Prove your humanity

@ Newcastle O2 Academy, May 22 2011

Time is a funny thing. Not least in the music industry. Just over three months ago VersaEmerge were a support act and waiting with baited breath to see how their new album Fixed At Zero would be received. 

Fast forward and the band isn’t playing second fiddle to anyone and their youthful and vocal fanbase now know all the words to every song. Interestingly VersaEmerge is now a duo after bass guitarist Devin Ingelid left to look after his family.

But one thing has always remained constant. VersaEmerge just want to rock. And on Sunday night lead singer and rock temptress, Sierra Kusterbeck, combined with guitarist Blake Harnage, proved they are still on target to do just that.

Warmed up by My Lost Youth and the impressive Not Advised, the overwhelmingly teenyrocker crowd tried their best to maintain a high level of energy throughout. The predominantly female crowd took a shine to the latter warm up act, with the sweaty masses swarming to the merchandise stall throughout the night to meet their new ‘favourite’ band.

A fittingly theatrical entrance kicked off by the atmospheric Stranger heralded the return of Sierra and Blake to a Newcastle stage. Flitting between slow paced and moody tracks to high octane emo rock, the buoyant crowd lapped up every minute.

Growling at the crowd to make noise and demanding better added another level to Kusterbeck’s layered rock chic persona. With anthemic efforts like Figure It Out and Mindreader, VersaEmerge appear to have shaken off any lingering Paramore comparisons.

The penultimate track of the night brought the obligatory sea of video phones as Fixed At Zero proved to be the biggest hit of the night. With the evening drawing to a close Sierra attempted to pull off every aspiring rock star’s moment. But a stage dive ended up as more of a stage drag, disappearing into a sea of hands before resurfacing with dignity and clothes intact to end with Clocks.

Will VersaEmerge carry on climbing to new heights? Only time will tell…

Andy Spoors