Ten years ago, American heavy rock band A Day to Remember released their second album For Those Who Have Heart: an album that propelled them further into the limelight. Their gig at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on the 22nd January 2017 marked their ten year anniversary of the album, as well being the first leg on their Bad Vibrations UK tour.
Everyone loves a bit of memory nostalgia, and big American bands such as A Day to Remember are no different. Frontman Jeremy McKinnon announced in front of the fully packed arena in Wales that that night was a particularly special anniversary to them as a band, one that potentially turned their careers around and began to give them the credit and attention they truly deserve. His fellow bandmates and friends then followed up with the first track from the album, Fast Forward to 2012. It’s obvious to see why they’re so proud: they’ve come a long way in those years since forming back in 2003. Back in their early years they were barely seen here in the UK, especially for a a headline performance. Yet now, here there are performing to thousands of rocking fans a night, with highly acclaimed supports such as New Found Glory introducing them.
The night itself was stunning. The A Day to Remember themselves started their set with a bang; confetti filling the room in a matter of minutes during Mr Highway Thinking About the End. They proceeded to race through years of back history, covering songs from earlier albums to their latest releases from Bad Vibrations (released September of last year). It was easy to get the audience immersed, with songs such as Exposed and 2nd Sucks seemingly devised to encourage circles to form in the centre of the crowd. We are greeted by big numbers such as All I Want and I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What are You Made of? which both bring the room alive with brilliant melodies and lyrics blasting from both the stage and from every side of the floor.
“We do have acoustic songs. Does anybody know that?” Jeremy announces as they return back onstage for the first of three encore songs. It’s a duet introduction into If it Means a Lot to You, a beautiful rendition of their 2009 song which then erupts when they re-introduced the drums and electric guitars. The Downfall of Us All then rounds up the dynamic and thoroughly entertaining night, leaving the audience satisfactorily sweaty and buzzed from the show that was witnessed . Cannons were fired across the room, along with the odd toilet roll and inflatables that bounced around the crowds; there is no reason for anyone in the room to be having a dull time during this crammed set.
The line-up was a pop-punk fan’s dream. Last to be announced were sub headliners New Found Glory, who also happen to be celebrating their own anniversary this year. 2017 commemorates the 20th year of pop-punk for the Floridian giants, since their formation back in 1997. They flaunt their banner with pride, even giving the audience an exclusive first sneak peek of an upcoming single Miserable, which they recorded during Autumn last year. It’s the start of a big year for the four-piece, and they started it off well with songs like My Friends Over You and their cover of Kiss Me getting the audience ready and raring for the main event that was in store.
This wasn’t just the start of another tour for these bands that gathered on this night; it was a celebration, dedicated to what they’ve accomplished. It’s a great opportunity to be able to part of such a lively and strong going community that truly love the music and come together to celebrate this.