Both The Amity Affliction and Northlane hail from Australia and were probably wondering what they were doing wrong to deserve the December cold that the UK has been experiencing, but after all they aren’t the ones who have to queue outside for hours probably like the fans who ended up on the barrier for this show. Regardless of how cold things are outside, they were about to heat up extremely inside as soon as Northlane took to the stage. The band have adopted a very unique style of metalcore that almost feels like a very distant relative of Djent that is predominantly shown in “Quantum Flux” which has been a fundamental element to their live shows. The band have a rather creative stage presence, all head to toe in black and creating some rather oddly shaped body moves that add to their uniqueness.
Their set closer “Obelisk”, if you attended Download 2015, might sound familiar as it seemed to be on a continuous loop the whole weekend across the arena speakers. The track is a perfect balance of soft and aggressive and thus the crowd take it upon themselves to not only create the biggest pit but some decide to kick and punch their way across to the other side. Quite the aggressive pit for an aggressive sounding band. If you were to mention that vocalist Marcus Bridge had only been in the band for a couple of years and didn’t even write some of the songs in their set they might not believe you because it honestly feels like he’s been here from the very start.
The chiming church bells of ‘I Bring The Weather With Me’ ring out and crowd inside the Manchester Ritz know it’s time for The Amity Affliction to take to their stage however down one member, drummer Ryan Burt who left the tour a few days prior to this show in Manchester amid mental health issues. The rest of the band looked in top shape and ready to see how many pits the Manchester crowd can get going. ‘Open Letter’ arrived in a combust of confetti and smoke pouring onto the crowd, nearly blasting the heads off everyone in the front row, however they didn’t seem to mind one bit.
‘All Fucked Up’ is one of the slowest songs the band have released, probably ever, but equally just as honest as the rest. In the centre of the room, one single disco ball with many light beams pointing at it creating a stunning light show in the simplest of forms for this stripped back track. Going from ‘All Fucked Up’ straight to ‘Death’s Hand’ that Vocalist Joel Birch explains “this is a lot of fun to play”, whilst the song topics stay quite similar, the tones of the tracks couldn’t be more opposite and the crowd go from being up on each other’s shoulders, arm in arm, to still being up there but just smacking into each other like some ridiculous game of human bumper cars.
The encore, as normally would, comprised of the bands’ most loved tracks ‘Pittsburgh’ and ‘Don’t Lean On Me’ from their 2014 album Let The Ocean Take Me and quite possibly two of the tracks that could sum up the band in four minutes or less. If you like heavy music with lyrics powerful enough feel like you’re being punched in the gut but still leaves you enough wind power to sing along, then The Amity Affliction are for you.