It’s been twenty years since Funeral For A Friend released their debut album ‘Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation’.
An album that set the Welsh post-hardcore band on their way to be one of the essential bands of the pre-emo rising of the early 2000s.
Now touring the album to help us elder emos feel young again… have they aged as horrendously as my knees and lower back?
Opening tonight is Dead Pony. You may remember them from what seems like every show I go to in Glasgow…… and that’s far from a bad thing. Dead Pony are not only bridging the gap between rock and electronic music in a way not seen since the peak of The Prodigy – or in more recent times, Pendulum – but are now a dead cert to be the next huge thing coming out of Glasgow.
Obviously with some fans in the crowd already, they left with more by the end of the set. The music was as tight as it has been in the previous shows, but we know Dead Pony aren’t out of practice as they’ve been non stop recently. It’s also great to see the local hometown band open for yet another legendary band. It’s like the new kids heralding the old masters…… a not so chilling glimpse into their own future.
The main support on this tour is Dashboard Confessional. Another band that could be described as a throw back but the proper term would be “legend”. If you grew up – or more importantly, started to get interested in kissing – in the early 2000s then Dashboard was your soundtrack. Acoustic and semi acoustic power pop songs that the angsty bad boys could sing to show that they wear their heart on their sleeve and can become better people. Singing ‘Hands Down’ outside your crush’s window at three in the morning was an act that would win you a passionate kiss back in those days. Simpler times.
Frontman (and the only original member) Chris Carrabba walks on the stage looking exactly as he did twenty years ago. This man knows where the fountain of youth is. Softly spoken, warm and friendly, he speaks to the crowd who have given him a hero’s welcome, often. The set list is filled with their most popular songs from the biggest albums – ‘Swiss Army Romance’, ‘The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most’ and ‘A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar’. Although not as heavy or shouty as our headliners by any stretch of the imagination, Dashboard serve to get us back to the period and headspace we need to be in. The crowd reaction clearly tells the supports that we need to see them headline in Glasgow again soon.
The O2 plunges into darkness as the background music is cut mid-word and the walls literally shake with the roar from the crowd. I would be guessing to say how long they’d been waiting for this show… but it couldn’t have come soon enough.
Launching straight into ‘Rookie Of The Year’, singer Matthew Davies-Kreye need not have bothered turning up. The crowd had been practicing these songs for twenty years and have no problem drowning him out. Walking around the stage, often with the mic cupped in both hands, there’s nothing overly dynamic about the vocalist’s stage presence but this is more than made up for by the rest of the band.
The set list is no secret as the debut album is played in its entirety and in order. What should be a special performance is made unique when Barry from Twin Atlantic joins Matt and Kris on stage and plays cello for the track ‘Your Revolution Is A Joke’. It’s unlikely that anyone else in the world will experience what the O2 experienced tonight.
The encore features favourites such as ‘Streetcar’ and ‘Roses For The Dead’ before finishing with ‘History’… something that was definitely made tonight. It’s almost bittersweet that we all know this show can never be repeated.
Photos by Catching Light Photography