21st November 2012, Apollo
You know you’re gonna have a great night when you’re surrounded by hundreds of sweaty people, guys shouting “let’s go fucking mental” and Mancunians singing “oh Manchester is wonderful”, before the concert has even started. And yes, they did go fucking mental, and yes, it was a great night.
But it was a long wait before the Vaccines actually came on stage, on this 21st of November at the Apollo. No less than three supporting bands to keep us waiting. First, a synth and guitar duo called Pale. Quite nice. Then a girls grunge and bluesy duo, on drums and guitar, called Deep Valley. Pretty uninteresting. Then DIIV’s very hectic set. You know the concert won’t be boring when you already have to fight for your life during the supporting act. I’m not sure if people really loved the band or were just getting mega excited as the time for the Vaccines concert was getting closer. In any case, DIIV, and their dark/rock/shoegaze/highly instrumental music, probably deserved such enthusiasm.
So by the time the Vaccines finally arrived on stage, at 9:45, the audience was fully warmed up. They played half songs from their new album Come of Age and half songs from their first one. You might think both albums are totally unoriginal but you could hardly say they’re crap. At least they sure can make people jump. ‘Wetsuit’ was the biggest success. People didn’t seem too sure whether to wave, jump, sing or shout so they just ended up doing all of these things at once. Mosh pits were the rule for all the other songs. But fortunately for the people on the seats, the Vaccines’s also the kind of band that you can enjoy quietly. The pit was full of teenagers wearing Vaccines t-shirts. “Wow there’s a lot of people” said the singer. It was indeed really packed. Manchester’s Apollo may be pretty ugly but it is the perfect size for this kind of band. Because you might not exactly think so when you listen to their sad introspective songs but these guys are stadium material. And, no matter how loud Justin Young sings “I’m no teenage icon”, he just keeps proving he is one.