And So I Watch You From Afar
These guys have been on the touring trot for a hell of a long time now, but by no means are they tiring out. Tonight in Derry, the Northern heroes unleash a visceral attack on the ever-ready 'asseewafa' audience, pumping feedback and bass into our very cores.
At their landmark Ulster Hall gig in 2009, they were Mighty with a capital M. It's evident now though in 2011, after hardened touring with the likes of Those Crooked Vultures (featuring members of Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and QOTSA) they are Mightier than ever.
There's always been something extra about this band; they don't lose the close relationship with their audience, never a pedestal in sight. It's refreshing to see a band grow in popularity, to such heights as playing Japan, Europe and America, but always refusing to lose sight of their roots or the fans that have loyally supported them along the way (something certainly indicative by all the fresh ASIWYFA tattoos on audience arms). It's reassuring that the old Solidarity rule is still ringing true today.
Coming onstage after Event Horses, they plow straight into the back catalog, playing songs from the Letters EP, Gangs and their first album.
'D is for Django' is renamed in light of the opening of the city's Peace Bridge. This, along with 'A Little Solidarity Goes a Long Way', goes down a treat. As the opening notes of 'Set guitars to Kill' echo forebodingly around the dark hall, this song (as it always does), gets the pit in full 'Kill em' all!' mode, as the newly carpeted floor shakes beneath our feet. The crowd becomes a choir for the epic 'Don't Waste Time Doing Things You Hate', and they don't settle until the band returns for their encore. After a full hour and quarter of mayhem and destruction, they end with 'The Voiceless', promising that a return 'won't be so long next time.' Good news indeed.
So, where was ATL when they opened the Peace Bridge?
We were at a riot, making progress, promoting change, and having a flippin' blast.