Vant were the opening act for the You Me At Six gig at The Limelight, Belfast. Their mission was to create a buzz in the venue in anticipation for the headliner and they certainly did this.
The frontman Mattie Vant stays true to himself when gigging and is open and honest in his opinions which is reflected in many songs as they definitely make a political statement. ‘Karma Seeker’ is one of their songs with a deeper meaning however the musical ‘fine-tuning’ means that it is brilliantly written, both lyrically and composition wise.
Similarly, the majority of their songs have that anthem feel where you could sing along with upbeat tempos and crafted lyrics. They were definitely able to get the crowd excited for You Me At Six coming on stage which is one of the most important attributes of an opening act. Although as a band VANT are also able to hold their own and I can almost guarantee they’ll be back in Belfast headlining their own show some day. They’ve also just released their new single ‘PEACE & LOVE’ which according to them they wrote in the wake of the Paris attacks. Definitely new music worth checking out.
Josh Franceschi, the lead singer walked onto the stage in darkness followed by the rest of his You Me At Six bandmates and they started into ‘When We Were Younger’ which is one of their slightly slower paced songs. However it definitely built an atmosphere due to the slow build up in the song and because Josh’s vocals are rougher towards the end which sent the crowd wild. It felt like the whole crowd was singing along to every song from this point forward, which some bands may not like however these guys seemed to thrive of.
‘Bite My Tongue’ was one of the early songs within the set list, which with its fast-paced beat, heavy guitar riffs and tuned vocals is definitely one of the biggest crowd pleasers. Seeing You Me At Six in a smaller venue like Limelight was refreshing as it was one of the most intimate gigs which I have been to. This was made obvious by the amount of crowd interaction from the band which wasn’t available at previous YMAS gigs such as when they supported 30 Seconds To Mars in the SSE Arena due to the size.
You Me At Six played a varied set list with a good mixture of both older and newer songs. One of the most fantastic moments at the gig was when they performed ‘Underdog’ which comes 2010 album, Hold Me Down. The whole crowd knew the lyrics and were more than happy to sing along to the song . Similarly ‘Lived a Lie’ was majorly popular due to its pop rock feel, catchy lyrics and musical build-up. Also because it’s a cleverly written song it’s very easy to sing along to hence the whole crowd were able to shout the lyrics back at the band. Other classics that they played included ‘Loverboy’, ‘Reckless’ and ‘Stay With Me’ which were all greatly received by the crowd.
We also heard some of the songs from the new album Night People which is due to be released in January 2017. They included the single ‘Plus One’ and ‘Swear’ which has not yet been released. Both songs have a heavy beat and are catchy with some excellent riffs. Vocally they are also memorable and very easy to sing along to. It’s obvious that over the years Josh’s vocal ability has increased made evident by his vocal range and the new dynamics within their latest album.
They finished their set with their title track single ‘Night People’ from the album. This track has the ultimate anthem feel and is something that everyone can sing along to and enjoy. It also showcases a new side of You Me At Six because it almost has a funky blues rock feel to it however the undertones show that it’s most definitely still You Me At Six– they’ve just progressed with time. Their new album will definitely be worth checking out!
One aspect of this gig I found particularly moving was that the band asked for those on the guest list to give a donation of at least £5. This was in memory of the late Architects guitarist Tom Searle who passed away in August this year after losing his battle with cancer. You Me At Six were raising the money for it to go towards the hospice which treated him and I think this was a lovely sentiment. It truly showed an example of bands in the industry supporting each other and looking out for each other. Words by Kelly Thompson.