Concorde 2, 9 February 2010
The most positive outcome to draw from Charlie Simpson’s pop-fuelled misery was the creation of Fightstar. Over the past seven years, Simpson’s post-rock inspired band has struggled to gain the respect that they deserve; finally a sold out Brighton venue proves quite the opposite.
Walking on stage to a pre-recorded track, it was only a matter of moments before they erupted into the increasingly catchy opener ‘War Machine’. Raising the bar with the use of choirs mid-song, Fightstar build up an epic performance before breaking into an energy-powered ending.
Simpson’s signature roar consistently blows the audience away through the zestful melodies of ‘Colours Bleed To Red’ and an anthemic performance of ‘The English Way’ in which backing vocals are supplied by their dedicated followers. It’s unfortunate that guitarist/vocalist Alex Westaway headed down the path of a patchy performance live, because on CD the vocal combination of the two is somewhat charismatic.
Showcasing new song ‘A City On Fire’ from the re-release of third album Be Human, Fightstar are confident that they’ll get the phenomenal reaction that they’re so worthy of. Capable of writing radio friendly songs such as ‘Mercury Summer’ it is the London quartets’ early material that really takes a shining amongst the audience. The moment the guitar chimes to the sound of ‘Paint Your Target’ the atmosphere becomes highly infectious with fans singing every lyric Simpson has written.
Taking the performance to another level, Simpson puts his screams to the test through a brutal rendition of ‘Deathcar’ from sophomore album One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours, in which the monster vocalist encourages the crowd to shout “you make me fucking sick” before exploding into the songs climatic breakdown and ending.
Fightstar take us through an emotional journey of beautiful vocal tones, powerful guitar hooks and Omar Abidi’s solid drum fills in ‘Sleep Well Tonight’, before heading into their founding track ‘Palahnuik’s Laughter’, completely taking the audience’s final drop of energy – ending the night in an impenetrable light.
What Did You Think Of The Gig?
Joseph: 9/10 “I’ve been dying to see them for ages and they really were amazing. They played a fantastic set too.”
Rachel: 9/10 “Everytime Fightstar come to the Concorde 2, they play a better show than the last.”
Anthony: 8/10 “Charlie Simpson’s vocals were absolutely incredible!”
Martina: 8/10 “What a powerful performance; absolutely stunning.”
Words by Nicholas Coren