Give It A Name 2007

author PP date 02/05/07

Give It A Name festival has grown exponentially year on year since it started in 2005, and the majority of the lineup each year has been dedicated to a specific genre. On year one, bands like Funeral For A Friend, Alexisonfire, The Lucky Nine, Fightstar and Finch harvested the majority of fans of screamo to the attendance, whereas 2006 was emo with a big E, with bands like My Chemical Romance, Lostprophets, Aiden, Silverstein, Panic! At The Disco and Bayside taking on the stage. 2007 however decided to take a good couple of steps away from the currently overwhelming emo genre, and for the most part focused on pop punk other forms of punk to take the stage, with the exception of the rather varying Friday. But as usual, it wasn't all pop punk during the weekend as acts like Sparta, Alexisonfire, HIM, Enter Shikari and others had been sneaked in the bill as well, and the festival had been expanded to three days and six locations in total (if you count the European dates). But it wasn't pop punk that characterized this year's festival, it was the lack of incredible performances. There were loads of average or just above average shows, but only one or two absolutely breathtaking ones, but I guess such is the curse of arena-sized venues and 10,000 people in attendance. As the final two notes before giving you the low down on the performance of each band, it must be noted that one, because of the low-lighting and massive venue size it was impossible to take photographs which is why there are none, and two, the grade rating for each band on saturday is the average of how PP, DY and TL rated each band, and for sunday it is the average of PP and TL's ratings.

Vitals

The essential details.

Date: 27-29. April, 2007

Venue: Earls Court, London, UK

Attendance: 10,000 (estimated)

Lineup: Cryforsilence, The Pink Spiders, Ignite, Kill Hannah, Mindless Self Indulgence, The Sleeping, Juliette And THe Licks, Fightstar, Alexisonfire, The Used, HIM, The Zico Chain, Kids In Glass Houses, Madina Lake, Kevin Devine, Senses Fail, Zebrahead, Enter Shikari, Saosin, Motion City Soundtrack, Cute Is What We Aim For, New Found Glory, The All-American Rejects, Brand New, Attack In Black, Beat Union, Boys Like Girls, MewithoutYou, The Receiving End Of Sirens, Mxpx, Hit The Lights, TheAudition, Sparta, Hellogoodbye, The Automatic, Jimmy Eat World, AFI

FRIDAY (London)

There should be some text hear introducing Friday to you readers, but I forgot to mention to DY that he should write a Friday introduction so I'll just include some random ramblings about the rip off prices of beer (£3.65 per pint!) and food (£5 realistically if you wanted to be full), followed by my intense anger over not being able to attend on Friday and thus missing Alexisonfire and The Used. Other than that, Friday was probably the heaviest day of all, with Cryforsilence, MSI, Fightstar, HIM, Alexisonfire and The Used all lined up for a performance tonight. But I've kept you long enough, here are Friday's ratings:

Cryforsilence

London-based Cryforsilence opened the 2007 Give It A Name festival’s main stage to an enthusiastic (although relatively small) audience before the masses turned up further into the afternoon. Having never heard these guys before I had no idea what to expect from them but their blend of metal and hardcore went down a treat with me. The five piece produced a performance worthy of a band halfway up the bill rather than at the foot of it and did a great job getting the crowd going. Some awesome guitar work stood out for me, perfectly complemented by the screamed vocals from front man Adam Pettit. The band certainly seemed a lot bigger and more experienced than they are, showing no signs of shyness on what is probably the largest stage they have ever played on. In fact, knowing nothing about them previously, I was fairly surprised to find that they are still only a relatively small band. I’m anticipating some very good things to come from this band. [7] - DY

The Pink Spiders

Next up was a band that could not have been more of a contrast to the previous act; the Pink Spiders on the second stage. I must admit that I wasn’t holding high hopes for this band, partly due to their flamboyant and unserious appearance, and I wasn’t far wrong. The trio targeted a completely different audience with some power-pop/punk enthused songs that were nothing special. The songs weren’t bad, but they certainly weren’t half as catchy as they were intended to be and you can’t really listen to them with an intention to take them too seriously or else you will be disappointed. It’s also pretty obvious that these guys dress like they do for a reason, because without it they would lose the charisma that disguises that they are just another average band. Harsh? No, honest? Yes. [5] - DY

