17/04/2019 | Set It Off – O2 Institute, Birmingham

Carrie Humphries

Florida alt-rock band Set It Off offered fans the perfect party on their latest tour to support their new album Midnight. Upon arrival at O2 Academy 2, queues were already around the block; and this was no surprise really, given that every single date of the tour had sold out.

First up, Canadian five-piece Bearings showed the audience why they are a name to look out for in the future, as the rising stars put on one hell of an opening performance for everyone who arrived early. Showcasing their classic pop-punk sound, the lads from Ottawa offered a lively set mainly comprising of tracks from their debut album Blue In The Dark.

Rowdy Scottish rock band Vukovi may have seen a bit of a line-up change during this past year or so, but they do not seem to have lost any of the fun or enthusiasm from their live shows. If you like off-the-wall mayhem at a gig, then these are the band for you. Guitarist Hamish Reilly offered phenomenal riffs while bouncing around the stage, while front woman Janine Shilstone grabbed the audience’s attention by spending most of the performance in the pit or singing from the barrier with the crowd. Although it was mentioned fairly early on that Janine is recovering from flu, so she wasn’t 100%, she still has one of the most distinctive voices in rock at the moment.

After a short break for change-over, the audience’s attention was piqued again with a countdown over the PA system for Set It Off. The band seemed to be full of beans as they bounded onto the stage; as did the audience, as they danced around to opener Lonely Dance. Powering through a steadfast set largely made up from songs from their last two albums, everyone was treated to an entertaining and engaging evening which you could not help but enjoy.

Much like Vukovi, Set It Off are a band who thrive on audience interaction, and this show was an emotional roller-coaster at times; switching between ecstatically joyful anthems, to sadder, more poignant moments. One such emotional moment came during their song, Unopened Windows; which front-man Cody Carson explained was dedicated to his late father. There was also a further tribute to him, as guitarist Dan Clermont played a trumpet that used to belong to Cody’s dad.

Wearing their hearts on their sleeves; Set It Off offered some genuine light in the darkness moments, which is wonderfully refreshing to see in modern times.