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So I’ve reached the halfway point of this gigantic gig bender. And dare I say it, the crowds are getting rowdier and The Living End are getting tighter as each night goes on. And playing the album which saw them take a gigantic step forward musically and delivered them renewed interest – State Of Emergency – definitely aided in turning things up a notch.
Something tells me a lot of people saw the “this show has is being filmed” signs at the front of the venue. From the second the band tore into killer opener ‘Til The End, the mosh pit wasn’t a place for the faint hearted. Hands everywhere, fist pumps, a handful of crowd surfers and plenty of bouncing become the order of the night. Actually, the head-banging started even before the band took to the stage – courtesy of Cosmic Dolphin playing Bohemian Rhapsody prior to the introduction video.
Chris Cheney mentioned in an interview back in October he found State Of Emergency the hardest album to re-learn, as the album had some quite diverse material and was located right in between their hard rock and pop phases. The extra time he, Andy Strachan and Scott Owen put in to smash out the album truly showed – tracks like One Step Behind, Order Of The Day and No Way Out (all with their driving choruses) were delivered superbly. We Want More and Wake Up were accompanied with mass singalongs, while singles Long Live The Weekend and What’s On Your Radio? instigated plenty of jumping around.
Like all good frontmen, Cheney also acknowledged the efforts of the hardcore fans up the front – after a brief discussion with Owen about what day it is. “Today is payday, so you all should have a few beers under your belts,” he tells the crowd. “Except for you guys right here, you’ve been here all day.”
Much like the album itself, it was towards the tail end where things really exploded. After summoning those on the dancefloor-turned-mosh-pit to groove along to Nowhere Town, Cheney declared it was “all rock n’ roll from here on in”. Cue the title track, the punchy Black Cat, a brief cover of Soft Cell’s Tainted Love and the furious Into The Red to close out another great performance – which brought 2006 back in fashion.