Ignite

Ignite were next to the main stage. I’m not going to go ahead and use the easy pun that they ‘ignited’ the crowd with their performance. Actually I am. The energetic band from Orange County ‘ignited’ the crowd with a set of hardcore punk songs, waking up those that had got bored from Pink Spiders’ show. Singer Zoli Teglas covered every inch of the stage whilst belting out some far more impressive clean vocals than you would expect from a band of this genre. Unfortunately, it was during their set that I first noticed the problems with the sound quality of the bass in the venue that would last the rest of the day. The problem affected the front half of the hall where all the moshing and circle pits were, so it meant that if you wanted to go have fun in the crowd, you had to sacrifice the better sound quality that the rear of the venue offered. No lost marks for the bands because of this of course, but it did take away from the experience somewhat. There was plenty of crowd interaction from the band throughout the set, with Zoli at one point praising the UK for their anti-gun laws in the wake of the recent tragedy in the US. He also dedicated a song to Johnny Cash, which got a great response. Good performance that thoroughly earned their spot on the main stage. [6½] - DY

Kill Hannah

Now it was time for Kill Hannah to enter the second stage. Having only seen them 6 days earlier with Hit The Lights and not been very impressed, I wasn’t particularly looking forward watching them. The performance was basically a repetition of what I had seen a week earlier except it was more painful second time round. They had a fair amount of support from a respectable portion of the audience who happily bounced to the pounding synthesised beats during “Crazy Angel” and sang along to “The Chase” but failed to re-create the atmosphere that they had previously achieved at the Islington Academy. This band really does not do it for me and I find it hard to tolerate a band that concentrates more on their ridiculous appearance than they do on their music. Once is enough, twice gets me annoyed. [4½] - DY

Mindless Self Indulgence

Mindless Self Indulgence appeared next bringing what I can only describe as a mixture of electronica/punk/robotech/something. Their crazy front man, ‘Little Jimmy Urine’ ran, jumped and danced around the stage (and second stage), occasionally moving like a robot while spitting out his high-pitched lyrics at triple speed. The whole experience of seeing them was somewhat surreal, leaving you not knowing whether to stand and laugh or stand in awe at how they managed to make it work so well. There’s no doubt he had the crowd hanging on his every word and initiated many a sing-along throughout the set. At one point he was so impressed with the crowd’s singing that he said; “you keep singing like that and these pants are coming off!” True to his word, as the crowd kept singing the pants came down much to the delight of the females in the audience. The songs the band played were just as exciting; fast paced, catchy and definitely worth checking out if you’re in party mode. [7] - DY

The Sleeping

Post-hardcore act The Sleeping took to the second stage to try and stir things up in the pit which they did with great success. Their set saw the first ‘real’ circle pit of the day instead of the usual kick out your legs and throw out your fists pits that usually arise when there is any sign of a harder band. Between songs, their active vocalist Douglas Robinson did a good job of firing up the crowd for the next song and encouraging some movement. He also dedicated the song “Heart Beatz” to the late Bayside drummer John Holohan, which went down well with the crowd. Unfortunately, with the exception of those dedicated enough to start the pits, very few in the crowd seemed to know any of the songs other than “Don’t Hold Back”, which was a shame because their show didn’t do justice to what their music sounds like on record, due to the messy sound that came from the speakers. The rest of the band were pretty boring on stage and didn’t really move from their positions. Not the greatest performance of their careers I would suspect, so they wouldn’t have won over as many fans as they perhaps could or should have done. Lucky for the band, their front man compensated for their weaknesses and saved their score. [6] - DY

Juliette And The Licks

I’d heard good things about Juliette And The Licks, but never heard their music for myself so I was eager to check them out. The first thing you notice from watching this band is the surprising amount of confidence radiating from front woman Juliette Lewis. The actress/singer certainly has her goals set and is pursuing them full throttle, whilst entertaining with some wacky stage antics and dance moves. Her surprisingly strong voice was well supported by her band and together they created the kind of sound that seems fitting for a venue the size of Earls Court. They were certainly the ‘largest’ band of the day so far in terms of the scale of their sound and image onstage, and received rapturous applause from the audience after each song. The set included four members of the band engaging in a drum breakdown which was interesting before heading into the final song. To be honest, I can’t really say they did much wrong, their songs were enjoyable (having never heard them before), although I was expecting to hear some nice solos during some of the bridges in the songs which rarely appeared. A shame because they would fit in perfectly. Nevertheless, a great performance. [7½] - DY

