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maddyoxley
31st October 2022

“Peace was never an option” for WARGASM at Academy 2

WARGASM rule Academy 2 on their ‘EXPLICIT TOUR’ with a stylish, but raucous set covering every corner of their discography
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“Peace was never an option” for WARGASM at Academy 2
Photo: WARGASM – Maddy Oxley @ The Mancunion

One of the longest queues I’ve ever seen for a gig in academy 2 (which was of course a good sign for the WARGASM gig ahead!) meant I missed the start of first support Knife Bride’s set. I wasn’t a massive fan of what I did hear, but the front of the crowd got involved, enthusiastically answering their calls for a mosh pit to their last song.

To be honest, the sound wasn’t great from where I stood which may have played into how much I enjoyed their set. As a very new band with only three tracks to their name, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t be massively polished at this point. I’d definitely give Knife Bride another chance in the future.

Photo: Knife Bride – Maddy Oxley @ The Mancunion

Photo: Scene Queen – Maddy Oxley @ The Mancunion

Main support, Scene Queen, was an absolute joy to watch. Coining the term “bimbocore” to describe her sound, and appearing on stage to Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’ I knew I was in for a fun half an hour. I’d heard some snippets of Scene Queen’s music on TikTok a while ago but never listened properly.

I actually really wish I had though, so I could’ve joined in more with her set. She clearly had a fair few fans already in the audience, with crowd surfers making an appearance during her first song, which is quite rare for a support act.

Highlights included the massively catchy ‘Pink Panther’ and a cover of Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed A Girl’ which was a great way to involve members of the audience who weren’t familiar with Scene Queen’s own tracks. She even enlisted a fan from the audience to help her scream during one track, as she was beginning to lose her voice, which was a lovely gesture.

As well as entertaining with her music, Scene Queen proved that she also had the stage presence in between tracks. The highlight for me was when she exclaimed that she wasn’t bothered about starting circle pits, but instead wanted a “twerk-le pit”, and that anyone who felt compelled to “pop their pussy” to her music should go to the middle. Scene Queen proves that you don’t need to look or act a certain way to fit in in the metal scene, and owns her hyper femininity in such a way that it’s hard not to love what she’s doing.

Photo: WARGASM – Maddy Oxley @ The Mancunion

This same energy continued in the break between scene queen and headliner WARGASM. With a pre-show playlist ranging from Slipknot and Pierce The Veil, to Nelly Furtado’s ‘Maneater’, the audience were loving it.

WARGASM needed no introduction and arrived on stage launching into ‘Super Fiend’ from their most recent release EXPLICIT: The MiXXXtape. The band covered every corner of their discography on this tour, first playing every track from the mixtape in order, then playing a few of their first ever releases, before finishing with a selection of their other hits, and an encore of ‘Spit’.

The show was chaotic in the best possible way, even featuring a circle pit completely unprompted by the band, which was a first for me. WARGASM are an incredibly polished duo to watch.

A lot of the vocals on their tracks are performed in a call and response fashion between both band members standing on opposite sides of the stage, which is really effective in a live setting. Vocalist and bassist Milkie Way, tended to stay back on the right side of the audience, but vocalist and guitarist Sam Matlock, frequently came closer to the front of the stage during his parts, and even crowd surfed during final song ‘Spit’.

One of the touring band members also moved to the front of the stage to feature on vocals a couple of times, incorporating nu-metal classics like Limp Bizkit’s ‘Break Stuff’ into WARGASM’s songs. I was a little confused at first, and it was undoubtedly an unnecessary addition, but fun nonetheless.

Highlights for me included ‘Lapdance’, (originally by N.E.R.D) which is a perfect cover in my eyes. As well as ‘Backyard Bastards’ during which it was quite ironic to feel so comfortable in a room full of people screaming “wanna kill, wanna kill somebody” so enthusiastically. The gig was raucous from start to finish, and as the lyrics in ‘God of War’ say, “nu metal is definitely coming back” if WARGASM have anything to do with it.

Photo: WARGASM – Maddy Oxley @ The Mancunion

Maddy Oxley

Maddy Oxley

Criminology student and gig-goer, never left my emo phase. Contactable on twitter @maddy_oxley

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