On this cold and horrible February eve in Leeds the atmosphere is at least warm and thick with anticipation. Crossover giants Innerpartysystem have been taking over on the alternative scene of late with their emotive and varied material. Having been over only once before on Linkin Park’s Project Revolution tour this is a really great chance for them to stand alone and deliver the goods.
First up though, we get to check out London based Goth-pop sensation My Passion who have already torn up venues with the likes of Kill Hannah and Jeffree Star before now. They impress the already pumped up crowd with their bouncy and synth-infused rock. This lot might look a little cliché, but if you take them likely they will knock you flat on your back with their killer riffs and deceptively empowering lyrics then, they will write nasty words on you with their eyeliner.
It’s easy to see why two-piece Middle Class Rut are on this bill as direct support. The headliners brought them over the pond to rock the house with their powerful Refused meets Jane’s Addiction hardcore rock. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to get the attention they deserve from the crowd who seem to be heavily rooted in their love for electro tinged pop-rock. Despite the best efforts of the very skilled and highly energetic drummer Sean Stockham (complete with his eye-catching For Sale tattoo) and the powerful vocals of Zack Lopez, they seem to fall flat on this night. This is not their crowd. MC Rut will surely go down a lot better and be recognized for their efforts when they tour with ..And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead in April. Really though, this is powerful and passionate raw music stuff for you to grate against your ears and enjoy.
After some time, setting up their epic lighting rig, we are treated to some beautiful noise from the headliners Innerpartysystem. The group has gained quite the cult following and it is clear that while most people in attendance on this dreary, cold and snow drenched eve have come for one song. Those who are long-time fans of the band and appreciate their diversity lap it up. Despite the sound being seriously muffled at times standouts include the euphoric Die Tonight, Live Forever which fit neatly next to the heavier more sonic efforts like This Town Your Grave and the softer, more melody driven Obsession.
The band seem to be able to conjure up a variety of emotions within their music and it is a shame that most only really start to bounce and scream for Don’t Stop, though perhaps we shouldn’t expect more than that at this point. In our eyes there are very few contemporary bands (with the exception of Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy and Depeche Mode) who can challenge the senses equally in terms of the way that they are able to utilize both audio and visual media. That being said, there is still some fine-tuning to be done and a lot of clutter to be sifted through. The live show has not yet reached the skyscraper heights of the aforementioned and, at times things can seem a little too chaotic but the drive and the desire is certainly there and IPS will surely standout (as they did last year) in 2009 as major players in the alternative scene.
Listen to the exclusive interview from Beartrap and SPHERE online soon.
Check out Innerpartysystem’s Myspace and website.
*Pics by Helen Gilroy