Fightstar

Fightstar were up next on the second stage. Having seen them two years ago at the very first Give It A Name festival and not listened to anything from them since, I was optimistic that they would surprise me. Unfortunately I was wrong. The main problem the band seemed to suffer from is a lack of energy in their live show. Front man Charlie Busted, I mean Simpson, doesn’t appear to have mastered his guitar yet to the point where he can focus enough on his singing. The result is that his vocals lacked strength and passion which really impacted on the force of the songs. My suggestion would be for him to lose the guitar and just be a singer for the band. That way he could run and jump around the stage like a madman whilst delivering the vocals with more power. The band were plagued by the poor sound the second stage seemed to have all day which meant that once again much of the guitar work was indistinguishable and meshed together horribly. On some occasions however, it was possible to pick out some nice riffs beneath the noise, and for this I give them credit. Having seen them play live again, it makes me want to check them out on record to see what they really should sound like. Despite having a lot of fans present, the passion just didn’t show through and I think changing the band formation may be the answer for better results. [5] - DY

Alexisonfire

And so to the first of the big three, Alexisonfire. As soon as Fightstar ended their set, the masses flocked over to the main stage to get a good position. The Canadian quintet were always going to be one of the most if not the most popular act of the day and the reaction from the crowd throughout their show fulfilled the predictions. Usually when you look around you see a few groups of hardcore fans that are really into a band, and the rest just stand and watch. With Alexisonfire, the entire crowd was like one huge group of hardcore fans and it created an amazing atmosphere and must have done wonders for the band’s confidence. On numerous occasions huge circle pits broke out across the venue and people went nuts as the band blasted out a mixture of old and new songs. “Boiled Frogs” and “We Are The Sound” incited a full blown sing-a-long fest while “44 Calibre Love Letter” threw the crowd into a frenzy. The set was by far the most intense of the day, there were fists flying everywhere as George’s screams tore through eardrums, whilst Dallas’ superb clean vocal talents carried the melodies. Basically it was 35 minutes of absolute mayhem thanks to another hugely passionate performance from the guys who don’t seem to know how to play a less than awesome show. [9] - DY

The Used

I was hugely looking forward to seeing The Used play their show and was especially pumped up after getting a copy of their recent Berth live DVD. They opened the set with a new song, “The Bird And The Worm” which got a good response from the crowd since the track had previously been made freely downloadable. They went on to really set things off with “Take It Away” which sent the crowd into chaos, before launching into another new song “Liar Liar” (yes the one with the lyrics “Liar liar pants on fire”). The band put in excellent performances of these songs with Bert screaming like a madman as usual. Unfortunately, there were also big problems with the band’s show. Firstly, they wasted far too much time between songs doing nothing at all. This was particularly stupid and annoying because Bert himself said “sorry we don’t have a lot of time to play tonight”, which left me thinking “so why don’t you just pack the songs in?” What annoyed me further was the fact that the songs they did play were by no means their best songs, playing only three songs from their debut and missing out “I Caught Fire”, “Listening” and “I’m A Fake” from their sophomore album. Furthermore, they decided to play a couple of minutes of Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” – a ridiculous thing to do when they could have stuck “Say Days Ago” in its place. But what by far disappointed me and the rest of the audience the most was that for some unknown reason they have decided to drop the song “Maybe Memories”. Everyone that knows The Used knows how much this song means (meant?) to them and what it represents, and to not play it is not only a shock but also a sign of a change of attitude by the band. I sincerely hope we are not about to lose the band as we know them. To their credit, the songs they did play were very well played (they are awesome live performers) and the new songs sounded great, especially “Handsome Awkward” and “Hospital”, but wasting time and missing out their best and most important song, the shock of it and the message it sends just has to lose them marks. What a let down. [4] - DY

HIM

Closing the main stage were Finnish goth metallers HIM with front man Ville Valo arriving on stage, cigarette in hand and possibly drunk, looking remarkably scruffy and unshaven compared to his often clean polished appearance in some of the band’s videos. As the band entered the stage, the venue was filled with dim light and what can only be described as funeral music. These kind of gimmicks don’t sit well with me, I find them a bit corny, but the band managed to make up for it with their music. Although it was surprisingly less intense and more melodic and accessible than I had expected, given my limited familiarity with the band, they managed to pull the songs off well. People were leaving the venue throughout the band’s set and after about twenty minutes or so the venue was almost half empty, not that this appeared to phase the band however. The only thing that appeared to be annoying Ville was the sound volume from his microphone, as he constantly wined at the sound tech’s to fix it. Overall, HIM were perhaps not the best choice to close the day as they seemed a bit dull and unexciting by nature, a faster, brighter band would have been more appropriate to send out the day with a bang. Not a bad performance by the band though. [6] - DY

SATURDAY

Saturday was the first and only day when we had a total of three writers in attendance to divide the workload amongst one another. It was also the day with the largest amount of either massive bands or scene-hyped bands in attendance, so it was bound to be a great day. Most of it was focused on pop punk but it saw some surprising metal in The Zico Chain, some senseless screamo from Senses Fail and, of course, the legendary Brand New.

