Opening the show emphatically, was Chicago natives, Local H, without any previous knowledge about the duo, from the get go I was quite impressed with the energy that they brought to the stage, for a band with a modest following and relatively unheard of this side of the pond, they didn’t waste time opening the show.
Much to the bands disadvantage, the venue was in the process of filling up so ultimately there wasn’t much feedback from the crowd and at the start, if anything, it seemed like the grungy, garage band style of Local H hasn’t quite convinced the Norwich public yet. A couple of tracks in, vocalist Scott Lucas quickly introduced themselves in between songs, and I do appreciate that time was of the essence but there could have been a bit more interaction with the public, it is never easy opening the show however, so they can be forgiven for cracking on with their set.
As their set was coming to an end however, the crowd seemed to have picked up and a quick glance around revealed a few hands up in the air as well as a bit more movement down in front of the stage.
All in all, there is room for improvement, however, Local H’s performance has exceeded my expectations and although it is a shame that the public didn’t seem as excited at the time, I’m certain that the group has gained a few more followers and interest regardless.
Continuing the night, Soil have started off with what seemed like a mashup of their most well-known songs, teasing ‘Halo’ to the delight of the audience. By this time, the venue was significantly more crowded, and I even spotted a few dedicated fans wearing Soil t-shirts from tours previous.
After doing some research I found it surprising that although Soil came to life 10 years after Local H, they seem to have far more experience and charisma when it comes to the public. During their performance, there was far more chat and banter and lead singer Ryan McCombs was funny and engaging. At one point, laughing of his trousers nearly falling off during one of the songs.
Fan favourite ‘Halo’ rounded off their set and the crowd came alive, especially as McCombs got off stage and amongst the fans as everyone crowded to get selfies and sing along to a track that still holds up well today.
Personally, Soil was the best performance of the night, bringing personality and energy to the stage with a feeling of the band genuinely being happy and humbled to the turnout for the evenings events.
Alien Ant Farm
Finally it was time for the headlines of the evening, Alien Ant Farm, to take to the stage. Sadly, unless you are a die-hard AAF fan that knows their every song, you might be slightly disappointed. Their sound crosses over quite a few genres from alternative metal to pop punk and while, on the one hand, this may not seem like such a bad thing as you could say they have a something for everyone, on the other hand comes the disadvantage of this as was the case at The Waterfront last night.
While lead singer, Dryden Mitchell, has plenty of charisma and kept the crowd engaged throughout the night, there was a noticeable difference in the feedback of the public during their well-known hits and not-so-well-known songs, unfortunately the mix of songs within their set struggled to compliment each other, leaving the energy within the room to feel awkward and almost lethargic.
Probably the most interesting thing that happened during their performance was when the bouncers had to get someone out from the front row who was causing trouble being told to ‘F*** off out of here’ by the lead singer of Alien Ant Farm during their performance. Regardless of the troublemaker, the group continued their show uninterrupted and were determined to give their fans as much as they could during their hour and a quarter long set.
Although I wouldn’t class their performance as one of their best, Alien Ant Farm are without any doubt one the most beloved groups of the 00s, however, sadly, they just seem to have not evolved from that era.