Opening the show is Grumble Bee performing an acoustic set. It’s literally dead quiet in the venue as all eyes and ears are on Jack, admiring his incredible vocals and songwriting ability, with his mum even listening in on the phone. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a Grumble Bee acoustic set but it’s by far the best one as we get stripped back versions of songs including Red, Bravest Soul, Soft Filter Black & White Picture, Francium and Lapwing.
An ill William Ryan Key takes to the stage and begins to explain how he decided to change up some of his favourite Yellowcard songs to fit one guitar. Despite being ill, he powered through, with an incredible voice bringing new life to the likes of Only One and what is arguably their most popular track in Ocean Avenue. The set is peppered with little stories including of how songwriters minds work with hating a place one day and loving it the next while talking about California. There’s also a brand new song played that he wrote alongside Like Torches called Live On that was written in Los Angeles around the Linkin Park Chester Bennington memorial concert. The track will feature on Like Torches‘ upcoming album.
Headliners Normandie take to the floor launching straight into Fight. It’s weird to see them on the floor after a Download stage appearance but it adds to the intimacy of the show. Throughout the set, the crowd are enthusiastically singing along and the band are flawless. It’s the third time seeing Normandie for me and each time they somehow find a way to be even more spectacular than the last! Tracks including Collide, Ghost and new single Pay For This show vocalist Philip Strand’s insane vocal range. He also knows how to work a crowd well.
Overall the night was a success, each set was incredible.