The Zico Chain

London based The Zico Chain opened Saturday on the second stage to little crowd applauds, prompting me to think I wasn't the only one in the crowd never heard of the band even by name. But it didn't take long before the crowd was nodding along to their metalcore-fuelled alternative rock. Simultaneous headbangs and scratched vocals was the name of the game for the trio, and their set surprised pretty much everyone in the crowd. It was catchy in a heavy way, and their performance on stage was one of the tightest I saw during the whole festival. You'd occasionally see the frontman disperse himself from the front of the stage to rock out near the drummer, near the amps and everywhere - this was a band that sounded both amazing on first listen and did an incredible job. I'm guessing they won over loads of fans (me included), and we'll be hearing about them very soon. [7] - PP

Kids In Glass Houses

Being the second band on Saturday, Kids In Glass Houses takes the stage, all clad completely in white, except for the frontman who is wearing all black. They launch into a surprisingly dominating set, featuring a somewhat inflated version of their trademark power-emo-pop. "Easy Tiger" and "Raise Hell" do what the latters' name would suggest and when the crowd realize the band jumps into the the first part of Refused classic "New Noise" there's a cheer of ecstasy from the crowd, and then, with a final powerchorus, the band disappears as suddenly as they emerged, having effectively succeeded in leaving an impression on the people who've made it to the venue this early [7] - TL

Madina Lake

Next up is what has so far seemed to me a new serial produced next big thing, namely America's recent attempt at spawning a band quite resembling Britain's own Lostprophets. The surprise Madina Lake present to me is substantial and seemingly not one I share with the just as surprising host of youngsters covered in "I <3 ML" stickers. Harder, heavier, louder, with awesome screams and a mission to prove their integrity, the upstarts deliver their highly captivating anthems with the expertise and showmanship of bands three times their age, while still retaining a humility fitting their early spot on the festival. [7] - TL

Kevin Devine

Kevin Devine followed on the second stage. He kicked off his set alone with a fully acoustic song, before being joined by a full band for a number of songs. This was certainly for the better. Although Kevin has a good singing voice, his acoustic songs can get pretty boring and really didn’t fit in with the atmosphere of the festival. The full band songs were entertaining though and drew attention from the audience by including Jesse and Vin from Brand New in them. Once the full band songs were over, Kevin reverted back to his one man show which gave a disappointing end to his set, especially in the eyes of one idiot who decided to throw a can at him. He paid for it though as Kevin tore into him to much applause from the crowd. Entertaining, but nothing special. [5] - DY

Senses Fail

Senses Fail are a weird band to me. They started off by skyrocketing into worldwide acknowledgment by the emo scene, and faded away slightly after the debut album, and have failed to rise up since. It's not that the songs on the new album were bad, they were just rather generic and don't come across live as well as the old ones. Speaking of the old ones, I think it is a bad sign if after the show I have to ask my fellow writer TL why they didn't play "Irony Of Dying On Your Birthday", when they actually did so in reality. This would be easy to write off if I had no knowledge to the band but a quick peak to my Last.fm profile will tell you otherwise - the sad truth just is that Buddy just can't sing live even if his life depended on it. His clean vocals were horrendously off tune, and his screams were just random outbursts of noise with little recognition to the actual songs. Combine this with their ever-so boring stageshow and well, even after being in the pits I felt that their show was far below average. And what the hell was up with dedicating a song to "Princess Diana's rotting body?" Sick. I'm being generous with a [4½] - PP

Zebrahead

After the apalling disappointment Senses Fail put on, my expectations for Zebrahead's display could admittedly be a good deal brighter. The band doesn't seem to care the slightest about that though, as they put on a show so entertaining that they shame every band that came before them (at least on that day). Their super catchy punk anthems are delivered at double speed and as if just to display their boldness, they kick their show into an early frenzy by opening with argueably one of their best songs, "Rescue Me" and from then on they just keep the eargasms coming, spicing the show with lots of Blink 182-ish "If you guys jump we'll give you all handjobs after the show" attitude. When the ska-ishness of the aptly titled "Anthem" hits the crowd, they skank. When Zebrahead says so, everyone (and I mean pretty much everyone) sits down. When they say jump up, everybody jumps and goes crazy. Conclusion; Zebrahead are pretty fuckin' awesome live, and had they not been in the shadow of some of the gigantic names that also play here, their grade could have easily been higher than [7½] - TL

