Live Review: Set It Off (The End of Elsewhere tour) – Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast 12.03.2023

David McEneaney

Words & Photos David McEneaney

Energy. Pure energy.

That’s what I felt as soon as I walked into the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast on Sunday night.
The streets were pretty quiet as it was raining quite heavily outside, but as soon as I walked through the doors I could see that this had no impact on people leaving their homes to make it to this gig.
If it wasn’t sold out, it was pretty close. I navigated my way through the crowd and positioned myself beside the stage. Through the PA came the announcement that the gig would start in 15 mins, so I knew I had some time to observe the situation.
They were younger than crowds I would usually see, but they also seemed to all be on the same wavelength, interacting with each other as if it was a room full of friends. Some were shouting what I can only assume were song lyrics from one side of the room, while people on the other side laughed back in acknowledgement.
After the initial 15 minute announcement, one of the bands songs started to play, and after just a couple of notes the place was already going crazy, as if the band themselves were already on stage.
The more I observed them, the more I realised that these guys were what I would consider ’super fans’, or ‘Freaks’ as I would later learn they like to refer to themselves as.
When the 15 mins were up, the band suddenly appeared at the side of the stage, huddled in a circle and pumping themselves up, with huge smiles on their faces.
What happened next genuinely impressed me, as they walked on stage and immediately seemed to match and then surpass the level of energy the crowd had already generated, sending everyone wild.
Frontman Cody Carson wasted absolutely no time and basically scooped the entire room up immediately and held them in the palm of his hand for the rest of the show. Also, when I say frontman, I mean that in the best possible way. If you were to make a list of what you would want in a perfect frontman for your band, you might as well be describing him. There might even be a picture of him beside the word in the dictionary. 
I say this because I couldn’t help but notice that he gave it absolutely everything. Consistent high energy, interaction with the crowd, switching effortlessly from punk rock singing to Godzilla-esque rapping, all while jumping round the stage like a Tasmanian Devil and even climbing the barrier to interact with the crowd before diving head first into it…more than once. This was one of the most charismatic frontmen I’ve seen in a long time, and you can tell that he was loving every second of it. I suddenly realised why the crowd was so pumped before the gig. They loved every bit of it, as did the rest of the band. Clearly they knew what to expect.
This gig was fun. There’s no other word to describe it. The entire crowd, while young, knew how to have a good time, and the band themselves knew how to make them. They moved from banger to banger, each one met with a louder scream than the previous one, which shows that these guys know exactly what they are doing, and have been very good at it for quite some time.
I found myself getting sucked into the whole experience without even realising it. I was moving around the stage while bopping in between shots, and seemed to sub consciously go with the music, which helped me anticipate where everyone was going to be. Well…everyone except Carson…
One second he would be on stage, the next he would be disappearing into the crowd, and the next he would appear from somewhere else entirely, and I had no idea how he did it.
By the end of the show I will admit, I was buzzing, as were a lot of the parents who were standing down the back, waiting for their kids to finish having what I can only imagine to be ’the best night ever’. 
Yup, I saw you all dancing down the back, some of you even singing along, showing that while the core fans of this band might be teenagers, they clearly appeal to people of all ages. 
Which is completely understandable, because pure energy is infectious.

Killer In The Mirror
Why Do I
Ancient History
Who’s in Control
Lonely Dance
The Haunting
Unopened Windows
Loose Cannon
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Why Worry
Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

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