The Vaccines – Gig Review

After jumping to the top of indie pop stardom, The Vaccines’ summer-tinged tracks are set for another few months of sun-soaked joy – if the weather allows it. But their exposure appears to have waned a little; something that many pop artists can relate to. So can they rekindle Brighton’s love for those lazy midsummer afternoons when there’s not a single care in the air?

The tickets for the gig sold out quickly and despite nobody knowing any of the three support acts, keen ears filed in early with a sense of anticipation that just couldn’t be loosed. With anticipation comes high expectations that will often leave you disappointed, but the four-piece were ready to impress.

There were two features that were immediately apparent. Justin Young now has long hair and large white lights that backed the band gazed out like sets of predatory eyes. They’ve clearly embraced to rapid rise and the lights just emphasised their taste for crowd-pleasing theatrics. You have to remember, here is a band that formed just two years ago.

With a new album due out later this year, The Vaccines were eager to present new material. The old and new interlaced between each other and provided a finely balanced night. After all, I think everybody needed a welcome breather after singing their hearts out to the likes of ‘Wetsuit’, ‘If You Wanna’ and ‘Post Break-Up Sex’. You simply cannot play your most intense indie anthems consecutively. Besides, the crowd enjoyed just swaying to the sound of new material, absorbing the lyrics and driven guitars. What’s more, while many artists like to chat and sweet-talk the sea of heads in between tracks – not that Justin didn’t speak at all – the quartet preferred instrumental links. Pete Robertson just could not resist a little bash of the drums when things got a little quiet (comparatively).

They’re clearly not lacking in confidence after what must have been quite a dizzying year. This was reflected when they decided to open their encore with a new tune – a cover of R. Stevie Moore’s ‘Why Should I Love You?’ It looks set to become another catchy anthem as the chorus began to reverberate around the arena. So with fans favourite ‘Wetsuit’ already done and dusted, what did The Vaccines decide to sign off with? I think it’s fair to say that everyone bellowed out one last blast for Amanda Norgaard.

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