the all-American boys-next-door, pop-punk rockers played Rescue Rooms, Nottingham as part of their UK and mainland Europe tour. Real Friends from Illinois headlined alongside Philly’s Grayscale, with the support of Chicago’s Belmont. The tour kicked off on 17th Oct at Thekla in Bristol, and concludes on 3rd Nov at Dynamo in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
The bands Played Rescue Rooms, Nottingham as their 4th show on the tour, just as it started taking of. It truly was a pleasure covering the show, and being part of it.
Belmont kicked off their first ever UK tour with their full length debut’s first single ‘Hollowed Out’, with the audience being more than happy to welcome the band on the first step of their UK journey. I would say they were a little rough around the edges in terms of performance, but definitely a good start to the show full of energy.
Opening with ‘In Violet’ from their newly released record Nella Vita, Grayscale took over the stage next. Despite being a little over a month since the album’s release, the audience didn’t shy away from joining in full of enthusiasm, embracing the new material and its increasingly pop infused shades.
Collin introduces ‘Old Friends’, reaching for just one of their more sombre tracks from the new record, but before the energy drops for too long, the band revisit tracks such as ‘Fever Dream’ and ‘Atlantic’ from their 2017 album, Adornment, and end Grayscale’s set as an well-rounded tight performance with prominence in new material. It’s clear that they know what they’re doing in terms of sound and performance, and they’re great at it to say the least.
With their last full length release Composure released a year ago, it was clear the band wanted to head in a more positive direction.This echoed time and time again through their set, when vocalist Dan Lambton regularly addressed the crowd with this intention of inclusiveness and acceptance.
Between running through some of the material from this album included ‘Get By’ & ‘Smiling on the Surface’, the band spoke about gratitude and whether we want to feel good as people, noting that it’s easier said than done – every member of the audience has the power to do just that, and that this was the place and time to do just that, making for a wonderful way to transition into the set’s last song of the night and second single from 2018’s Composure ‘From the Outside’.
Real Friends definitely understand their appeal as far as pop-punk bands go, standing as the under dog who tries their best despite the odds. It’s not so bad being on the outside when you have Real Friends with you, especially since the best way for their fans to enjoy this, is for themselves and the band to share every note, line and feeling together.