LIVE REVIEW: The Rasmus @ Academy 2, Manchester – 23rd October 2018

The queue extending down Oxford Road from the Academy is clearly full of The Rasmus’ fans. The large amount of black clothing is a clear indicator, it’s also nice to see a crowd of all ages with young families, couples and extreme metal heads attending the same gig.

The venue doors finally open and not long after Overlaps (7) are on stage performing their set. Their sound is incredibly well mixed considering they are the first of three bands performing this evening. Overlaps power straight into their set with high energy levels that they maintain throughout their performance. This nu -rock band from Italy clearly enjoy the set as much as the audience and even get a good interaction going with the crowd; quite unusual for the first support act. Gloria Piccinin’s vocals soar over the distorted guitars; the power in her voice really standing out. Strong guitar riffs and melodies interspersed through the tracks add an extra detail to their sound. Overlaps have some catchy tracks and are easy to dance and move to, this definitely assisted in their appeal.

The Shiver (7) made a grand entrance with a fantastic synth build up to their stage entrance. Incredibly eerie, low bass tones filled the venue – the atmosphere became electric with anticipation. However, the immersive, strong, heavy breakdown that might be expected to follow such a dramatic build up didn’t occur. The upbeat, nature of the track they chose to play was great for building the energy and appeal to the audience, but it just did not seem right for the atmosphere set by their instrumental introduction. The Shiver went on to play a variety of tracks with heavier styles and, at points, more pop-punk-style influences coming across. Frontwoman Federica Faith Sciamanna’s vocals have a good texture that really complements their musical style. At a few points during their performance her vocals became slightly lost in the mix, fortunately this didn’t affect the good quality of The Shiver’s overall sound.

Soon it is time for The Rasmus (8) to take to the stage. The Fins receive an incredible response from the crowd – there are so many long-time fans here and the atmosphere is incredible with excitement. Their set opens with First Day Of My Life followed by Guilty. Both of these tracks originate from Dead Letters released back in 2003 and the venue feels like it has suddenly returned to the early 2000s. Guilty in particular is quite sparse in the instrumentation but it came across well in the live performance; the sound filled the room and had the desired dark, eerie atmosphere. The familiarity of these tracks with the crowd forms a connection between the band and their audience. The Rasmus’ sound has a subtle edge to it – slightly raw with the distortion – exactly as their sound was for this album. Throughout their set they play a significant number of tracks from their earlier days with a few tracks from Hide From The Sun and Black Roses.

It’s somewhat unexpected how few tracks they perform from their latest album Dark Matters, however, the range of tracks they perform is certainly very appealing to the audience and the setlist is a collection of their most distinctive tracks. Dark Matters feels like a more developed version of their Dead Letters album, their vocal and instrumental sections create the same dark atmosphere with extra detail thrown in. The performance as a whole feels very cohesive. They mix up their set with an acoustic section, performing stripped down versions of Not Like The Other Girls and Still Standing for an intimate interlude in their set, with the band members sitting together at the front of the stage for these two tracks. A gig by The Rasmus would not be complete without the track they are best known for – In The Shadows. Released back in 2003, this track started their journey and attracted a huge fan base. Saved for their last song, the entire audience is singing along and dancing.

All three bands performed brilliantly, and all of their sounds worked cohesively across the evening. The dark, atmospheric themes gradually built up their presence through the two support acts before The Rasmus took to the stage. The life-long fans and newer fans made their appreciation for very clear with their final applause. The Fins clearly have a huge fan base, all these years after their success of In The Shadows and hopefully this will continue in years to come.

Words by Holly Royle

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