Enter Shikari

Still, Zebraheads' set is quickly forgotten, for now it is time for what a great great deal of tonight's attendees have been waiting for. Homeground heroes and trancecore pioneers Enter Shikari take the main stage, exploding into their now classic self titled set-starter. The vast sea of lightsticks, lightbracelets, lightnecklaces and light-.. erh, you wouldn't believe me if I told you what else.. start moving, and suddenly Earls Court looks a lot more filled than it has done so far. The band is exactly the bag of stunts they've come to be expected to be, effectively displayed by drummer Rob's ascent to the highest placed speakers where he raves during the parts when his services aren't needed, while Rou vaults from one end of the stage to another at insane heights and speeds. As has become custom, "Sorry You're Not A Winner" sees the rise of a massive human pyramid (possibly the highest yet, I'm in the bottom, so I can't really tell). However something is not quite as it should be with tonights display. The bands sound isn't quite as engulfing and dominating as usually and the normally entrancing techno parts seem weakened and in effect so does their crowd hypnotizing effect. A shame seeing as the band could have contended with the big stars if they'd performed their full potential tonight. [7½] - TL

Saosin

Every returning reader of this site will know my ultimate love and passion for Saosin, how I cherish their songs and especially their debut EP, and how I say it's the best emo recording ever written. Therefore some of you may be surprised by the shockingly low grade Saosin will receive based on their performance at Give It A Name's second stage, but it is fully justified, although we later learnt that unfortunate circumstances contributed to the lack of performance. First of all, Cove has apparently taken over the screaming duties from Beau, and at least live, he can actually do it far better than him even if he is still far off from studio quality, so that's a definite plus. But their set and especially Cove's voice didn't live up to the standards we are used to from the band. When trying to reach the massively high notes of "It's Far Better To Learn" or "Voices", his voice cracked and went into semi-scratched mode almost every time. However on a positive note, Cove was far more active and energetic on stage, taking advantage of every corner and even putting in some headbangs and jumps to our surprise. The same cannot be said about the rest of the band though, who mostly stood like they had been bolted onto the ground. When you combine this with the fact that most of the bands before then had speeded up their performance, Saosin sounded awfully slow and irrelevant for the kind of crowd that had come to the pop punk oriented festival. Their performance was shockingly average, even if this was because Cove had to be rushed to the hospital for intestine problems straight after the show. While I'll give props for him for actually performing to the end (even though their set was cut short by one song, "They Perched.." wasn't played), I can't up the grade on the basis of a 'possibility' of playing a better show. [5½] - PP

Motion City Soundtrack

Motion City Soundtrack where one of my most anticipated performances tonight, and they further fuelled my expectations by blasting straight into "Attractive Today", followed by "Everything Is Alright", triggering what must have been the biggest singalong today after Enter Shikari's new-rave performance. "Lfguad"'s "Lets get fucked up and die, I'm speaking figuratively of course" saw almost the entire hall singing to the infamouse line, upping atmosphere by leaps and bounds. But unfortunately, the band mostly stood still during their performance, which is a shame because their brand of energetic keyboard-infused pop punk lays out to a great stageshow. Only their keyboardist showed any kind of attempt of stirring up the crowd. "This Is Real" was the only new song they played tonight, and it hinted towards a much more arena-rockish sound on their new album with less use of keyboards. However, with the amount of incredible songs like "The Future Freaks Me Out" and "Make Out Kids", it would be impossible to ever rate Motion City lower than a 6, unless they mess up really badly. [6] - PP

Cute Is What We Aim For

The task of filling the break between Motion City Soundtrack and New Found Glory belongs to Cute Is What We Aim For, but honestly the organizers might just as well have left the stage empty and spared the expenses and my good mood. On record the emopop upstarts have a certain charm and a certain sweetness to save their somewhat tacky catchphrases but when they try to speed it up and make it harder and more heavy hitting live, the only thing they actually achieve is the complete loss of everything they have going for them. Add the fact that their lead singer has chosen to wear his most annoying and fake wannabe-rockstar attitude today, and you've captured the picture of the flat out worst annoying performance of the day. Not even during songs like "Curse Of Curves" which I for one love, could I ignore the feeling that I just wanted them off the stage right away. I hope to God they had an off day [3] - TL

