A wild crowd – boasting an average age of 15 – displayed remarkable enthusiasm during the sets of all three support acts charged with stirring things up for headliners Asking Alexandria.
Circle pits, pubescent sweat and cups of water characterised the rammed Academy floor – setting the perfect atmosphere for the metalcore five-piece topping the bill. But unfortunately the main men didn’t quite live up to the hysteria that preceded them.
Prior to the headliners’ entrance, Europe’s The Final Countdown blasted out as the audience looked on at a microphone draped in a British flag. As clichéd as it was, the room appeared to revel in the cheesy 80s hit.
Drummer James Cassells was first to take to the stage and was elevated above the rest of the band like a prized trophy. Frontman Danny Worsnop followed and was everything a band of Asking Alexandria’s stature requires – loud, energetic, and just a little too cocky.
As track Don’t Pray For Me opened the evening’s set, the drums were dominated by both the guitars and Worsnop’s bellows – but not quite drowned out enough to mask the use of a frenzied treble pedal.
Regardless of some minor sound issues, AA had the majority of the audience eating out the palm of their hands with the level of girlish squeals competing with those at a Justin Bieber concert.
But the highlight of the evening’s performance were those few seconds of silence between songs when Worsnop was left to show off his true vocal talent – even if it was a little too Axl Rose at times.
With a near sold-out show to boost their confidence, there was no doubt that Asking Alexandria would comfortably satisfy their target audience. They may not be to every metal fan’s taste, but their extremely impressive light show served as a great distraction whenever the music became a little mundane. It’s a trick that will serve AA well when the arena promoters come calling.