Gig Review by Nic Jones with Gig Photos by Jason Broadhurst

Fightstar

It’s Saturday Night and The Ritz in Manchester is heaving. It’s uncomfortably warm and a sense of anticipation hums through the air; post-hardcore band Fightstar are the cause. In town to promote their latest album ‘Behind The Devil’s Back’, just released this month, it’s clear from the size of the crowd that the band have lost few fans during their 2010 – 2014 hiatus, especially not in Manchester.

Fightstar

Fightstar

As Simpson, Westaway, Haigh and Abidi take to the stage it is to rapturous applause. There is no doubt that the audience is made of long-term fans who are more than ready to welcome back the group.

Fightstar

Fightstar

They kick off the set with early material which is a popular choice with the crowd. It’s hard to believe that tracks like ‘Sleep Well Tonight’ and ‘Build an Army’ are now ten years old; played live they still feel relatively fresh. They sway effortlessly between tracks from their back catalogue and introducing their newer material as the crowd jumps throughout. There is frequent crowd surfing, which is especially apparent during older hit ‘Palahniuk’s Laughter’.

Fightstar

FightstarFightstar

The band are practiced live performers. As a front man Charlie Simpson has an understated yet magnetic presence. The husky quality to his voice which caught everyones attention from the first Busted single, is now used to it’s full potential as a rock singer. He easily scales from harmonious to scream, with no rasp sounding forced.

Fightstar

‘Animal’ the first song released by the band in five years is received well, and forms part of a strong encore, which is a crescendo of sound bringing the evening to a close. Fightstar’s return has been triumphant.

Fightstar

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