KOKO Camden turned into a one-day festival being part of the Never Say Die Tour 2018!
Since 2008, the Never Say Die Tour, a European touring metalcore festival sponsored by Impericon, takes place in different countries around Europe each autumn. Featuring national and international acts from genres of the metalcore, deathcore and hardcore punk scenes, this year’s line-up included the Californian post-hardcore band Thousand Below, the American metal band Currents, the London based hardcore quintet Polar, the Welsh alternative outlet Casey, the German post-hardcore sextet Alazka, the Australian hardcore outlet Northlane, and the American ambient metalcore band Being As An Ocean.
Starting the tour in Wiesbaden (GER), one of the in total 21 shows was in London (UK). The venue, KOKO in Camden Town, is an old theatre that has been transformed into one of the premier live music venues in the city. Still having the theatrical look inside and out, the 1410 capacity venue provided a great atmosphere for the Never Say Die concerts. Opening the doors around 5pm, the venue slowly started filling up with a rather young audience.
First band of the evening was Thousand Below who tried their best to get the crowd started even though there were only a few people there yet. The mix of their heavy guitar sound, the screamed verses and melodic choruses creates a dynamic set demanding the crowd to get moving just before Currents enter the stage to bring in the heavy breakdown which led to constant circle pits in front of the sage. Even though there was growing engagement and increasing energy levels in the crowd, it needed the gritty sound and energetic performance of Polar, to get the evening started and the crowd fully moving.
With each band the venue got more packed and the energy in the room increased. Casey, the fourth band on the stage took the tension and energy that was left after Polar left the stage and delivered an atmospheric show that turned the energy into heart-breaking and vulnerable vibes which the audience seemed to enjoy very much. With their emotionally raw lyrics and ambient guitar sounds filling the room with chilly vibes, the audience is fully captured by their performance chanting all the lyrics back to the stage, making the set one of the highlights of the night.
Next on the stage was Alazka who started off their set with a blast of energy, demanding the crowd to get moving. The mix between heavily screamed vocals in the verses and the melodic clean vocals in the choruses animated the crowd to join in and sing along. Both vocalists jumped off the stage to join the crowd whose excitement grew with each song.
As the lights turned off, Being As An Ocean entered the stage bringing back the atmospheric ambience vibes Casey created earlier in their set. The combination of screamed, clean and spoken vocals accompanied by atmospheric guitars and synth heavy sounds shifted the energy and created an atmospheric space. Creating the connection to the fans, Joel (vocals) stepped off the stage to join the crowd and sing the vocals to everyone directly. With the fans chanting the lyrics back to the stage and the overall vibes of the set it was another highlight of the night, just before Northlane finished off the evening with a blast.
Playing a good mix of their older and new songs, including their latest release Vultures, the band didn’t fail to get every single person in the room of their feet. Marcus’ vocal range is impressive and caters the atmospheric melodic hardcore sound of the music. The mix of heavy guitar riffs, atmospheric interludes and an alternation of screamed and clean vocals creates both energy and ambient vibes which turned their set into an unforgettable experience. Everyone in the crowd screamed the lyrics back to the band, jumped along and run around in circle pits. The light show complimented the already magical vibes inside the venue. Altogether, Northlane’s set was one of the highlights of the evening ending the one-day festival with an unforgettable show.
Despite some technical issues and a rather bad acoustic caused through the issues, it was a great evening with amazing bands who seemed to enjoy their time on stage and highly appreciated the energy of the crowd. Everyone enjoyed themselves, singing along, jumping around or joining the circle pits in front of the stage. It definitely was a special time!
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