Tonight London’s Roundhouse plays host to The Rock Sound Riot Tour headlined by Canadian sensations Billy Talent, with support from California electro-rockers AWOLNATION and Bedford boys Don Broco. It’s testament to both the bands and the magazine for selling out one of London’s finest venues, and it was always destined to be one of the greatest shows of the year.
As the room fills, Don Broco kick off tonight’s proceedings with Priorities, the title-track to their hit debut album. From the off, vocalist Rob Damiani casts his infectious spell on to the audience to mosh, dance or at the very least move to their upbeat projections and there are not many able to resist his charm. Even those towards the back know the words to Thug Workout, one of the band’s very first releases, and that suggests they were a bigger enticement for tonight’s crowd than previously anticipated.
With a name like AWOLNATION (in big capital letters), you’d expect something a little crazy; out of this world tempos, probably some rusty vocals and a distinct lack of t-shirts on stage, but that isn’t really the case. The rather sluggish hit single Sail falls well short of the mark and, compared to Broco, they can’t sustain the dynamics needed to keep the Roundhouse in full swing.
Billy Talent bring the night back on course though, as Ben Kowalewicz rushes on stage to begin the introduction, Lonely Road To Absolution. It’s not the usual, storming entrance expected from a rock band, but works well to lead into Viking Death March. Flying then into Devil In A Midnight Mass and This Suffering, not a second of their allocated time is wasted and it’s clear the Canadians are only prepared to deliver a worthwhile and extensive performance tonight.
To mark Remembrance Sunday, the band dedicate The Navy Song to all our Grandfathers who fought in the war, which is a hugely respectable thing to do. The song hasn’t featured on their setlist for quite some time, so not only was the moment special to the occasion, but unique to a Billy Talent show in general.
Rounding off a twenty-song set by encoring with Fallen Leaves, Surprise Surprise and Red Flag, the crowd still pluck up the energy for a mass “fallen leaves, fallen leaves, fallen leaves on the ground” sing-a-long which the raises the lottery funded roof. Billy Talent have never shied away from British soil, but on tonight’s performance, they should always be welcomed back.
Written by Matt Borucki