Straight from the UK, You Me At Six made a stop at La Tulipe in Montreal along with opening acts Stars in Stereo and Young Guns, on October 15th. A unique and lively performance, of which neither the artists nor the crowd would be a disappointment.
La Tulipe is a venue I had visited once before. Actually, it’s one of my favorites. It offers the same intimate and encompassing atmosphere yet also feels like a hazy, dimly lit room. The surrounding chatter of the eager concert-goers mingling with the roaming band members only added to the welcoming aura the venue emitted. Although they hold less people, smaller venues will often allow the audience to interact with the artists they’ve come to see, which is something you’ll never experience in a venue as big as the Bell Centre.
The concert started with Stars in Stereo, who performed a quick, uplifting set that helped get things off to an exciting start. The venue wasn’t full but the crowd was by no means a disappointment, and eagerly moving along to the music Stars in Stereo performed.
There was a small delay as the second opening act, Young Guns, prepared their instruments and conducted a small sound check. The UK band explained that their tour bus was having problems on their way to the venue, causing the band to almost miss that night’s concert. Despite their slow start, the pace of the night was quickly regained with the help of the highly responsive crowd. Clearly, they had quite a few new fans there now. Most of the attendees were unable to respond by mimicking the lyrics so they responded to the music with their bodies instead. Young Guns played a number of songs, riling the crowd by urging them to clap, jump and sing along to given lyrics. They put on a satisfying and entertaining performance. Then, along came the main act. The reason everyone, along with myself came out to La Tulipe.
Once Young Guns said their farewells, I squeezed my way to the front of the crowd to get a closer view of the band everyone was so eagerly waiting to see. I waited anxiously along with the other concert-goers for You Me At Six’s appearance, and the crowd was feeling pretty tight. After tentatively waiting for several minutes, the band emerged quickly and suddenly, beginning the set with “Too Young To Feel This Old,” a song from their newly released album, Cavalier Youth. As the band got to work, so did the crowd, and all previous tenseness dissolved immediately. Voices, arms and spirits were raised as soon as You Me at Six took hold of the stage. Their inviting and energetic presence helped set the mood immediately, and by the end of the first song, the crowd was already engrossed.
The music was loud, the heavy drums and guitar almost drowning out the voice of frontman Josh Franceschi. Although some may have been disappointed by the diminished sound of the vocals, it helped give the sound that loud and angry feel that is You Me at Six. As the band carried on through their setlist, the intense head-banging, jumping, and, let’s face it, alcohol, kept the crowd engaged. Franceschi used the breaks between each song to interact with the Canadian crowd, using this time to applaud our energy and invoke even more intensity from us. There was however a severe lack of communication between the crowd and the other band members during their set, which was unfortunate.
You Me At Six not only enjoyed their time on stage, but tried their best to let the crowd enjoy their time as well, inviting stage divers and even opening a mosh pit. Prior to playing their ninth song of the night, “Cold Night”, Franceschi encouraged the crowd to introduce themselves to the strangers surrounding them, and then urged the crowd to sit upon each other’s shoulders and dissolve any disparities between the audience members. The crowd eagerly accepted the singer’s requests, mounting their friends’ shoulders and singing along to the song from a higher perspective.
A highlight of the set was their rendition of “Bite My Tongue”. Prior to playing, Josh Franceschi took a moment to relay a speech to the absorbent crowd, requesting us to put away our mobile phones and devices, and appreciate the show we were watching with our own eyes. “3 minutes” he said. “live in this moment, just for 3 minutes”. At that moment, You Me At Six displaced their crowd from the 21st century, and brought us back in time to the 90’s, a time where kids came to concerts because they enjoyed live music, and not because they were looking for an event to discuss on their social media. When You Me At Six went on to perform “Bite My Tongue” after their speech, they brought the crowd closely together, and everyone, sober or drunk, was yelling, indifferent to how loud or bad they sounded.
All in all, You Me at Six put on a performance that was unlike any I’ve experienced to this date, and is definitely a tour that is worth checking out. The show was a moment indifferent to who you were or what you looked like, and focused solely on what a concert is really about: the music.
Review – Jessica P
Photos – Marlon Kuhnreich