By Ali Nichol-Way
Support came from Nic Wood and Second Place Hero.
Recently D.E.A.D has been making waves in the underground Alternative scene. After near-constant touring as a support act since Christmas and having a recent festival appearance at Camden Rocks, they have made a name for themselves with their energetic, punk-infused live shows. Naturally everyone was intrigued to see what they would bring to their own headline show.
Opening to a sparse crowd of roughly thirty, Nic Wood stepped up to the plate with a cry of “Hello Think Tank”. Armed with only an acoustic guitar, the feeling of ashamedly expecting an acoustic set made up of three-chord songs that sounded the same was there. Surprisingly Nic could shred on an acoustic guitar. Whilst amazingly talented at playing, (he never dropping a note) he seemed to have a Jekyll and Hyde effect with his singing going from a laid back, classic acoustic style vocals in to raging screams that could fill the venue without the need of a microphone.
There may well be some philosophical depths as to why he does this but it gained only disinterested and various jumps from the crowd who quickly turned back round to see talk to others. Going through the songs, you couldn’t doubt his passion in his performance. However it seemed that the acoustic tone did not fit well at a show headlined by a band known to jump into crowds. Nic retired off stage to a polite applause from the milling audience.
Next up were Newcastle’s own Second Place Hero. There was initial excitement for the Pop Punk quartet and their catchy hooks soon gained some excitement from the audience, but this soon died down as they turned into pretty much a boring act. You would think vocalist Graeme Costello had left the oven on at home due to his disinterested performance. His lack of eye contact and bored walking on stage screamed that this was a show they didn’t want to do. However their songs were quite tight, showcasing tracks off their E.P “Year of the Underdog” with some skill. The most interaction that was had with the crowd was when they got them to clap along to their '1000 miles' cover and hit 'our time is up'. They then proceeded to leave the stage as fast as possible, leaving nothing but an awkward atmosphere.
When headliners D.E.A.D said “all aboard the Tourtanic” they weren’t joking. Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go oOn” filled the venue as the band piled on stage. Within in minutes the lead singer Alex Mountford had the whole crowd doing jazz hands, successfully showing the supports up. As they went into the bouncy tune “Phantom” the audience were literally bouncing up and down which they continued to do for the whole show.
As they went from 'Verona' into 'Alaska', you could see them develop into a tighter and more powerful sound. This was also evident in their live show as you could see the difference in their live act, seeming more focused even from when they were here supporting Ashestoangels on Wintour. They also showed a strong connection with the audience, with all of the members making eye contact, thanking the crowd for coming out tonight, even laughing when some dedicated fans pulled out lighters and phones during 'Alaska'.
However they still have some way to go after they messed up a bit on 'Cowboy', but that is probably a part of the classic D.E.A.D experience of "all out, uncaring rock". Fan anthem “Beautiful Broken Bones” closed the set and ended with Mountford in with the crowd and then them screaming for one more song. Pretty much, if you want a great live show with lots of jumping and sweat, then D.E.A.D are definitely a band to check out.
Nic Wood  + Second Place Hero  + D.E.A.D. (8)
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