New Found Glory

Finally the moment so many had been waiting for arrived - New Found Glory took the stage and engaged in their highly energetic and always so passionate pop punk show. Jordan was sweating like a pig as usual from running and jumping across the stage, and did a great job inciting massive singalongs during "All Downhill from Here" and "Hold My Hand". On a highly positive note, the band only played the aforementioned and "It's Not Your Fault" from the new album, and focused on the more anthemic and punk rockish old material. I can't even begin to describe the incredible 10/10 atmosphere during the first few lines of "Hit Or Miss", literally the entire hall was singing along "THE NEEDLE IN MY RECORD PLAYER HAS BEEN WEARING THIN", and people in the pits were in an ecstatic state. "Dressed To Kill" received similarly great feedback from the crowd, just like "Forget My Name" - it was like being in high school again. They even played "Intro" of "Catalyst" - the 40 second hardcore punk song that almost destroyed me in the mosh pit. The second best show of Saturday. [8] - PP

The All-American Rejects

Being the unconditionally most mainstream act of the day The All-American Rejects live up to their fame and draws by far the most attention from the crowd so far. With genuine quality showmanship and experience they treat their loving fans to the major hits, igniting huge singalongs along the way. However, to the experienced musicfan it is quite clear that the tailored-for-radio-and-arena-dominance and overly chorus-obsessed crowdpleasers hold little actual musical content worthy of respect and applause. Despite how well they pull it off, you can't quite shake the feeling that Tyson Ritter is actually more entertaining between songs, than the band is while performing them [6] - TL

Brand New

Finally the moment has come. Strangely, more than half the crowd has no appreciation for good music whatsoever, and has thus decided to leave before the religious display that commences when the legendary Brand New enter the stage. Words can hardly describe the kind of artistic dedication we witness this evening. Expressing the apathetic bitterness that characterize their unique style at every turn, barely interacting with the crowd but letting their intense build-ups and almost tempestous outbreaks of rage fill the giant hall. Tonight, "The Devil And God" take their battle out of the minds of the band, and let it rage in the hall and in the minds of the audience who all have their eyes fixated on the stage. They play "Millstone". They play "The Archers Bows Are Broken". They play "Degausser" and "Jesus Christ" and when the show ends I realize that the only thing they played was songs from the new album. Let me just emphasize that I consider their old albums some of the best stuff I know, but still this hardly matters because I am, as well as everyone else, suddenly staring helplessly at the amazing center of a storm of noise the band creates when suddenly there are five people on stage playing guitars and no less than eight people pounding collectively on two elevated drumsets. Lyrics and vocals are not needed. Brand New simply trample all other bands tonight, leave the stage, probably with an arrogant grin on their faces, knowing that they just blew the mind of fans and strangers alike, and that if they'd have time to include older songs, they'd have done even better. [9] - TL

All in all, Saturday was plagued by performances below expectations with a surprise few. Only Brand New and New Found Glory were able to put on the kind of show that deserves to rise up to the top ratings, which is a big shame considering how many great bands were on the bill tonight (Saosin, Motion City Soundtrack, Enter Shikari etc).

Sunday

Sunday, the final day of the festival, was very much like Saturday in that there were few incredible performances, only Jimmy Eat World and mewithoutYou played sets worthy of becoming nostalgic about in a few years time. Also like Saturday, pop punk dominated the day and night with Boys Like Girls, Mxpx, Hit The Lights, Hellogoodbye and Jimmy Eat World all on the bill. Arriving late to the venue, we missed the Canadian melodic rockers Attack In Black and british Beat Union, and hence they aren't included in this review, sorry guys.

Boys Like Girls

The first band we get to see on the last day of the festival is also the first band to play the mainstage, namely the sweet-as-candy American BoysLikeGirls. On record, their emo-flavoured pop-punk anthems have the same kind of thing going for them as Cute Is What We Aim For, except their songs are clearly better written and have a better drive to them. Today they prove that this is only one in a number of ways they're superior to Cute. They deliver their songs as major crowdpleasing hits with charm and energy and the fact that they also sound more than a little heavier than usually doesn't take a thing away from them, more the contrary. [7] - TL

mewithoutYou

mewithoutYou hit me like a storm on this early Sunday afteroon. Fronted by a vocalist that's comparable to any madman escaped from a mental hospital, the band put on one of the best shows of the day and I don't think anyone had been expecting it. What started out as mass discussion during the more silent parts of their show had turned into a stunning silence and roaring applauds towards the end of their set, so I'm sure they made an impression on everyone there. Vocalist Aaron Weiss was nothing short of a madman during the show, slowly walking back and forth the stage during spoken out parts, and giving completely unexpected bursts of scratched yells and shouts, almost treading into the screaming territory on a few occasions. He engaged what must have been a pagan dancing style, then collapsed a few times and rose up faster than expected, and pretty much just looked like he was utterly drunk during the performance. This, of course isn't the case, it's just his special style of performing, he's very distant but so close at the same time. For example, he would be sitting near the edge of the stage on one part of the song, and the next moment he would have a tambourine in his hand, adding to the already strange soundscape. What a show. [8] - PP

