LIVE REVIEW: Beartooth @ 02 Ritz, Manchester

To end a busy year for BEARTOOTH, the American hardcore outfit ran a headlining tour across the UK with the help of friends in TRASH BOAT and VANNA. We caught their show at the 02 Ritz venue in Manchester to see how they got on.

Trash Boat live @ 02 Ritz, Manchester. Photo Credit: Jordan McEvoy Photography

Relatively new on the scene, TRASH BOAT were picked up by BEARTOOTH and invited to join the tour with them. Off to a fast-paced and vibrant start, TRASH BOAT put on a great performance for the crowd. Vocalist Tobi Duncan was very interactive with the audience, thanking them after every song and getting them pumped for both their next track and for the acts to come. Bassist James Grayson bounced around the stage and delivered excellently executed bass lines, and everyone on stage worked well together to create an engaging live experience.  While they were slow to begin with, the crowd picked up pace and the hype halfway through TRASH BOAT’s set, clearly enjoying what the UK pop punkers had to offer. Material from their latest album, Nothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through, went down a treat and was performed brilliantly, warming the crowd up for the heavier hit from VANNA.

Rating: 8/10

Vanna live @ 02 Ritz, Manchester. Photo Credit: Jordan McEvoy Photography

Wasting no time in getting into the action, VANNA burst on stage and Davey Muise did an excellent job of both controlling the crowd, and getting them pumped. Halfway through their set, Davey started to live stream the show before making the crowd go crazy as VANNA pump out more energy-filled goodness. Everyone on stage was full of energy and their passion for their art was clear as they saw the crowd react to Flower and other material from their latest album All Hell, which followed an emotional and motivational speech from Davey Muise. Guitarist Joel Pastuszak and bassist Shawn Marquis stood side by side to give an intimidating and fierce performance together, while rhythm guitarist Nicholas Lambert stood on the other end of the stage delivering an excellent performance, but not engaging much with the crowd. Flower was the absolute highlight of VANNA’s performance, as the emotions put across on the studio album are amplified and show a lot more significance in the live and personal environment of a show. Davey Muise gave a spine-tingling vocal performance that pulled at the heartstrings, and it made for an emotional and softer hitting portion of their performance in between the ferocity and fury they presented with their other songs such as Mutter. While delivering excellent drum work for the live experience, drummer Seamus Menihane was almost static in appearance and didn’t seem as energetic as the rest of the band, but this is a minor gripe that didn’t impact their performance negatively; their performance was powerful, emotional, and executed to a high standard. If there was ever a performance to prepare the crowd for BEARTOOTH, VANNA pulled it off.

Rating: 8/10

Beartooth live @ 02 Ritz, Manchester. Photo Credit: Jordan McEvoy Photography
Beartooth live @ 02 Ritz, Manchester. Photo Credit: Jordan McEvoy Photography

As soon as the changeover is complete and the lights go out, all that can be heard is the manic screams of a crowd raring to see BEARTOOTH. Kicking right into it with Burnout, Caleb Shomo ripped right into the crowd with sharp vocals executed in a wonderfully aggressive fashion. His stage presence was frantic, jumping and throwing himself into every single note, while slowing down at the chorus and standing at the edge of the stage, taking in the audience. On the matter of the audience, they were electric, reacting in unison to every note from guitarists Kamron Bradbury and Taylor Lumley while Oshie Bichar delivered bass without fault.  BEARTOOTH’s performance was one that varied from speedy, frantic songs like Always Dead which created frantic mosh pits and sent the audience in a frenzy, to slower, more emotional and captivating tracks like In Between, all executed brilliantly.

For former BEING AS AN OCEAN member and new BEARTOOTH drummer, Connor Denis, this was his first headlining tour in the UK performing with BEARTOOTH (although he did play at Download Festival as part of BEARTOOTH), so there was a fair bit of pressure on him to deliver to the same standards the fans know. Connor smashed it in this gig, delivering heavy beats on the track Hated with precision and professionalism, while engaging with the crowd and looking as if he fits right in with the band.

If Aggressive received strong praise as a studio album, the Aggressive Tour will go down as the closer of a very successful year for BEARTOOTH. Live, the music sounds even better than on the record, and the band’s raw passion and their energy is fully transferred from the studio to the stage, with every bit of emotion being thrown into their music to create a truly powerful experience. To put a long story short, BEARTOOTH crushed it.

Rating: 9/10

Check out our photo gallery from the night’s action in Manchester from photographer Jordan McEvoy here:

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