Playing their previous two Manchester shows in Academy 2, Madina Lake are more than familiar with what to expect. They even go as far as to mention that their last show here in 2010 was “the best show we have ever played”. The audience has a lot to live up to. However, the venue floor seemed to only be at half capacity, most likely due to economic reasons or the fact that the tour was not as well promoted; yet the adorned fans at the front few rows made up for any lack of eagerness, with enough energy to make it seem as if it was sold out.
They make their way through new material and old favourites ‘Never Take Us Alive’, ‘House of Cards’ and ‘One Last Kiss’. What I noticed about this band is that they really like to smile, like really really smile. I don’t think there was a point in the whole set where they failed to smile. This is an inspiring thing to see from a band that has been through their struggles in past months, with bassist Matthew Leone spending many critical months fighting for his life. The band are grateful and appreciative of the fans that have helped and stuck by them, constantly making the audience aware of this throughout the night via their rather emotional (and seemingly alcohol-fuelled) speeches.
Continuing to play newer songs ‘Hey Superstar’ and ‘They’re Coming For Me’, to a good reception, the highlight of the night was during ‘True Love’, probably described as the heaviest song in the Madina Lake back catalogue, where a wall of death successfully opened up, despite the small-ish size of the crowd occupying the middle of the room.
With a positive stage presence, high crowd and band participation levels and several confetti-loaded beach balls floating about, every figure in the room is bound to have been left satisfied.