The Receiving End Of Sirens

The Receiving End Of Sirens had a lot to live up to after such an eclectic and strange performance on the second stage. While their first song on the main stage didn't impress me at all, thereafter it was all awe and jaw-dropping complex melodies created by the three guitars. Their soundscapes surrounded the massive hall, echoing from one side to another, engaging most people in what could have been the biggest active-listening session I've seen in a long time. I say this because it didn't seem like many people knew the songs or the band more than by their name, but I saw everyone excited and applauding loudly after each song. Soundwise, they sound like Saosin if they had one more guitar, just without the incredibly high vocal melodies. The only negative side of their set was the lack of movement from the frontman. Like Dan suggested for Fightstar, the band could gain much by letting someone else take care of the rhythm guitar and have him focus purely on vocals. This way their performance would be perceived more favourably, but nonetheless a good show. [7½] - PP

Mxpx

It is such injustice that band like Mxpx, having been around since 1992 and produced eight fantastic skate/pop punk albums, has to perform on the small stage when the energetic pop punk upstarts Hit The Lights, who only last year released their debut, are placed on the main stage. It makes no sense to me, and apparently it didn't make much sense for the crowd either, because "Punk Rawk Show" saw the loudest singalong today aside from Hellogoodbye and Jimmy Eat World. "Responsibility" and "My Life Story" were well received as well, and towards the end of the set it did indeed look like Mike Herrera and co were more comfortable with the confined space that the second stage had to offer. In the best NOFX-inspired style, the band joked around between songs and kept the crowd amused throughout the set. However, a major criticism is that since they only got 30 minutes and have eight amazing albums out, why on earth would they play a cover of Proclaimers' age old "I Would Walk 500 Miles" instead of "Moneytree", "The Darkest Places" or "Studying Politics"? [6½] - PP

Hit The Lights

Being the new and small band they are, Hit The Lights tour the UK awfully lot. It seems like not a month passes by when they don't play here at least once, which is an impressive achievement by a small band from the US, but I guess this is why they are on the main stage and Mxpx, who rarely come over, were on the small stage. However, just because they tour around here a lot doesn't mean people will know their songs, and indeed, only "Bodybag" was sang loudly back at the band. There were minor singalongs during "The Call Out" and "Three Oh Nine", but nothing major, and to those who've seen the band before, today's show was very much business as usual for the band, bouncing back and forth the stage in a high-energy performance. [7] - PP

TheAudition

Loving the songs "Approach The Bench" and "The Ultimate Cover-Up" has made me gather quite a bit of expectation for TheAuditions sidestage set, filling the void between Hit The Lights and Sparta. However, the band seems quite determined to copy Cute Is What We Aim For's disaster of an appearance from yesterday and as such come on way too strong, play their best song way too early, and seem content with the fact that their vocals sound absolutely shit live compared to on record. Surprisingly miserable show. Do your homework better next time guys. [3] - TL

Sparta

Just like mewithoutYou, Sparta's odd combination of insightful melody and well thought out arrangements seems to go over the head of the majority of the crowd tonight, but that's just because we're at a show consisting mainly of big choruses and simple riffs, rendering Sparta's usually magical appearance rather useless tonight. The amount of fans singing along to even the newest hit "Taking Back Control" could almost be counted with two hands, despite the band giving one of their better performances tonight. Sparta is the kind of band that does not need to move much on stage, and instead allow their superior songs to speak for them instead, but when we are in a crowd of The AUtomatic, Jimmy Eat World and AFI fans, it's no surprise that people only listen on the surface. A nice show, but rather wasted on tonight's audience. [6½] - PP

