The British are coming; the British are coming! Okay, so no one was actually chanting that (at least, I don’t think), but the crowd very well could have been Friday night (Feb. 2) as two out of the four bands taking the stage at PlayStation Theatre were British, and in the face of New York City’s blistering cold, they were bringing the heat.
The first of U.K.’s finest, and the second band to perform was the up-and-coming horror punk band, Creeper. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing them yet, you’re going to want to. Their stint on Warped Tour last summer was an indication of their allure and stage-presence, but nothing compared to witnessing them play to a packed room in Times Square.
From the moment they hit the stage, they commanded all attention. Donning almost all black (The Aquarian’s sweet spot), and some wicked eyeliner, you were captivated before they even began. Creeper shone brightest as they entered into “Winona Forever” — a crowd-favorite off their debut album, Eternity, in Your Arms — even more apt in this time of the Stranger Things craze.
Lead vocalist, Will Gould crooning in angst-filled glory, “You could be my Winona/And I could get your name in a heart tattoo on my arm,” garners shouts, but the tracks in which keyboardist and backing vocalist, Hannah Greenwood, steals the spotlight are a personal favorite. As they leave the stage after six songs, the audience is only left wanting more.
Seaway perform next, only further revving the crowd for the night’s main act, Neck Deep.
The quintet kick-it into gear out of the gate with single, “Happy Judgement Day” off their Summer 2017 release, The Peace and The Panic. In the face of the screams of the venue’s sold-out crowd, the band never falters, the mass of bodies singing along with every word.
Escaping from the frigid winds outside, the floor is a horde of thick air and sweat-drenched clothes as crowd-surfers head toward the stage to catch a closer glimpse of lead singer, Ben Barlow, or attempt to initiate eye-contact with other members as they race from the barricade back to the floor.
Old-favorites, like “Kali Ma,” bring the fans to a roar, making conversation nearly impossible — but hey, who wants to talk when you can be screaming and bobbing along?
The indisputable track of the night didn’t even come from the encore (even though the encore was also lit), but from mid-set as Neck Deep delves into “In Bloom.” It shows off all the Brits have to offer, shifting from a mid-tempo alt-rock vibe showcasing Barlow’s softer vocals into a pop-punk jam as a chord progression drives you into the undeniably catchy chorus, “And stop calling me out, we’re never going to/Put the pieces back together/If you won’t let me get better.”
And after a show like that, that’s exactly what fans were left doing; picking up the pieces of themselves they left sprawled on the venue floor, wishing they could do it all again.