Whenever a band that I like says that they are going on an “indefinite hiatus” I am always a little worried. In my eyes, this could mean that they are going on a break for a year or two, going on a break for even longer, or worse still; avoiding the fact that they are splitting for good. As a Fightstar fan, I was actually fearing the worst following their hiatus in 2010 as they have all seemed rather comfortable with their projects since. However, the exciting news is that they are back!
Fightstar formed just over 10 years ago and they are doing this latest set of dates as a celebration of their music for the fans who have supported them along the way. Kicking off the first night in Birmingham, the venue is already packed out and I found myself surrounded by excited fans before the music even began. Fightstar were silent as they took to the dimly lit stage to perform the first song of the night Paint Your Target, but the audience were not as they met the band with cheers of approval throughout; clearly everyone is glad that they are back.
The men of few words routine continued throughout the majority of the night as the band seemed to let their back catalogue of gargantuan post hardcore music do the talking for them. There were beautifully delicate moments during tracks such as 99 and I Am The Message. Elsewhere the band were joined by frontman Charlie Simpson’s brother (Will) on guitar for heavier tracks Deathcar and Tannhauser Gate, so that Charlie could conjure up some impressive screams as the audience’s mosh pit went wild.
The band ended their main set by going full circle with Palahnuik’s Laughter; a great choice for a closer as it is from their first EP, They Liked You Better When You Were Dead. This is also one of the songs that initially catapulted the band into the main stream. Rather than exiting and re-entering the stage for the encore, the band opted for a different approach as Charlie and Dan remained on stage for a pure acoustic version of Amethyst, and as a hush descended around the room it was breathtaking.
The rest of the band returned to the stage for final songs Speak Up, Hazy Eyes and Mono; all of which are tracks from their earlier releases so are bound to have left everyone going away from the concert feeling nostalgic. Although this night was mainly about celebrating the past of the band, Charlie left the audience with a hint of the future as he announced during the gig that they are already working on new material; so here’s to a whole new chapter in the Fightstar story.