set built on stage the crowd unabashedly sang along to intro track of ‘The Final Countdown’ at the top of their voices. Asking Alexandria appeared and dived straight into opening track ‘Don’t Pray For Me’. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such a diverse eclectic audience, encompassing screaming teenage girls, middle aged men embracing their 1980’s selves and people that clearly wouldn’t ordinarily admit to being a fan yet knowing every single word and thoroughly enjoying belting them out! I am however going to put this down to the bands slight shift of musical direction.
‘Someone Somewhere’ and ‘Moving On’ managed to bring the tempo down slightly before embarking on the onslaught of 2009’s ‘A Prophecy’. The set also included what appeared to be impromptu renditions of Pantera’s ‘Walk’ as well as Linkin Park’s ‘One Step Closer’.
The encore strangely favoured 3 tracks from new album From Death to Destiny which I found an odd decision, but it clearly worked as the crowd went wild. It just goes to show how supportive the fans of these guys are. With sweat literally dripping from each and every member, Asking Alexandria clearly know how to put on a show and whilst it may not be my first choice of music I can appreciate a good show when I see one.