It’s Sunday night, but down in Manchester’s Club Academy, it does not feel like the end of the weekend. Although their newer material may be slightly on the tamer side, their set tonight is as impassioned and relentless as ever.
Opening with setlist staple and all-round leviathan track This War Is Ours, things get off to a very explosive start for Escape The Fate. Cleverly chosen You Are So Beautiful takes fans by surprise and allows them to get down to an older and lesser-played live track. To finish off the introductory smash through This War Is Ours’ best moments, 10 Miles Wide never fails to provoke the most enthused of reactions (being a rolling, romping assault from start to finish and all).Ungrateful remains just as much of a punch in the gut as it ever was, and forceful middle finger, even years after its release. As a generally tight live band, every song is just as slick as the last for Escape The Fate, however some moments- like this one- stand out as a track the band as a whole love to play live, feeding from each other’s fervour and pace.
New song Do You Love Me is less of a heavy hitter musically, yet still carries the unmistakeable Escape The Fate stamp; this enables it to carry the familiarity of an older song, whilst still maintaining the freshness of a new track. Judging by the reaction from the crowd, the new music is already widely appreciated and word perfect by most. The rousing Remember Every Scar flows into the yet to be released Four Letter Word; an album track from ETF’s newest offering. Not knowing any of the lyrics does not seem to hold anyone back, and the usual lethargy that encompasses a crowd when unreleased music is played live for the first time just isn’t there. In terms of setlist choices, Something, dating back almost 10 years carries the real emotions of its time; the feelings people who penned it all those years ago- and it pairs perfectly with new song I Am Human, which is a raw emotional song depicting where the band are today. It’s a perfect comparison for how far the band have come- plus it’s easy to see this is a new favourite for them.The jagged Gorgeous Nightmare sleazes things up a little, allowing for some hip shaking, something that ETF’s material doesn’t usually accommodate. It’s a difficult thing to cover a song by a band where both band and song are iconic, with the latter instantly unmistakeable. Escape The Fate have a go regardless, paying homage to My Chemical Romance with their cover of Dead. It’s a risk worth taking, which becomes apparent only seconds into the song, as it’s executed with such vigour, passion and respect. It provides an incredible atmosphere, filled with people who didn’t know they needed it until it happened. As soon as it was released, One For The Money was pretty much the perfect set closer- it goes off one last time in the Club Academy, aided by anthemic sing-along choruses and the band having one last hurrah before the end of the show.
Escape The Fate just make everything look effortless, their years of experience showing that no matter what size stage they play- whether it be a small room in Manchester, or a huge stage at a festival; their slick showmanship really is unstoppable.
Photos by Erin Moore at Forte Photography UK