Last Saturday, I saw Against The Current live at a small gig in Manchester Uni. I started to listen to band after seeing a YouTube vid of Dreaming Alone which sees Taka from ONE OK ROCK doing guest vocal work on it.

The band’s a young bunch of lads (and a lass) from Poughkeepsie, NY and they seem to have a strong online (read YouTube) presence doing covers (check out their incendiary version of Uptown Funk) and original material. I’ve to admit after shifting my attention to music from Japan, I don’t really listen much to more recent stuff from the ‘States or the UK. To me, AtC kinda reminded me of Paramore, and the fact a lot, if not all, of their songs have great pop/rock hooks.

So, when I saw that they were playing on a Saturday at a small intimate venue in Manchester, I thought I’d check them out. The ticket price was pretty cheap too. On arriving at the Students Union building on Oxford Road, I just note the demographic of the audience. Let’s just say if there were anyone my age in the queue, they were most likely accompanying their teenage kids. HAHAHAHA. Oh well.

Support came from a London three-piece called Sykes who are pretty good. It’s not always you get to see a good support band, and I was impressed enough with one of their songs, Best Thing, prior to the gig that I bought it on iTunes. And they sounded great live. Their music is slightly different from AtC – they seem to exude some 80s new wave-y synth vibe to me. Just shows my age, I guess.

Will Ferri and Dan Gow of AtC got on-stage and kicked off the riff for Talk, and when Chrissy Costanza came out to start the verse, the kids just went nuts. My friend and I were at the stage left by the bar and the view was great. Because we were generally *koff* taller. Hahaha. Another good thing was as this was pop/rock, no moshpits/wall of deaths to worry about. AtC’s a three-piece, so they had two other musicians supporting them on second guitar (who apparently used to be the band’s bassist!) and the bass.

Chrissy’s got a strong voice despite her diminutive size. She was virtually going to the left and right risers onstage engaging with the audience. Paralyzed came on next which is my favourite tune of theirs. Although I’ve to admit any other songs of theirs that they played that night could easily come close.

They’ve only got two EPs – their first was Infinity which was released in 2014. I note that some of their live sound comprised of a mix of their performance and pre-recorded vocal/rhythm tracks, kinda reminiscent of what I see with Japanese pop/rock acts playing live. They also have a new single out called Outsiders which they played after Chrissy gave a quick spïel to the kids on being true to their selves etc. I felt fifteen then.

Personally, I don’t remember the songs in their order. They did play Comeback Kid (Chrissy had us all go oh-oh-oh! for that) and the very OOR-like Fireproof. For the encore, I am sure they did Brighter and Another You (Another Way).

They did play Gravity in the main set and for this, I managed to capture a bootleg vid:

To actually do an East Asian, European and after this a North American tour at this early stage of their music career, I’m well impressed. I am so looking forward to follow this band’s progress and see/hear what sonic gems they’re gonna come up with next.

For select photos from the gig, click here.