ALYSSA ALDRETE | INSCAPE EDITOR
Everyone stands as close as possible, and for a single night, you don’t mind if someone’s sweaty skin is against yours. Everyone around you is singing just as loud as you are.
You look up to see your hand and dozens of others in the air, as this group sings lyrics back to a smiling vocalist on stage.
And for this one moment in time, you feel alive. For this moment, you feel at home.
The feeling of a rock show brings a sense of unity, and on Oct. 4, English band You Me At Six and its supporting acts brought this feeling out for hundreds of fans packed into the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.
The night kicked off exactly on schedule with Surrey alt-rock band Dinosaur Pile Up. Despite the lack of an apparent fan base in the crowd, the band played songs off its latest album “Nature Nurture,” as well as old jams, including the song “My Rock N Roll,” which definitely got people on their feet.
Next up was one of the two American-born bands on the tour, Conditions. As veterans of the stage, having played big festivals such as Bamboozle and Warped Tour, the four-piece outfit opened up its set to an ecstatic audience.
The band began their set with “Walking Separate Ways,” the first track off their latest, well-received album, “Full of War.”
Brawny vocalist Brandon Roundtree balanced his tough outward appearance with a performance that captured the entire audience from the first belted-out chorus.
Roundtree and the rest of the band (drummer Ryan Tinsley, bassist Corey Thomas, and guitarist Alex Howard) continued the rest of their set mixing up newer songs with fan favorites from 2010 release “Fluorescent Youth.”
The group ended their set strongly with “Make Them Remember,” a song Roundtree made clear was specifically for the youth of today that feel the need to break out of what is considered “normal,” and “Better Life,” a power-packed hopeful anthem that cold be compared to some of alternative forefather band Saosin’s better days.
Main supporting band Cute Is What We Aim For was the last to take the stage before the headliner.
The Buffalo, NY band, who came onto the alternative music scene in 2005 but dropped off the radar when they lost every member, except for vocalist Shaant Hacikyan, in early 2011.
Hacikyan slid onto the stage with the uncontainable charisma fans know and love, alongside his returning band mates, guitarist Jeff Czum and drummer Tom Falcone, and touring bassist Tyler Long.
Cute played three tracks off their 2008 album “Rotation,” with the rest of the set filled with songs from their breakout record “The Same Old Blood Rush With a New Touch.”
Hacikyan and Co. were clearly appreciative of the scarce but proud longtime fans who sang along to emotional songs like “Fourth Drink Instinct,” “Risqué,” and an unreleased track from the band’s birth, which got many fans singing lightly with tears in their eyes.
At the stroke of 10 p.m., the moment every anxious member of the audience was waiting for had finally arrived.
The lights dimmed for a final time, the curtains drew back, and vocalist Josh Franceschi flailed his arms and legs in front of his already enthusiastic crew, calling for the crowd to get off their feet, as he grabbed the microphone and proceeded into the band’s most energetic song, “Reckless.”
The entire set continued on as a journey, with the band flying through old and new songs, as if taking the fans by the hand and walking through the tale of their lives.
Halfway through the set, a fan collapsed onto the floor, forcing the band to stop playing.
Franceschi made it a point to not promise a continuance of the show until it was certain the fan was OK.
After a near 30-minute delay, paramedics escorted the fan off the floor and the band continued with their set and gained applause and smiling faces throughout the crowd, not only for the passion seen in the close-eyed vocalist reaching for the crowd and guitarists Max Helyer and Chris Miller, bassist Matt Barnes and drummer Dan Flint feeling the need to sing along, while still violently playing their instruments, but for the genuine concern and appreciation for their fans.
With their first headlining tour of the United States, the five British men of You Me At Six played to an impressive full house of fans not even from their native country.
It’s clear that these guys are not the underdogs anymore.