By Rachel D’Arcy
It’s tough to break the ‘emo’ mould, but Surrey quintet You Me At Six managed to unleash a brand new, gritty edge at their first Dublin show in three years.
If you’ve never heard of You Me At Six, I wouldn’t blame you. Despite never having particularly hit the mainstream in Ireland, they achieved top ten status with their last two albums at home in the UK, as well as embarking on a sold-out arena tour early last year. Having locked themselves away for a bit to write their newest effort, ‘Night People,’ the five lads embarked on their smallest tour in five years, taking in a night at The Academy last Monday.
You Me At Six haven’t played Dublin since a sold out Olympia Theatre show just over three years ago, so anticipation was at a stratospheric high. Despite it being an 18+ gig, queues formed along the cold, dark street of Middle Abbey Street over an hour before doors at 7pm. With under 18’s and those without ID turned away, those lucky 500 that made it through the doors were treated to what was definitely You Me At Six’s best Irish show yet.
While the ‘Stay With Me’ hit-makers kept true to the classics, sticking to what they knew best, front man Josh Franceschi’s almost guttural vocals brought a new dish to the table. Even ‘Underdog’ and ‘Reckless’, two of the more pop-infused tracks of their back catalogue, were given a darker, more adult revision.
An impressive lighting rig only added to the already impressive show, with blues, reds and strobes brightening the faces of Franceschi (and most importantly, Franceschi’s fantastic two-step during ‘Safer To Hate Her’), bassist Matt Barnes, guitarists Chris Miller and Max Hayler, and drummer Dan Flint. Drum beats were illuminated, riffs electrified and vocals emphasised all by the impressive light show, only adding to YMAS’s talent as performers.
For someone who frequents gigs at The Academy, I’d never seen an audience more in unison than at this gig. The lyrics were screamed along to by all the twenty-somethings reliving their teen years, and by those who are impatiently anticipating the upcoming album. Strangers threw their arms around one another, while friends sat on each other’s shoulders. It was a sight to see, only amplified by the energetic display put on by the band themselves.
With Franceschi teasing a return to Dublin in early 2017, it won’t be one that fans of the band – past or present – will want to miss out on.