WORDS AND IMAGES BILLY SEAGRAVE
Funeral For A Friend kicked off their 20th-anniversary tour for the album “Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation” in style, with support from Dashboard Confessional and the local band Forager. Billy Seagrave was on the scene early to capture what promised to be an evening of high-impact musical excellence for All Music Magazine UK.
Forager, a band blending classic punk, ’90s grunge, and modern hardcore, unleashed a fast and deafening sound that surely delighted fans of alternative rock. Comprising five members – Jake on vocals and guitar, Amy on bass and vocals, Tom on drums, Sam on keyboards, and Ben on guitar – the band had released their EP, “Wildflowers,” in 2023, showcasing their talent and potential. Performing all four tracks from the EP, along with some unreleased material, Forager exuded energy and charisma on stage. The audience responded enthusiastically, matching the catchy and melodic tunes with cheers and applause. The band demonstrated cohesion and confidence, with each member contributing to their unique sound. Jake’s distinctive and expressive vocals resonated perfectly with the lyrics and mood of their songs, while Amy’s bass provided a solid foundation and harmonious backing vocals. Tom’s energetic drumming established a dynamic rhythm, Sam added depth with synths and effects, and Ben impressed with his guitar skills and creativity.
Dashboard Confessional, an iconic band in the emo scene with nine albums and several EPs since their inception in 1999, took the stage as the main support act. The venue was packed with fans eager to witness their musical evolution and diversity.
The band delivered a mix of songs from their extensive discography, including both classics and tracks displaying their experimentation with different styles. They opened with “Don’t Wait” and followed up with “The Sharp Hint of New Tears,” “Turpentine Chaser,” “Saints and Sailors,” and “Screaming Infidelities,” showcasing their maturity and willingness to explore diverse sounds while maintaining their signature emo essence. The crowd also reveled in the nostalgia of old favorites like “Stolen” and “Vindicated,” and the set culminated with “Hands Down.” Chris Carrabba’s emotive vocals remained as powerful as ever, complemented by the impressive guitar work of Armon Jay, AJ Cheek, and Scott Schoenbeck, creating a rich and dynamic sonic landscape. Chris Kamrada’s drumming added the necessary energy and rhythm to the songs.
Dashboard Confessional proved they were still at the top of their game, and their new album stood as a valuable addition to their illustrious discography. The band expressed gratitude to their fans and hinted at potential surprises in the future. Regardless of what’s to come, Dashboard Confessional has etched an enduring legacy in the music world, continuing to inspire and connect with generations of listeners.
1/ Don’t Wait
2/ The Sharp Hint of New Tears
3/ The Good Fight
4/ Turpentine Chaser
5/ Saints and Sailors
6/ Screaming Infidelities
7/ Again, I Go Unnoticed
8/ Remember to Breathe
11/ Hands Down
Funeral for a Friend, are a pivotal band in the post-hardcore scene, boasting seven albums and numerous EPs since their inception in 2001, embarking on their latest tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, “Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation.” And it was a privilege to be attending tonights show at the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester
The band performed the entire album in its original track order, from the explosive opener “Rookie of the Year” to the emotional closer “Novella.” The crowd passionately sang along, especially during anthemic singles like “Juneau,” “She Drove Me to Daytime Television,” and “Escape Artists Never Die.” Additionally, they treated fans to hits from their later albums, such as “Streetcar,” “Into Oblivion (Reunion),” “Roses for the Dead,” and “History.” The band’s performance was marked by tightness and energy, with Matt Davies-Kreye’s vocals still carrying the raw emotion and passion that defined his unique style. Kris Coombs-Roberts and Darran Smith’s guitar work impressed, striking a balance between aggression and melody. Richard Boucher on bass and Ryan Richards on drums provided a solid foundation, with Richards adding his signature screams and backing vocals.
The show’s pinnacle arrived during the encore, featuring the band’s very first song, “10:45 Amsterdam Conversations,” from their debut EP “Between Order and Model” in 2001. This fan favorite and rare live treat showcased the band’s early influences from hardcore, metal, and emo. The performance included a special guest appearance by former vocalist Matthew Evans, who left the band in 2002. Evans joined Davies-Kreye on stage for the final chorus, creating a nostalgic and emotional moment for both the band and the fans.
Funeral for a Friend demonstrated that they are still among the best live acts in the scene, and their debut album remains a timeless classic deserving of celebration. The band expressed their gratitude to fans and hinted at the possibility of new music in the works. Regardless of what the future holds, Funeral for a Friend’s impact on the music world is undeniable, and their songs will continue to resonate with generations of listeners.
1/ Rookie of the Year
2/ Bullet Theory
4/ Bend Your Arms to Look Like Wings
5/ Escape Artists Never Die
7/ Moments Forever Faded
8/ She Drove Me to Daytime Television
9/ Red Is the New Black
10/ Your Revolution Is a Joke
11/ Waking Up
13/ This Year’s Most Open Heartbreak
15/ Into Oblivion (Reunion)
16/ Roses for the Dead
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My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.