The Kerrang! Relentless Energy Drink Tour 2011
O2 Academy, Glasgow
14th February 2010
This year’s Kerrang! Relentless Energy Drink Tour was an all American affair with The Wonder Years, Framing Hanley and Four Year Strong joining headliners Good Charlotte on the twelve date jaunt around the UK. We went along to the Glasgow date on none other than Valentine’s Day to check out the action. With the impressive Academy stage flanked with screens showcasing past Kerrang! covers and rowdy free giveaways courtesy of sponsors Relentless taking place between sets, gave the whole evening an almost festival feel.
As has become the norm with twenty-first century shows, a hefty queue snaked its way around the Academy ahead of doors opening. Strict ID checks and bag searches meant the crowd was slow to filter its way up the stairs and onto the floor. Nevertheless the electricity hovering above the cluster of bodies clinging to the barrier was still tangible as Philadelphia’s The Wonder Years kicked off the show. Having missed their packed out set at last year’s Slam Dunk North Festival, I was excited to finally catch the band in a live environment. They certainly didn’t disappoint. Their honest, vigorous brand of pop-punk sounded huge on stage and vocalist Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell certainly won all prizes in the ‘Most Energetic…’ category. Favourites from album ‘The Upsides’ went down a treat with those in the crowd already clued in on the brilliance of The Wonder Years – especially My Last Semester. By the end of set-closer All My Friends Are In Bar Bands it was clear that The Wonder Years had earned themselves a fair few new Scottish fans – and deservedly so.
Next it was the turn of Framing Hanley who strolled on stage to a crescendo of screams. Whilst their melodic songs followed a pretty standard format, their set passed without any real spark or identifiable highlight. It’s undeniable that Framing Hanley are good at what they do – after all they certainly had an impressive number of fans in tonight’s crowd – and perhaps in any other line-up their set would have been more noteworthy. Tonight, however, was altogether a bit lacklustre.
Kicking things back into fifth gear were Four Year Strong, a band with an ever growing and increasingly devoted UK fan base. Their noisy chaotic style dominated the Academy sound system and brought the floor to life. With a criminally short set they showcased mostly newer material from current album ‘Enemy of the World’ with It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now and Wasting Time (Eternal Summer) providing epic sing-a-long opportunities. Unsurprisingly Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die received the best reaction from the crowd and the band left the stage as champions. Four Year Strong have just been announced as the support for Blink 182’s upcoming summer UK tour, alongside You Me At Six, but let’s hope it’s not too long before we see them back here playing their own headline shows.
Finally, it was time for the main attraction. Good Charlotte have always been a band that divide opinion, with their critics more often than not refusing to take them seriously. To be honest though, I don’t think the band themselves have ever wanted to be taken all that seriously, as is shown in their light-hearted lyrics and catchy radio-friendly choruses. Camera’s filled the air as the intro from their latest album ‘Cardiology’ signalled the arrival of tonight’s headliners. This gave way to classic track The Anthem followed swiftly by Boys & Girls. From then on in it was a mixture of both old and new from Good Charlotte. Little Things was a rare treat for some of the old-school fans, while boys in the crowd (many of whom were likely to have been dragged along by their Riot Girl girlfriends) got to mosh up a storm to the Avenged Sevenfold infused track The River, which Joel dedicated to the late James, The Rev, Sullivan. My Bloody Valentine was particularly apt given the date, whilst Like It’s Her Birthday and Silver Screen Romance slotted in nicely with the older material. The band’s newest single Sex on the Radio (the hilarious music video featuring the boys going undercover to promote the song can be seen here) united old and new fans alike with a chorus everyone could clap along to.
There was only one way for the evening to end and that was with the song that has become almost synonymous with Good Charlotte’s name – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Loud, energetic and most importantly fun, tonight’s headliners certainly rounded the evening off in style and left no doubt in anyone’s mind that they know to pull off a spectacular performance.