Emotional, Huge and Explosive. This can only be a headline show by the band that is Neck Deep.
I’ve seen Neck Deep before on a few occasions, supporting We Are The In Crowd, at Slam Dunk Festival and supporting Bring Me The Horizon. Now, they were a good band in those sets but it’s these headlining ones that turn them into legends. They’ve crossed the threshold to turn things up to eleven and now there’s no turning back.
Before they went on stage, the crowd were warming to the support acts for a good long while (however long their set times were). First up was new-ish to the stage Woes. I only got to see their last two tracks but it seemed that this was a huge boost for their confidence because they looked like they belonged on that Academy stage. Who knows a few years down the road and they’ll be headlining venues such as this soon.
The second group to take to the stage was Real Friends and from the first track of their set, the crowd were bouncing. Mosh-pit after mosh-pit infested the audience which seemed all but natural to the rising rockers as if they were saying. I hope you’re ready for round two soon. Who knows? But one thing is for certain, when they come back to the British shores, they’ll be ready for us!
Lastly was the main support, As It Is. It’d been a while since they’ve played some UK shows because they’ve been all over the place in support of their second studio record, Okay! Even though that was the case, the crowd took them with open arms with their Pop-Rock blend of nostalgia, cultivating in Hey Rachel as well as their last track, Dial Tones. What they did show is how long they’ve been waiting to play these track for us, and oh, was it spectacular!
Lastly were the headliners, the band everyone had come to see. Before the curtain dropped, I thought to myself “Oh. This is different.” When Happy Judgement Day kicked in, everything went mental. People screaming, multiple moshpits starting in the crowd and everyone losing their inhibitions. It’s amazing to see that bands can still do this and for Neck Deep, it’ll be a pleasure to see.
This is the first time I’ve been in attendance for a headline Neck Deep show in the past, sure I’ve been to an instance when they’ve headlined a festival stage but something does have me wondering as I write this, are all Neck Deep gigs this mental? Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m just curious and I have to ask the question because on tracks such as Kali Ma, Gold Steps and Motion Sickness; all I saw was the crowd going ballistic. It’s undeniable proof that this band have some amazing fans, to say the least.
In terms of set choices, they had around nineteen or twenty tracks for their adoring fans. But did it work? Every track flowed where the atmosphere only got more intense with each. This for myself hit it’s highest when the band played Don’t Wait. It’s such a politically charged track which is a statement by the band. To me, it’s saying to stop and listen because this band has something to say and if you miss the meaning of the message, then like the record, it’s wasted on people. Here though, the show only got more interesting.
When (possibly their best track to date) In Bloom started, I had to hold back a few tears. The first time I heard it, I thought Neck Deep had done it again, when I went to the album signing at HMV Leeds in August, I was nearly reduced to tears because it’s such a beautiful track, especially acoustically and here played properly live to almost two thousand people, it’s something else entirely. The thing about Neck Deep though, (which I’ve heard them say before) is that people think they’re so much older than they are. They’ve written such touching lyrics and had all these experiences in their lives, yet they’re still quite young. Most members aren’t in the second half of their twenties but it’s fantastic that they’ve had these experiences because the way they personify these through their music is something else entirely. It’s this commitment which makes them so unique in the world of Pop-Punk and Rock and it’s what will continue to separate them from others for the remainder of their careers.
The band also played three tracks acoustically. Head To The Ground, Wish You Were Here and their most known track, A Part Of Me. I think everyone was just waiting for this track, (A Part Of Me) especially in the second half of the gig because the band always plays it. It’s become a true staple of their set’s since their early days where it doesn’t feel right if they decide to not play it. What is great to see is that this has expanded into more acoustic tracks where the audience will think, hey we didn’t see this coming. It’s great to see the band evolving and not becoming a group where their sets become predictable and repetitive but now with the full band coming into A Part Of Me, it’s something not as intimate but much more emotional to bring the crowd to its knees.
This was quite possibly one of the greatest gigs I’ve been to in my life, seconded only to Evanescence because of the vocal clarity of Amy Lee. Here it is my second favourite because it’s the most fun I’ve ever had at a gig, I’ve got to see a unique set by one of the greatest Pop-Punk bands England has ever known and listened to track live from one of the best albums of 2017 so far, The Peace And The Panic and I got to see it in my favourite city, Newcastle.
Check out December live from the show below.
Support: Woes, Real Friends, As It Is
Neck Deep’s latest album, The Peace and The Panic is out now via Hopeless Records. Here are the links for Amazon, Itunes, Google Play and Neck Deep’s Webstore.