@ Newcastle O2 Academy, February 1 2011

A Day To Remember’s vast Kerrang! were present to see one band and on band only.

Sparks certainly didn’t fly at the beginning of Queens lads Bayside’s set. This may have been because of a poor opening song choice which didn’t represent their orb of energy as a long-established band.

But from their second song through to the end of the set list the tracks were rolled out in perfect order and after such a shaky start these guys lit up the stage – and then some. Such a shame some of the crowd unnecessarily decided to show them the universal middle finger…

A Day To Remember were out to promote their latest album What Separates Me From You, opening with a new song and playing plenty from this album and Homesick – including acoustic song If It Means A Lot To You which had never before been performed in Newcastle.

Unfortunately for the older fans, they only played one song off And Their Name Was Treason which was obviously one of the most well-known. It makes you wonder: are A Day To Remember here to play music for their love of music or to keep their ‘Official ADTR fan club’ happy?

The stage set-ups and backdrops for ADTR are becoming more and more elaborate and on this tour the band boast a huge backdrop, a ramp running around the back of the drum riser and two over-the-top punch bags on either side of the stage.

For most fans this gig was also the first time they’d experienced ADTR using explosions of confetti and toilet roll which was endearing to see as a reminder of fellow Florida residents Less Than Jake and their earlier performances.

It is a positive aspect that a slice of the band’s budget is going towards live shows rather than the members simply lining their pockets and stripping it down. But none of the band acknowledged the gigantic punch bags – never mind actually using them – so what’s the point of it all?

Overall it was good to see ADTR back in Newcastle and bringing Pierce the Veil and Bayside back to the North East for 2011. But they seemed to be lacking something. Each member was equally enthusiastic and their passion was unmistakably still intact. But is this a band beginning to sell itself down the river? Only time will tell.

Chiara Giordano