What with it being the final show on an extensive European tour, Escape The Fate‘s performance at London’s Electric Ballroom was expected to be a great one before doors had even opened to the iconic Camden venue. Fans both old (we’re talking from the Ronnie Radke days…) and new crowded outside in the cold from the early hours of the morning, hoping to get front and centre for such a special evening. Escape The Fate played in clubs across the UK before heading on to mainland Europe, but nowhere they played was quite as big as the Electric Ballroom, which boasts a capacity of over 1,000.
New Zealanders Like A Storm performed first, bringing a unique brand of hard rock that drew in the attention of anyone who was already in the room. The band are most notable for the use of baritone guitar and didgeridoo in their tracks — something most people would be apprehensive about listening to, but in a live setting its something that works to the group’s advantage. While it wasn’t completely straight forward hardcore, Like A Storm had the atypical synchronised jumping and managed to well and truly warm up the crowd for the three next bands on.
Next up were New Year’s Day, a Californian rock band fronted by the ever glamorous Ash Costello. While their set composed of only six songs, a lot of the audience seemed to be fans to the point where many were even singing along to killer tunes like ‘I’m No Good‘, from the quintet’s second album, and ‘Kill Or Be Killed‘, from their most recent album, Malevolence. Escape The Fate frontman Craig Mabbitt even made an appearance during the set, stepping in for Motionless In White vocalist Chris Cerulli for his guest vocal part on New Year’s Day song ‘Angel Eyes‘. The performance definitely did its job of getting the crowd hyped, even if their set was noticeably short.
FVK (formerly known as Fearless Vampire Killers) had the privilege of playing the main support slot, and it was no surprise when vocalist Kier Kemp bounded on to the stage absolutely bursting with energy. The band are well known for their über charisma and catchy choruses, so that evening was no exception and the crowd seemed to be eating out of the Suffolk mobs’ palms. Despite the fact that they also only played a six song set, their die hard fans (some of which had done multiple dates of the tour just for FV) went all out in the pit as they bashed out tracks like ‘Maeby‘ and ‘Neon In The Dance Halls‘ with such brilliant ease. FVK are evidently a bit more ‘pop-infused’ than Escape The Fate, but it was an excellent position to put them in as they got the audience before them both visibly and audibly excited for the headlining act.
When Escape The Fate finally took to the stage, screams could be heard from the crowd from right at the back of the room — unsurprising seeing as some of their newer fans are as young as 13 and 14 years old. Their was a huge amount of anticipation for the Nevada rockers, who came on stage right after the PA had played the likes of Van Halen to keep the crowd motivated. While the band have a track record of being a smooth, professional, well-oiled machine when it comes to their live shows, they were certainly lacking something during their London performance. It’s hard to pin point what exactly, as the average overzealous fan wouldn’t even think twice about it, but it’s noticeable to anyone looking for it.
They played their usual discography of hits, including ‘Ten Miles Wide‘ in which lead singer Mabbitt insisted it was written about his penis… Ash Costello also made an appearance during the song ‘Ashley‘, much to the delight of the the moshing, screaming audience. There’s only one album (Dying Is Your Latest Fashion) out of the band’s five where Craig Mabbitt isn’t singing, but their set still featured two songs from the record — ‘The Guillotine‘, which was played as the first song back on during the encore, and ‘Situations‘, their finishing piece after a night jam packed with incredible bands that have so much more potential than they’re actually showing.