Review: Amber Run live at Rock City

After kicking off their UK tour in Manchester, Amber Run returned to their roots in the infamous Rock City, playing to a crowd of adoring fans who screamed their lungs out to the intensely emotional tunes. 

Stereo Honey took to the stage first, warming up the eager crowd. Their cool indie tones evoked applause throughout the crowd and their smooth, mature sound is a contrast against their relatively young ages. Sultry yet as sweet as their name suggests, they were the perfect support for their indie-rock stage companions. 

As they left the stage there was a lull in the crowd as the countdown of the seemingly never-ending minutes until the stars of the show appear began. However, soon the lights dimmed, and murmurs ran through the crowd. They waited with bated breath until the sound of ‘Leader Countdown’, from the new album Philophobia, began and the crowd erupted into shouts of glee and applause which rose as the band walked out onto stage. The opening instrumental reached a crescendo exploding into their recent hit single ‘Neon Circus’ which sated the appetites of the waiting crowd. 

The gig was a whirlwind of old and new, highs and lows but the crowd hung on to every word. It is refreshing to be witness to a band that can hold an audience through a journey of their discography delving into the slow, melancholic tunes but then jumping straight into their high energy hits. 

The crowd did not have to wait long for the throwbacks as ‘Neon Circus’ was followed up quickly by ‘Just My Soul Responding’ straight off their debut album, 5AM. The age of the song was easy to miss however as the crowd sang along with every word. It was pursued by ‘Insomniac’, ‘Stranger’, ‘Fickle Game’ and a true throwback, ‘Pilot’ which was a moment of reminiscing for the ‘way back when’ fans. 

They then fast forwarded the new album with ‘No One Gets Out Alive’, a track that masks its seemingly haunting lyrics with a powerful beat. It was swiftly followed by ‘Dark Bloom’ and ‘Affection’. Followed by an anticipated pause from the band as lead singer Joe introduced the next song, ‘Amen’, with a heartfelt dedication to their lighting tech who recently passed away. 

After the moving tribute, Amber Run treated the crowd to ‘5AM’ before exploding into new hits ‘Carousel’, ‘What Could Be As Lonely As Love’ and ‘The Darkness Has A Voice’. Another oldie but goldie, ‘Noah’, was followed by ‘Spark’ – a clear fan favourite and rounded the set off with ‘Wastelands’.

After the endless chanting from the crowd demanding an encore, the lads returned to the stage performing ‘Haze’ to the satisfied crowd. They then preceded with the groundbreaking hit ‘I Found’ to which the crowd sang with a burning energy so loud you could hardly hear the band. Ending the show with ‘No Answers,’ applause surrounded the venue long after they left the stage.

It was clear to see how much the songs resonated with the lives of the crowd and it seems doubtful that Amber Run could’ve wished for a better welcome home than the one they received. 

You can stream Philiphobia here.

Words: Kirsty Macadam


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