It’s a busy Wednesday night in Manchester as the Academy plays host to 3 packed shows. But in all honesty we are here for one particularly raucous evening only, WARGASM bring their crazed roadshow to a sold out Academy 2. Check out our review and full galleries from the night below. Support comes from SCENE QUEEN and KNIFE BRIDE
KNIFE BRIDE do a commendable job of kick starting the proceedings tonight with their groovy nu-metal sound. Although it’s still early in the night the crowd is growing and the pits are rapidly forming as the group lead us through a set that keeps you on your toes shifting effectively from gently swaying melodies to neck breaking heaviness topped by some satisfyingly grungy vocals.
Following quickly is the vibrantly exuberant stylings of party rock outfit SCENE QUEEN.
“I’m plastic, fantastic, and musically dramatic” Scene Queen’s Facebook states and watching tonight’s performance this rings very true as the music is unapologetically in your face whilst still finding time to be fantastically bouncy and danceable. Add on top of this the biting lyrics that provide the foundation of Scene Queen’s self coined ‘BIMBOCORE’ genre and you’ve got yourself a party!
Frankly if it wasn’t for who was about to follow you would be forgiven for thinking this was a Scene Queen headline show with the way the crowd reacts to each new song in the set. The love in the room tonight for this band is obvious as the fans are in equal parts screaming along to each pop-laden chorus and throwing down to every breakdown. Front woman Hannah Collins thrives on stage and when not bouncing up and down the boards is sure to be found down by the barrier engaging up close and personal with the eagerly awaiting fans.
Now that the room is filled and suitably amped up it’s finally time for the main event. WARGASM take to the stage heralded by a mix that includes Slipknot classic Duality along with a popular pop song that this reviewer is ashamedly unable to name…regardless it’s certainly an entrance that works to fire up the crowd as the duo storm immediately into a one-two punch of new album openers “Super Fiend” and “D.R.I.L.D.O”.
If it wasn’t clear that this show would be a full throttle sprint from the word go then the hard swerve into smash hit ‘Samla Hayek’ followed by album closer ‘Pyro Pyro’ certainly cements that idea. It’s undeniable that the group have some extraordinary stage presence, whether it’s vocalist Milkie Way confidently leading a barrage of chorus chants or singer / guitarist Sam Matlock repeatedly taking the show into the audience, climbing the barrier to get a good view of the enraptured gathering whilst dodging a healthy amount of crowd surfers. Wargasm exude an energy that you can’t help but get caught up in, from the front to the bar lurkers at the very back you can’t help but get involved.
Interestingly the night is injected with snippets of popular metal songs alongside the already stacked setlist, notably a burst of the intro from Metallica’s ‘Fuel’ which closes out the night. By the time the lights come up Wargasm have successfully transformed this sold out 1000 capacity show into what feels like the most intimate of basement shows, sweat drenched walls and all.
All images by William Mawdsley