Set It Off are part of the newest wave of pop-punk bands to grace the rock scene. While far from ground-breaking, their saccharine spirit provides the most energy this stage will see all night. The pace picks up from the very beginning, and stays there as Cody Carson stands on the barrier and puts his mic into the crowd, it’s easy to admit that this may be the support band but they’re absolutely owning it tonight. They opt for a new song, Wild Wild World; a song from their acoustic EP, Duality: Stories Unplugged, which gets the approval from Mallory’s crowd- although there is a sneaking feeling that many of these people are here just for Set It Off.
Mallory Knox’s latest album, Asymmetry, has allowed them to progress to heights at which they can get away with announcing a UK tour and branding it ‘the Homecoming Tour’. There’s something to be said about this for a band who were playing venues almost half the size not even a year ago. Shout At The Moon doesn’t give the band quite the entrance they deserve, and while its sounding a little flat and uninspired, second song Wake Up comes to the rescue with its rasping guitar riffs and unassailable melody. Hello- clearly a crowd favourite, adds a little groove, before Dying To Survive packs some punch with its bass-driven antics. Ghost In The Mirror is easily one of the biggest songs tonight, wonderfully jarring and pacey, the smiles during the palpitating chorus show that this is a band who are happy to be back playing shows in the UK once again. The reactions tonight highlight that despite the success of Mallory’s second album, it’s the rockier, older stuff that people are really excited to hear. It’s 2012 anthem Beggars that captures this perfectly as everyone perks up just a little, and even the people in the back can’t resist getting in on a little ‘breathe in, I’m coming to get you!’ action.
With a move up in venue size, also comes a move up in production and Mallory’s stage tonight is framed with colour changing ‘MK’ lit up signs, between which Death Rattle annihilates any competition for biggest ‘woaah, ohhh’ participation for the entire show, grating its way through to Dare You, which smoothens things out slightly. Mallory hurtle through She Took Him To The Lake and Oceans, before reaching Lighthouse, the song that was the maker of Mallory Knox with its tearing guitars and Mikey’s juxtaposing easy vocals. It’s hard to pin-point a high or low point of the show as Mallory just seemed to exist on a constant level and perhaps lacked some dynamic that could have embraced the slower songs and clarified the higher energy a little more. This being said, it’s difficult to argue with a band who are paving the way for younger British rock acts, the same way that the road was paved for them not too long ago.