Lostprophets & Modestep – Music Hall – 24/04/12
Many people believe that music has healing qualities, but as Lostprophets’ front-man Ian Watkins, Modestep’s drummer Matthew Curtis and countless members of Tuesday night’s audience will tell you, this certainly does not apply to live music.
Support act Modestep, a four-piece dubstep band from London, got a huge reaction from the Aberdeen crowd. They performed a varied and practically non-stop setlist that included remixes of huge hits as well as a few of the bands own songs. Although many people are still hesitant to class dubstep as a musical genre, I think Modestep are a testament to this being the case. Whilst certain dubstep bands hide their lack of talent behind the almighty boom of the bass, Modestep actually rise above it. Front-man Josh Friend in particular shines, his beautifully soulful voice providing a pleasant shock to those just arriving to the venue. One of the highlights of their set was an amazing cover of Cee-Lo Green’s smash hit ‘Fuck You’, during which the band enthusiastically stuck their middle fingers up to the crowd. The crowd returned the favour with just as much enthusiasm.
Throughout their set, Modestep had the crowd moving constantly, whether voluntarily in the form of moshpits and jumping in musical appreciation, or involuntarily thanks to the shocking vibrations being emitted from the speakers. Aside from the heavy noise of the bass, the most dominating noise was the sound of Matthew Curtis’ drumming. He is an extremely talented drummer, and considering that he was in crutches at the time of performing, gave an outstanding performance. All of the members got a chance to shine as Josh introduced them all, giving everyone an opportunity to showcase their talents. Guitarist Nick Tsang’s solo was astounding, and Tony Friend’s mixing was met with a refreshing energy that the rest of the venue fed off of. The four-piece worked amazingly well together, and undoubtedly turned several dubstep critics into a curious listeners. They finished their set with one of their most popular songs, ‘Sunlight’, before which they begged the audience to get out their lighters and wave them in the air. The older members of the audience quickly reached into their pockets and triumphantly waved their lighters in the air. The younger members sheepishly stuck their hands up with their phones screens turned to their brightest settings. It was a beautiful sight, but as what seemed to be the seventeenth mosh-pit of the night broke out, I thought that maybe mosh-pits and lighters aren’t the safest match.
Due to some sort of miracle, the audience and venue were still intact by the time alternative rock band Lostprophets took to the stage. As soon as front-man Ian Watkins began to sing, it was evident that something wasn’t quite right. After the show, the band tweeted that Ian was in constant pain during the gig, and the only way he managed to make it on stage was with the help of painkillers. Sadly, this wasn’t explained to the audience at any point during the gig, so we spent the night wondering why Ian wasn’t interacting with us, concluding that it must be us. This couldn’t be further from the case however, with the atmosphere being one of the best of any gigs I have went to. The audience helped Ian out by singing loudly with him and supported the band by enthusiastically clapping and jumping in time with the music.
They started off with current single ‘Bring ‘Em Down’, with several flashes of blinding light exposing an awe-filled crowd and drummer Luke Johnson giving it his all. He was giving more to his performance than any of the other members of the band combined, blending energetic movements with sheer talent, resulting in him being one of the most captivating live drummers I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing perform. An amazing atmosphere was set up by fourth song ‘Can’t Catch Tomorrow’, during which keyboardist Jamie Oliver was seen waving a Saltire and trying to get the crowd pumped up for the rest of the performance. Bassist Stuart Richardson and guitarists Lee Gaze and Mike Lewis began to truly wake up by ‘A Town Called Hypocrisy’, seeming to feed off of the raw energy that the crowd were emitting.
One thing that was fairly obvious about the band’s performance was the lack of crowd interaction. Lostprophets didn’t even seem to take on their audience until they performed one of their biggest hits, ‘Where We Belong’, which featured a miniature cover of ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ as an intro to it. It was during songs such as ‘Where We Belong’, ‘Rooftops’ and ‘Last Train Home’ that we saw a glimpse of the band that we all know and love, but Ian’s injury seemed to drag everyone else down, everyone apart from the audience that is. Jamie Oliver tried his best to interact with the crowd, crazily jumping up onto the drum kit and waving his hands madly in the air, but the fact that Ian was standing with his back to the crowd still caused enough confusion to distract the audience from his antics and worry about the front-man.
The atmosphere was rudely interrupted by the sound of booing after the band closed the show with ‘Burn Burn’, with the audience quickly realising that Lostprophets were refusing to give them an encore. I wonder if they would have still booed if they knew just how much pain their lead-singer was in…
Words by penguingonemad, pics by Still Burning.