The show was opened by the Atlanta rock outlet Issues, who played to a quickly-filling room. This was the first time they had landed on UK shores since the departure of vocalist Michael Bohn early last year, and many fans were eagerly awaiting seeing how the band would cope without him. Luckily, they crashed through hits COMA and The Realest with very little reservation. A welcome return.
Next up, Wrexham's Neck Deep. Despite their slightly turbulent recent history in the East Midlands town, Nottingham's largest venue was bubbling before the four-piece even took to the stage. This tour was the first to feature a slight diversification of personnel - sax player Saxl Rose joined them for a huge rendition of December before breaking into their cover of Ednaswap's Torn and recent hit In Bloom. Closing with Where Do We Go When We Go, the pop punk outfit had obviously overcome any adversaries within the audience and the energy they left behind was almost tangible. It will not be long before they are headlining shows that size themselves.
Playing the closest thing to a home arena show, the Bedford boys greeted the crowds of their university town with Come Out to LA. The energy of lead singer Rob Damiani contagious to every member of the audience and the interaction was immediate. The group worked through newer songs such as Porkies and Technology, blended through a mix of older songs including Automatic, Superlove and Priorities, all the while expertly controlling the crowd as cameras darted across the arena floor to film for the music video of their new single Half Man Half God.
Around halfway through the gig, Damiani and lead guitarist Si Delaney took a short break from conducting the carnage in the pit, to deliver an exclusive acoustic performance of Further from their second studio album Automatic. This slightly more mellow tune allowed the room to rest for a brief minute before launching into an electric rendition of Stay Ignorant, fueling the reignition of the room’s energy.
Their set was finished with an encore containing their 11-year-old single Thug Workout and their iconic T-Shirt Song, which Damiani informed the crowd was based on Nottingham’s own infamous nightclub Ocean's Baywatch, a nod to their days as students in the city. A fantastic set from a bright talent of UK rock.