By bringing the night to life, Tonight Alive made sure that the 19th February was a day to remember for thousands of fans in Manchester. The Australian pop/rock group played a sold-out show at the O2 Ritz and they certainly lived up to their name.
We were lucky enough to be in attendance and, as always, we were left impressed. Over the years, we’ve seen Tonight Alive in concert on various occasions but this time felt even more special. It’s clear that the rockers are proud of their new material.
Kicking off proceedings, Milk Teeth and Our Last Night took to the stage as the show’s official support acts. We can see why both groups were picked for the tour – their energy electrified the audience and got everyone pumped for the main show in the best way possible.
Looking behind us, we noticed that the crowd was a sea of colours. Taking inspiration from Tonight Alive’s lead-singer Jenna McDougall, several fans sported multi-coloured hair and many were also wearing tie-dye t-shirts. Visually, the venue looked incredible – both on and off stage.
The clock hit 8:45pm. It was time. Surrounded by spotlights, Tonight Alive marched on stage to perform their electronic new anthem ‘To Be Free’. It was the perfect opening track – everyone was up on their feet and all five band members were greeted with an army of cheers.
After kicking off the set with one of their latest releases, Tonight Alive decided to perform some fan favourites from their critically acclaimed second album ‘The Other Side.’ ‘The Fire’ packed the first punch and it was followed by beautiful live renditions of: ‘The Ocean’, ‘Hell and Back’ and ‘Bathwater.’
Next up was ‘Amelia’ – a touching tribute to Jenna’s late friend Amelia McGuiness who sadly passed away at the age of 16. The stunning ballad clearly touches the hearts of many – we had goosebumps all over when everyone sang the heartfelt lyrics at the top of their lungs.
During the night, Jenna also delivered an inspirational speech. The talented starlet reinforced an important message of self-worth. She told everyone that they’re lying to themselves if they think that their life is meaningless. All life is important – no matter who you are or who you want to be. This is another reason why we love Tonight Alive so much; they’re great role models.
The band’s seventh song of the night was ‘What Are You So Scared Of?’ – the title track from their debut album. Unsurprisingly, the fear-conquering tune went down a storm.
It was now time to slow it down. Jenna and guitarist Whakaio Taahi sat down for an intimate acoustic session that showed off their powerful vocals and impressive musical abilities. The pair performed stripped-back renditions of: ‘Complexes’, ‘Safe & Sound’ and an extended version of ‘The Other Side.’ Interestingly, it the was the first time that Tonight Alive had performed ‘Safe & Sound’ in two years – the track was requested by a fan who particularly related to the song’s lyrics.
Next in the set was ‘Human Interaction’ – the first single from Tonight Alive’s forthcoming third album. Jenna, Matt, Whakaio, Cam and Jake all received lots of interaction when they played the vulnerable song – the spine-tingling chants of ‘I will be better’ were definitely a highlight.
A performance of ‘Don’t Wish’ then followed before Tonight Alive decided to take us back in time. To treat fans who’d been supporting them from the very start, the group rocked out to ‘Wasting Away’ which was originally released six years ago in 2010. We still love it to this day.
‘The Edge’ was the fourteenth tune that Tonight Alive chose to perform in Manchester and it’s arguably one of their biggest hits to date – it featured on the official soundtrack for The Amazing Spider-man 2 which is certainly a massive achievement.
Sadly, there were now only four songs left. The Aussie rockers belted out ‘Listening’ before coming together to play their latest single ‘Drive’. Sonically, ‘Drive’ is the biggest departure from Tonight Alive’s previous records but it still captures all of the elements that we’ve grown to love over the years. Before playing the uplifting party anthem, Jenna encouraged everyone to dance.
The lights dimmed, Tonight Alive walked off and the crowd screamed for more. We knew what was coming – the encore. But what songs would they be singing? Bouncing back on stage, Tonight Alive brought the show to a phenomenal close with ‘How Does It Feel?’ and ‘Lonely Girl’. The final tracks took the energy in the building to another level which we honestly thought was impossible.
It truly was an unforgettable night. If you’re lucky enough to attend a Tonight Alive show, you’ll understand that it’s more than just a concert – it’s an experience that will stick with you for life.
This wasn’t just a band playing a few songs on stage to a few supporters – it felt more like a gathering of old friends who wanted to forget their troubles and rock the night away. It’s rare and refreshing to see that a group has such a strong connection with their fans.
Tonight Alive’s Limitless world tour has only just begun – you can view a list of their upcoming dates here on their official website. Make sure you don’t miss out on such an amazing show.
We’ll end this review by quoting one of Tonight Alive’s song titles: ‘Thank You And Goodnight.’
Tonight Alive’s third album ‘Limitless’ will be released on the 4th March – will you be buying a copy? Let us know over on Twitter @CelebMix or leave a message in the comments section below!