Last night, Australian pop-punk quintet Tonight Alive performed an extremely energetic set at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, together with support from Bristol alt-punks Milk Teeth. Taking in songs from across their back catalogue, including upcoming release Limitless, the Jenna McDougall-fronted quintet spent approximately an hour onstage in front of some 650 fans.
Before Tonight Alive took to the stage, Milk Teeth spent 40-minutes warming up the crowd with cuts from their brand new debut album Vile Child. Opening the set on Brain Food‘s fierce alt-punk, frontwoman Becky Blomfeld meant business from the word go. Slower cuts Swear Jar (again) and Kabuki were the only proper breathing moments in the set, both sandwiched in and amongst the likes of Brickwork‘s catchy chorus, Moon Wanderer and emphatic set closer Vitamins. Blomfeld conducted a test on the crowd halfway through the set, instructing them to hug the person next to them, whether they knew them or not. Later on, the band also invited a fan onstage who wanted to ask someone in the crowd if they wanted to be a relationship. Luckily, the answer was a positive one, making for bouts of happiness around the room. Milk Teeth are only one full-length into their journey, and currently it seems like it could go in any direction.
Tonight Alive took to the stage at 8:40, performing 15 songs from across all four of their studio albums. Opening on To Be Free‘s electro-pop, frontwoman McDougall and her band immediately made it clear that they only had one mission the whole evening – to get every single person in the room on their feet. It worked for the most part and, in and amongst a slew of motivational speeches, you could definitely sense that the band were making the most of the crowd. “We love Amsterdam, it feels like a home show” declared McDougall at one point, with her band remaining quiet for the majority of the hour-long set. Guitarist Whakaio Taahi was the most energetic of the bunch (completed by bassist Cam Adler, guitarist Jake Hardy and drummer Matt Best), bounding enthusiastically around the stage and regularly interacting with the crowd.
The band performed six songs from Limitless’ predecessor The Other Side, most notably the upbeat Lonely Girl and an extended rendition of title track The Other Side (featuring two previously unheard verses). Although this current European run is in support of their upcoming full-length, you wouldn’t have noticed during the show. Only four songs from Limitless featured, including the emotionally intense comeback track Human Interaction. “And I will get better” repeats McDougall over and over, before a cataclysmic outro filled with emotion tore through the room. Drive‘s poppy undertones and How Does it Feel?‘s No Doubt-esque melodies made for a change from Tonight Alive’s previous output, breathing some new life into the set.
At various points throughout the set, McDougall took out time to speak about pressing personal issues. Following The Ocean, she spoke of Tonight Alive’s self-empowerment missive, before later encouraging the female-centric crowd that they should never let anyone tell them they can’t do something. McDougall is a brash and empowering frontwoman, making herself out to be a role model for many. Set highlight Wasting Away appeared towards the end of the evening, its bouncy chorus and huge riffs intertwining to produce a desirable end product. Spiderman-theme track The Edge also featured, before the evening came to an end on the powerful Lonely Girl. Powerful rhytmic blasts from Best and Adler held the track together, underpinning Hardy and Taahi’s sharp, sped-up guitar lines. As the band left the stage and Melkweg’s black curtain fell, Tonight Alive very clearly proved that they are worth every single view, stream or purchase going today. Because although their songs bear plenty of resemblances to one another, they still mean a lot to large groups of fans, and that’s something you don’t see very often.
Click here for more pictures from the show.