Busted As someone who is becoming increasingly jaded about generic pop punk you may wonder what has brought me to the Genting Arena to see Busted. The infectious fun of the McBusted documentary and the return of Charlie has me intrigued to see them live.


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Funeral For A Friend Tonight Birmingham bids farewell to a band that have seemingly always been there, that band that you’re pretty sure that you support, that band you once saw, that band that have a tonne of songs you didn’t know you knew... that band is Funeral For A Friend.


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Crossfaith Crossfaith really are a guilty pleasure, and in all honesty after seeing them 4 times now I can’t decipher how they haven’t quite blown up yet. They are a band you need to experience live. Their one by one, riser posing entrance never gets old and I always want to know what leather jacket keyboardist Terufumi will be wearing this time. Sadly nothing compares to the Akira red jacket but tonight’s slogan emblazoned back of ‘New Age Warriors’ is promptly second favourite.


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Mayday Parade Opening with ‘One of Them Will Destroy the Other’ off their last album ‘Black Lines’, you can’t help but liken the logo to a vertical Black Flag logo. The energy levels are ramped up as lead singer Derek Sanders bounces around the stage with abundant enthusiasm.


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Cancer Bats Having last seen the Cancer Bats on a joint headline tour with ‘While She Sleeps’ it's great to see them perform to a united front. Joint headline tours often suffer from a divided crowd but tonight there is no mistaking the horns in the air and big shouts for these guys.


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Slayer Headliners Slayer need no introduction - they have been at the top of the thrash tree since 1981 and have courted controversy at every step of the way.


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Judas Priest

Local lads Judas Priest certainly know how to play to a home crowd. The stage is shrouded in the best curtain I have ever seen; showing an industrial skyline at night of the factories that inspired the genre it simply stated ‘Welcome to the Home of British Steel’ in the corner. Before the curtain drop the lighting changed to red illuminating the sky on the curtain to reflect the origins of the Black Country name.



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Anti-Flag Anti-Flag showed their political activism on their amps with imagery of a child holding a gun, and a drone. These stalwarts of the scene open with Turncoat to a rather lack luster crowd. A few songs in, with the delivery of fan favourite ‘Broken Bones’, and the crowd finally wake-up to it being a punk rock show. You can’t blame the crowd for an apathetic response; bassist Chris Barker offers up continual scissor kicks that feel contrived whilst the rest of the band just feel like they are going through the motions, all be it professionally delivered motions.


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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes Back in June, Frank Carter brought his bunch of Rattlesnakes to the Rainbow for what was only their seventh gig together… Four months later the Rainbow is literally bursting at the seems for their sold out return - but before the main course we had a couple of entrees.


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Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes The air was thick with building anticipation for Frank Carter's latest incarnation and what promise of former brutal delivery. A break to the tension was found as the crowd heartily ooohed along to Weezer's 'Buddy Holly' and as I scanned the room one couldn't help but wonder if the venues for this tour were scouted for hardcore parkour potential. The crowd still left a semi circle of open dance floor and after the cheers for The Rattlesnakes entrance, Frank declared "I haven't seen something like this since I was 14, get in". His combination of humbleness and assertiveness never fails to gain idolatry; “Thanks for coming to see a band with only 3 songs I wouldn’t have done that”.


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Man Overboard Tonight felt like I was 13 again hanging out at the Red Rose in Rugeley. The Slade Rooms has an air of the 6th form common room full of hormonal teenagers ready to release some tension by going crazy in the pit. Tonight’s show is a rescheduled tour that was originally meant to see a now defunct Hostage Calm and scandalicious Front Porch Step supporting.


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Cancer Bats Even if you aren’t a fan of Cancer Bats you have to concede that these guys know how to put on a show. They enjoy what they do and they take time hanging out with fans in the smoking area prior to their set. The interlude music of Andrew WK fits perfect for these guys to enter the stage.


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Rob Lynch Rob Lynch seems to have combined alcohol with flu drugs to create an increasingly winning combination of wit and mirth. Corralling the remaining seated dregs of an audience into action by likening the scene to Phoenix Nights.  Opening with album opener ‘31/32’ picks up perfectly from the making the most of life reflections that Allison Weiss left us with.


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Mastodon To quote Jane Austen "What are men to rocks and mountains?" This is the genre where men try and bridge that gap. This is a show for museos who like their proficient twiddly guitar and old school metal fans. This feeing is further emphasised by the wide age ranging male dominated crowd and the length of hair on show.


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