Hellogoodbye

Now if we hadn't agreed on a mean grade for every band out there with the writers in attendance tonight, Hellogoodbye would have rated many grades lower than the current rating. For some reason, they had only been granted the small stage, and as a consequence the left side of the venue was possibly the most packed it has been at any point during the festival. From the beginning, the band is plagued with problems, first their new-rave introduction breaks down straight after it begun, and the band needs to use almost five minutes in fixing the keyboard set as a consequence. Secondly, their electro pop-punk performance initiates many singalongs, but has next to no depth or meaning to it, and simply isn't fun to watch on stage. The songs on record foreshadow a very active and energetic liveshow, but none of this is present, when the frontman and keyboardist's only siginifcant movement is when they trade instruments during one of the songs. "Touchdown Turnaround" inititates the second biggest singalong tonight, but to me, it sounds even more cheezy and stupid than on record. Three songs in their set I'm so bored I've started to play snake on my phone - and we all know how out of date snake is in 2007. [5½] - PP

The Automatic

TheAutomatic recently exploded into the conscience of the European music scene with their monster hit (HARH HARH PIRATE LAUGHTER HARH) "Monster", effectively gathering enough hype to secure themselves a high spot on the Give It A Name poster. The band delivers their material with skill and conviction, the latter especially displayed by their screaming keyboard player who spends most of the show running around the stage like a complete maniac, beating either a cow-bell or a tambourine, neither of which can actually be heard anywhere as there are seldomly any microphones nearby to record the sound. Despite this, the band has a major factor working against them, namely the extreme alikeness of each and every one of their songs, and the quite simple structure they share. Over the course of a rockshow, even as short as a GIAN appearance may be, the endless repeating of choruses gets somewhat tedious. Otherwise a good effort though. [6½] - TL

Jimmy Eat World

When Jimmy Eat World go on stage, the overall impression is that we're about to witness a band with massive crowd-appeal, just as The All-American Rejects did the day before. The difference is that the fans of Jimmy Eat World simply love the band so much more. The band that supposedly made emo accessible to the mainstream has been around for ages and it shows from their show. They don't pose and they avoid unnecessary bravado and instead simply deliver hit upon hit to the sound of the most massive singalong of this years festival. It seems that every soul in Earls Court knows every word of almost every song, except for the cherished moment the band treats us to the new song that, if my ears weren't to battered by then, sounded like it was called "Big Casino". With a catalogue like JEW's it is almost impossible to mention highlights, but to the surprise of no one "The Middle" starts a dance venue-wide while "Hear You Me" is so painstakingly beautiful that even the oldest among the audience stand around all watery-eyed. It really is no surprise that the Arizona dudes have the kind of reputation they have. [8] - TL

AFI

Again, the closing act seems to attract the attention of only the most dedicated members of the crowd, and again this is in spite of the legendary status the band in question has achieved over the years. AFI get on and dutily live up to each and every expectation one might have to a band of their magnitude. The majority of the songs played originate from the two most recent records, raging from the aggresion of "Death Of Seasons" to the subtle sweet chill of "Love Like Winter" all igniting further singalongs in the remaining audience. Davey and co go through all the rockstar classics, standing on speakers, jumping from the raised floor supporting the drumset, lifting guitars high in the air and waving the microphone on its stand over the crowd while they scream lyrics at the top of their lungs. They even treat us to an old song they haven't played for years (admittedly, I know this from other fans present, as I have little knowledge of the bands early material), during which the crowd go absolutely crazy. However knowing fully well the bands' live-reputation one must admit, that they did seem a bit down-tuned, and overall they didn't really do anything out of the expected. They delivered a good show, but not one as vastly superior to the majority of the weekends' bands as some of the other big names did. [7½] - TL

And so it ends, Give It A Name Festival 2007 has come to an end. The star-filled lineup puts most other festivals to shame, and surely fills other European readers with jealousy over not having such an incredible festival at home. But don't you worry guys, given the rate of expansion of Give It A Name, we are looking at a possible European Warped Tour kind of appearance within five years from today, and that would be amazing to say the least.

Although you may get the view that most bands weren't good at all, that's just due to our naturally critical writing tone here at Rockfreaks.net; There were only a few horrible shows, and most were good, but on the other hand only few were amazing. But contemplating on that aspect retrospectively, having only two or three mindblowing acts makes their sets ever so special, so perhaps it is for the greater good.

The positive aspect about the festival was that the organization had improved vastly, as had sound quality. Earl's Court especially is usually plagued with sound problems, but the large majority of acts this time around didn't suffer from such problems at all. There were plenty of great performances, and enough mosh pit time to make your beloved editor's feet hurt surely for the rest of this week. Until next year!

Comments
comments powered by Disqus

Legal

© Copyright MMXIX Rockfreaks.net.