Having generated a lot of attention in their homeland of Australia, The Getaway Plan are in high spirits as they open the show. Entertaining the crowd with a rush of rock infused anthems, the four-piece perform a pulsating set of catchy songs including the vigorous 'Where The City Meets The Sea'. With this only being their second visit to the UK, the audience stand and observe this talented band, as they make waves with a blistering performance. Their tight set was well received and it's clear that they will be making a name for themselves over here very soon.
It's not the first time Scottish indie powerpop trio The Xcerts have supported Anberlin. The three-piece have worked themselves up as the main support slot, having opened for the band back on their 2010 tour.
Climbing the ranks of the British rock scene, the hardworking band continue to improve, and this passionate performance dictates the reasons why they'll soon be flying high with bands such as Don Broco and Deaf Havana. Their raw energy reminded me of fellow Scotland band Twin Atlantic, and it baffles me why they're not gracing the covers of major rock magazines.
The anticipation is building in the room, as fans try and squeeze as far to the front as possible. As the lights dims a deafening roar fills the venue as Anberlin take to the stage, wasting no time and launching into the pulsating sounds of 'Little Tyrants' and sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Lead singer Stephen Christian paces around the stage without as much as a breath, drawing the crowd in with his charismatic charm. It's not a set for the faint hearted as Anberlin bombard through a series of headbanging tracks including 'We Owe This To Ourselves' and fan favourite 'Paperthin Hymn'.
Drummer Nathan Young pounds his drums with such force and passion whilst bassist Deon Rexroat screams the lyrics out to the audience, who are at a point of hysteria. Stephen announces that he knew before tonight began that it will be Anberlin's best UK show ever, and the genuine tone in his voice makes you truly believe that.
Tonight we get a taste of all six albums, with title track 'Never Take Friendship Personal' sending us back to the sounds of 2005, whereas the thumping 'The Resistance' from 2008's New Surrender which contains some of their greatest guitar riffs, with both guitarists Joey Milligan and Christian McAlhaney complimenting each other with their live intensity.
Stephen can barely hear his own voice during the lyrically powerful 'Dismantle. Repair' as the audience sing back every word. By the time the chorus hits, every audience member has their arms in the air. It really is an incredible atmosphere. Tonight's set is all about keeping this audience off their feet, and new track 'Other Side' and the shimmering 'Impossible' has everyone shouting whoa-oh like it's the best night of their lives.
Having seen this band play four times previously, this is the most solid I have ever seen them. 'Art of War' echoes inside these walls, with Stephen's vocals soaring, hitting every high note. One of their most well known songs 'Feel Good Drag' intensifies the crowd, as I wonder just how they aren't bigger than they are.
The only criticism I have for their set tonight was choosing 'Reclusion' from their Cities album, rather than one of their softer songs such as 'The Unwinding Cable Car' which would have gone down a treat.
The time comes for their closing song, the stunning 'Self-Starter' where Stephen commands the crowd, launching himself into a sea of arms. The fans are chanting "Anberlin" as they leave the stage, to what is a relatively short encore, and returning to two more lively fan favourites in 'Godspeed' and 'Someone Anyone'.
Tonight proved Anberlin's worthiness to the UK scene, and they absolutely nailed their lively and energetic performance. It's shows like these which make American bands come back for more, there just isn't a crowd like a British crowd. Stephen wasn't lying when he said tonight would be their best UK show, and I can bet their next UK tour won't be long from now.
Photos by Laura Harvey Photography