November 3, 2014 You Me At Six ride high at Upstate Concert Hall 10-25-14 w/ Young Guns & Stars in Stereo
UK’s You Me At Six were slated to return to North America for a full headlining tour last spring, but postponed the tour to the fall, due to the vocal exhaustion of frontman Josh Franchesci. After fans patiently waited, the tour finally arrived September 17th, as it kicked off the first of 37-dates with fellow Brits Young Guns and Southern California’s Stars in Stereo. Seeing success everywhere they turned with large crowds and positive reactions, the tour arrived at the Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, NY Saturday October 25th for what was bound to be a fun-filled evening.
First to the stage was local Albany Pop Rock act This Renaissance. Founded in 2011, the band has been playing the local scene and making a name for themselves. Mixing catching guitar melodies and the smooth vocals of TomiJo Wood, the band did a fine job in their opening slot for this national tour. Their new album Phoenix was released August 30th.
Next up was Stars in Stereo, who embodied the rocker look and stage presence from the moment they began. Working hard over the past few years, it seems Stars in Stereo have been on one big national tour after another, playing with Flyleaf, Drowning Pool and Halestorm, among others. Even while spending extensive time on the road, the band still found time to pump out their debut, full-length, self-titled album in 2013, following up in 2014 with Leave Your Mark. Now becoming a recognized name in the Hard Rock scene, the band began with vocalist Bec Hollcraft moving all over the stage with the confidence and charisma that it takes to really own the role as a frontwoman. Opening with new song “Not a Shot,” they went on to to play other high-octane tracks like “Fire Starter” and “Leave Your Mark.”. Closing the set with “Fair-Weather Friend, they provoked excitement in the crowd and proved they are a band with the intangibles for staying power on the scene.
Moving along, direct support came from Rock band Young Guns. Together for five years, the band has seen a steady progression in their sound, from their 2010 debut All Our Kings Are Dead through 2012’s Bones. With clear determination to take things to the next level with their forthcoming 2015 album, Young Guns are band on the rise which should be on everyone’s radar. Taking the stage with the clear intention of having a good time, vocalist Gustav Wood set the tone for their set starting off with older favorite, “Weight of the World.” Knowing how to keep the energy flowing, they went into the exhilarating new single “I Want Out,” which thumped the powerful bass line of Simon Mitchell and saw guitarists Fraser and John Taylor shine bright. The new track has the electricity of an arena anthem and had everyone moving and enjoying themselves. Playing on with “Towers (On My Way)” and “Dearly Departed,” it was clear to see more than a few people in this audience knew exactly who Young Guns were, singing and cheering along. Closing out with a performance of “Bones,” the band completed a fantastic set with a fun atmosphere. Mark the calendar for Young Guns 2015 release and promise to return state side very soon.
The time had come for You Me At Six to take over Upstate Concert Hall. Marking their first headlining show in the Albany area, a nice size audience was on hand to catch the performance. The impressive turnout proves You Me At Six is in high demand as the tour featured four New York dates, including Buffalo, Syracuse, and NYC. No stranger to touring North America, the band has been here more than a dozen times now over the years, laying the ground work for a strong fan base with a great buzz surrounding them. With three certified gold albums in their home country under their belt, 2014’s Cavalier Youth is topping charts in a variety of markets, including the US.
Jump starting their set with “Too Young to Feel this Old,” they showed an ability to bring energy and intensity that stimulates a powerful crowd reaction. Playing on with old-favorites such as “Underdog” and “Staying With Me,” Franchesci seemed to have benefited greatly from resting his voice, making the touring delay well worth it. Soaring high and singing inspired, Franchesci enticed the audience to participate in “Forgive and Forget,” as the huge sound of guitars of Max Helyer and Chris Miller filled the room. Setting up the moment with the wonderful hit, single “Room to Breathe,” came next as everyone cheered at the top of their lungs and losing themselves in the music. Becoming staples in You Me At Six’s sets, “Reckless” followed with “Bite My Tongue,” to which Franchesci took a moment to speak with the audience, asking them to put down their phones and cameras and simply enjoy the present experience. Doing as the vocalist wished, the request could not have been any more on target as the lush musical bliss really captured a emotion which no technology can capture. Keeping things extremely light-hearted and joyful, Franchesci even blew out a kiss to the audience as he graciously filled in for Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes, screaming the lyric “Fuck You!” in the song. Belting out the rough vocals seamlessly as if they were always intended for him, Franchesci dominated in tremendous fashion. It certainly was a reminder that sometimes it is important to disconnect and reconnect in a more organic way. Wrapping up the set with the heart-stopping “Lived a Lie,” You Me At Six had completed a moving and visually exhilarating performance.
You Me At Six are a band which have a spectrum of talents which can not be denied. They are certainly on their way to big things with music that connects with their audience in a very strong way. While the tour is now concluded, judging by their dedication to touring regularly since they were 18 years old, You Me At Six will be back before fans know it, an attitude that fans can not help but adore.