Gig Review

New Found Glory
Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong
Birmingham, Academy
22nd November 2008

New Found Glory        Set Your Goals       Four Year Strong
The mighty New Found Glory played to a sold out venue, supported by a hat-trick of high calibre American acts, all with their own established fanbases. After this evening, I am officially an NFG convert.

Photo Of Four Year Strong © Copyright Helen WilliamsWhen I arrive, the venue is packed to the rafters. I’ve never seen the Birmingham Academy as full as this, so I have a good feeling about the evening ahead. I decide against checking my coat in to the cloakroom when I see the queue extending so far into the crowd that I can’t see the end. Instead, I fight my way through the surprisingly mixed crowd to my position in the photographers’ pit.

Unfortunately, I’ve missed the first support, Crime in Stereo, and the second support, Four Year Strong, are already sound checking. From Massachusetts, Four Year Strong play full force hardcore rock. Heavy on guitars, drums, vocals, and keyboards, the crowd love them. Crowd surfers are a rare occurrence so early on in a gig, but Four Year Strong get their fair share. The lead vocalist and guitarist plants his left foot almost permanently on the front amp. Perhaps he thinks it’s a ‘rockstar’ pose, but it makes his performance a little stationary and wooden. They play a fairly short but tight set, leaving the crowd wanting more.

Photo Of Set Your Goals © Copyright Helen WilliamsSet Your Goals, from California, are next up, and it’s obvious that they also have a strong fan base here tonight. The two energetic vocalists immediately start bouncing around the stage, stirring up plenty of vigour in the crowd. They provide music in the same vein as the main act - bouncy, tuneful, punk. They are the perfect support to build the anticipation for New Found Glory.

As we wait for NFG, the atmosphere is hot, sweaty, and electric. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never got round to listening to them before, but after this performance, I’m their latest fan. The band enters onto the stage, surrounded by huge NFG flags and banners, dead on 9pm.

In my experience, being unfamiliar with a band’s work usually means I enjoy the gig a little less, but NFG proved to be the exception to this rule. Every single song had the room bouncing with glee, and that kind of excitement is infectious. Incredibly, you can hear the crowd’s singing over the speaker system during their better known songs, such as ‘Dressed to Kill’ and ‘Hit or Miss’. You can’t help feeling sorry for the small acts struggling to hear themselves playing next door in the Bar Academy.

Photo Of New Found Glory © Copyright Helen WilliamsThe vocalist, Jordan Pundik (who, I predict, will look like Morrissey in a few years’ time), is a real crowd-pleaser. He jumps into the pit to interact with the crowd and let some of them sing into his microphone. And the other members don’t let the side down either - they leap across the stage, playing their instruments like this is the last night of the tour. When a band loves what they do this much, it can’t help but make everyone else smile with them.

To finish, they play some of their slower numbers, eliciting plenty of arm swaying in the crowd. As they leave, we all want more, but they’ve been more than generous enough to the greedy audience. As the enormous crowd pours out onto the street, I’m glad I don’t have to queue to get my coat out of the cloakroom…

Four Year Strong 4/5
Set Your Goals 4/5
New Found Glory 5/5

Review and photos By Helen Williams

 New Found Glory

Jordan Pundik (vocals)
Chad Gilbert (lead guitar, vocals)
Steve Klein (rhythm guitar)
Ian Grushka (bass)
Cyrus Bolooki (drums)

 Set Your Goals

Matt Wilson (Vocals)
Jordan Brown (Vocals)
Audelio Flores (Guitar)
Dan Coddaire (Guitar)
Joe Saucedo (Bass)
Michael Ambrose (Drums)

 Four Year Strong

Dan O'Connor (Guitar, Vocals)
Alan Day (Guitar, Vocals)
Joe Weiss (Bass)
Jake Massucco (Drums)
Josh Lyford (Synth)

 Band Related Links
New Found Glory Myspace
Set Your Goals Myspace
Four Year Strong Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?