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Knocked Loose Tear Manchester Up On Their Sold-Out UK Run

Well, the time has come for arguably the best tour we’re going to get this year, the anticipation has been absolutely off the scales. Hardcore monsters, Knocked Loose are finally here in the more than deserved, sold-out, Manchester Academy. With this being their biggest UK headline gig to date, I would bet my bottom dollar on this being one of the craziest gigs I have ever been to. Spoiler alert, it absolutely was. After what we would say was a bloody long wait, the Kentucky titans are back on UK soil after their beyond-triumphant festival sets last summer. Brutal, anarchy, chaos; three must-have ingredients for the perfect KL gig. They delivered last year so I can only guess, this one is going to be ballistic. The first thing to point out was the size of the goddam queue waiting for doors. I kid you not, I’ve never seen anything quite like it and with such a mix of people too. I expected extreme metal heads but there was a decent variety of fans which just shows you, Knocked Loose brings us all together. Before we know it, 7 pm arrives and off into the venue we go. It certainly wasn’t long before the crowd were practicing their windmill arms, karate kicks, two-stepping and cartwheels, all ready to bring destruction to the pit later on.

The first band to take the stage tonight are about to treat us to a proper French frenzy. Hardcore wizards, Headbussa.

Now all I can say is just, wow. These guys know how to get a crowd moving and I mean moving. The floor was literally rumbling, the barriers were shaking, the crowd were jumping and I, well I was having the time of my life. The energy was just through the roof and I loved it.

There are some people tonight who only turned up for KL and all I can say is what a huge mistake, Headbussa are not to be missed. Each song hit like an assault of the senses, with scathing guitar riffs and raw vocals, the whole vibe was absolutely big stage-worthy. However, I could see it in their eyes these guys would love nothing more than to jump into the pit and mosh with us lot, they are as hardcore as you can get. Although being stuck on the stage, the Headbussa gang have no problem ripping the stage to shreds and making it their own, personal moshing ground.

Lead singer, Loïc Le Goff is a force to be reckoned with, jumping and diving all over the place. His stage presence is definitely like no other. With their set coming to a close, I could only wish it could’ve been longer and by the looks of the pit, well I’m damn sure they’d agree. Plenty more Headbussa moshing to be done, let’s hope we get a headlining gig soon.

A short while later and the final support are up next on the stage. American, post-metal band, Deafheaven.

Straight off the bat, I think it’s safe to say that these guys are much more instrumental-focused rather than vocal. Typically, it’s not normally my thing however Deafheaven knew what they were doing and the sheer amount of their band tees I’ve seen in the crowd tonight is admirable. One thing I noticed was George’s (vocalist) microphone was slightly quieter than normal but that was the best part, you could really hear and feel the music, the riffs of the guitars, the pounding of the drums; it felt almost a part of you. Not to mention the fans, they were going absolutely mental. I don’t know how it’s possible for a pit to just continuously get more and more brutal but it did.

Frontman, George Clarke, commands the stage like no other, almost as though he is the master pulling our strings and we are the puppets; if he wants a mosh pit, he will get one. If he wants us to jump, we will job. Whatever he says, goes. Every little detail even down to Clarke’s facial expression are integral parts of what makes this performance so compelling.

Although there were a few pits now and then, there also lay calm moments before the storm. Deafheaven gave us a sanctuary of contentment, each member fully absorbed in the experience. Now in regards to how many songs are on the set list, if I told you 5 would you believe me? Yep, only 5. However, if you know Deafheaven, you know each of their songs are going on 9-10 minutes… crazy right? You’d think, surely the crowd would get bored? Absolutely not.

Throughout their whole set, every single person was vibing, fuelling the band's energy even more. Insane and perfectly executed show.

The time has finally come for the moment everyone has been waiting for. I stood in the pit and I could feel the nerves in my stomach; I was beyond excited. I’ve wanted to see these guys for ages and tonight was finally the night.

