Music is such a big part of Irish culture, it’s no wonder that bands, singers and artists from all over the world repeatedly visit the many intimate venues Dublin has to offer. Music is one of the greatest forms of escapism, and live music offers the audience an often indescribable, unforgettable experience. On Monday 10th October, we were ready to welcome rock band You Me At Six as they returned to The Academy for the first time in almost three years. Their first appearance in Dublin was way back in 2009 on a support slot for pop-rock giants Paramore, and since then, YMAS’s niche fanbase has gone from strength to strength. With support from London-based indie rock band VANT, the Surrey boys took to the stage at an 18+ show in The Academy Main Room. Josh, Max, Chris Matt and Dan have matured considerably since that first show on the Take Off Your Colours album cycle, both in terms of sound and style. This show came just ahead of the release of Night People, their much-anticipated 5th studio album due in January 2017.
Dublin is known for being rife with a crowd of alternative music lovers, at its core ranging from people in their teens to those in their mid to late twenties. Having a rock band like You Me At Six perform at an 18+ show is always a risk, as it’s hard to know what the demographic is like until the tickets go on sale. Thankfully, once VANT finished their set we realised we were happily penned inside a packed-out venue waiting for You Me At Six to come on. The Academy is arguably one of the best live venues in Dublin for intimate shows, as no matter where you stand, you’re almost guaranteed a good view of the stage.
‘Among other things, our job tonight is to make you forget everything that’s happening in the world,’ frontman Josh Franceschi said, going on to talk about some of the difficulties being faced by people today. ‘Focus on letting go for tonight.’ Facing the intimate gathering of a crowd made up of mostly long-standing fans, You Me At Six ripped through a set featuring song after song that showcased the maturity and complexity of their growth as a band over the past few years. Featuring songs from Sinners Never Sleep, Cavalier Youth and Hold Me Down, it was a strong set with a stronger message on letting go of anything that wasn’t relevant to the show, and the moment. In a lot of ways, live music is a mindfulness exercise. All the audience hears and feels in the moment is the music and their reactions to it. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that music is such an integral part of Dublin’s night culture. YMAS brought the house down ending on their new single Night People, completing the journey from teenage pop-punk to a recent departure in moody, bearded British rock which will probably define a new era with their maturing audience for years to come.