DEATHSTARS (+ The Dead And Living)
Academy 3, Manchester
In typical Mancunian fashion the rain made a brief appearance prior to the doors of the Academy opening, albeit a few days too late to aid in putting out the band's tour bus which caught fire while on the road in mainland Europe. But in spite of the eight-month wait since the original date, plus fire and rain, the tour goes on regardless.
The band have taken fellow Swedes The Dead And Living out on the road with theme this time around. And it is immediately evident as to why when the quintet take to the stage. A dark blend of pop-punk and bluesy rock complete with a clone of Whiplasher Bernadotte fronting them, the band take their role of pumping the crowd up very seriously.
Their bouncy and accessible formula plays especially well to the younger element of the crowd, however the majority of it, despite some interesting interludes, is unmemorable and as soon as they leave the stage the immediate effect of their cheer-leading dissipates in anticipation of the headliner's imminent arrival.
The main event of the evening soon hit the stage and bring the metal. The now four-piece death glam act unload a barrage of industrial-tinged anthems and the eager crowd lap it up. Cuts from the latest album 'The Perfect Cult' such as 'Explode', 'All the Devil's Toys', and 'Fire Galore' sit comfortably alongside tried and tested tracks from the bands previous studio outings with the likes of 'Tongues', 'New Dead Nation', 'Night Electric Night', 'Metal', and 'Synthetic Generation' enjoying big reactions from the crowd.
Frontman Whiplasher is poised and commanding as he flirtatiously instructs the crowd to cheer and brushes off the attention-seeking hecklers with some quick wit. He is somewhat less vocal than on previous appearances in the UK, but at the end of of long tour cycle it is hardly surprising.
The band are on form and having fun with it and the crowd reciprocates at every opportunity. The band puts on a strong performance befitting their now veteran status and by the time the band unleash the encore of 'Cyanide' and 'Blitzkrieg' it it safe to say that everyone present is satisfied with the exhibition of their increasingly formidable repertoire.