The lights go dark and the guitar intro to Deep In The Willow begins to echo around the venue. One word; goosebumps. This is the type of moment I wish I could bottle up and keep forever. It was absolutely euphoric. Knocked Loose are known worldwide for being THE hardest hardcore band in the metal scene right now. Known for having the craziest most brutal, most absolutely insane mosh pits of all time. Known for being unapologetically Knocked Loose. Get ready because all hell is about to break loose.

All five members of the band walk out on the stage like the kings they are and unleash absolute hell into the venue. Deep In The Willow is the perfect opener for KL, I don’t know how to put it but it’s just them. It’s fast, it’s aggressive, it hits you in the stomach; it’s spot on. The whole room erupts and within seconds we had endless bodies flying over the barrier. I only wish I could see the pit. This is my first time hearing this song live, bearing in mind it’s one of my favourites and it absolutely went above and beyond my expectations, I could hardly concentrate on taking photos at this point. If you know this song, you’ll know exactly what the best part is. Bryan (vocalist) comes to the very front of the stage, mic in the air and screams “What’s my fucking name”, followed by the iconic guitar riff and the crowd's response of “Knocked Loose Motherfucker” and then the beautiful breakdown hits. Goddam, this is insane.

The set list tonight was 100% chosen to create maximum chaos, it was definitely expertly crafted offering a spread of their best discography and dirty breakdowns. Up next are Where Light Divides The Holler and God Knows (with an appearance from George Clarke (Deafheaven)). Again, words cannot simply describe how crazy this crowd was tonight. I genuinely have not seen anything like it. Not to mention how loud they were, I could barely hear Bryan sing and I was at the front. The security definitely got their steps and stretches in tonight, they might not have been in the mosh pit but they certainly felt the force. It must be incredible to see from the stage. Speaking of, let’s go back to the band for a moment. These guys are absolute beasts and are for sure meant to be where they are today. The way they command the stage is mesmerising, each playing such an important role in the show. From Isaac Hale’s dash of crowd control and Nicko n Kevin on the other side of the stage keeping it tight on the guitars to the other Kevin smashing it out on the drums… these guys work together in perfect unison. The five of them each make us feel alive and that is something that money simply can’t buy.

Up next we’ve got the likes of Deadringer, Belleville (joined by Loïc of Headbussa), Oblivion’s Peak and finally, the one I think most of us have been waiting for… their week-old single, Blinding Faith. By god did that go hard. To say it’s only been out in the world for a few days, the lads have already seen it surpass over one million streams. Phenomenal. Bryan’s guttural growls really shine through on this track, it sounds even better live than through my earphones and trust me, I’ve had it on repeat, no shame. Such a bloody good song to two-step to by the way, I could now see the pit clear as day and even though it looked fun, you would never catch me in there.

We move on to yet another stand-out moment of the night for an insane performer of All My Friends with the one and only hardcore legend himself, Alex Taylor of Malevolence. Before you ask, no they did not do Keep Your Distance, yes I am disappointed but, this song made up for it. Seeing Bryan and Alex’s chemistry on stage makes me love the hardcore scene even more than I already do. Two peas in a pod them two. Bloody love it.

Next, we’ve got the likes of …And Still I Wander South, Mistakes Like Fractures and the classic which everyone loves, Billy No Mates. But of course, the Oldham lads couldn’t leave us without playing the song that you could say got them here in the first place. Hands up, who wants to hear Bryan go Arf Arf? Anyone? Just me? Nah, every single person in this room tonight has been patiently waiting for the absolute iconic Arf Arf and the time has now come. Counting Worms is here to rip this place up, with no remorse. I think this song went the craziest tonight, easy. Even though it’s one of the shortest, you can’t argue with the Arf Arf, can you?

As we approach the end, there can only be one song left to play. Probably in the top three of their most popular songs and again, another one of my favourites. The night is shut down with Everything Is Quiet Now. Wow, wow, wow. What else can be said here, I have officially run out of words to describe a Knocked Loose gig so it sounds like you’re just gonna have to experience it yourself. Trust me, you not only need to, you have to.

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