We popped down to catch some top class bands all in one place last Tuesday. Safe to say I am a big fan of Issues, Hacktivist and Astroid Boys individually so to see them on the same tour is pretty special. Here's what I thought...
Astroid Boys are from Cardiff and it's hard to avoid knowing about them if you have your nose in any kind of music scene. Opening Cardiff's student union to a crowd full of local fans on the first day of tour wasn't a huge task for the boys. Their mix of hardcore, rap and grime brings a sound that other bands aren't particularly managing to achieve. AB definitely manage to portray their sound in a positive light on stage.
The last time I saw the band they were in a bad place without Benji and on the cusp of losing their guitarist. For this fan they took a serious turn for the worst focusing on the grime and losing that hardcore edge that made them stand out. Now reunited with Benji and using a touring guitarist along with the addition of Dell (vocals/general hype man) they seem to have found their feet and be pushing forward. Three vocalists acting as frontmen is a little distracting and the fact that the guitar sections are so sporadic the guiatrist often looks bored can be overlooked in the overall picture.
Songs such as Minging, Dusted and new addition Fallback sit well with the fans who are fully engaged. All in all a fantastic opening act.
It's a phenomenal set to watch with the usual tracks like Niggas In Paris and self-titled Hacktivist bringing the same crowd pleasing roar. Overall a fantastic show that really put Hacktivist on a pedestal for me.
I've been waiting since Issues released their debut album to check them out live and see whether they deliver the same performance and talent as they show through their studio work. It's a confirming night for me as 30 seconds into their opening song and both screams and cleans have kicked in I have answered that question as a very solid yes.
The addition of Issues newest album 'Headspace' spills comfortably into their live set and the crowd rock out and sing along as if they have been performing them for years. Needless to say the album at this point has only been out for like four days so that's a pretty impressive feat.
As good as the band are as a whole, and I know I am going to be jumping on a fan bandwagon here, BUT Tyler Frigging Carter... He is quite literally a phenomenal talent. The dude hits every note perfectly and this is the first night of tour. His vocal range and tone is on point too.
The band really impressed with hits like 'Life Of A Nine', 'Coma', 'The Realest', 'Hooligans' and pretty much the entire setlist making for a fantastic show.