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Red

Artists: Red, Lansdowne

Venue: Manchester, Club Academy

Date: 8th June 2024


"Being familiar with the songs was a big help and the set had a nice balance, even though the ‘End Of Silence’ tracks made the biggest impact."

 
© Dave Bott
© Dave Bott

The summer months generally tend to be slow periods for indoor shows, due to the large number of festivals that are now being run. 2024 still has all the regular festivals in place, but May and now June have still been incredibly busy, with this being my second show in just a few days, and more to follow in quick succession. I’ve been a fan of Red since the 2006 debut, ‘End Of Silence’. The addition of Lansdowne to the touring line-up made attending a show something of a no-brainer, especially as I had planned to see them towards the end of 2023, before the show was cancelled at short notice.


Lansdowne are a Modern Rock five-piece. They emerged into the music scene in 2006 and are based in Boston (USA). The current line-up features Jon Ricci (vocals), Shaun Lichtenstein (guitar), Glenn Mungo (drums), Josh Waterman (guitar) and Mike LaRoche (bass). They have released two full-length albums, ‘Blue Collar Revolver’ (2011) and ‘Medicine (2023), as well as a couple of EPs; the most notable being ‘No Home But The Road’ (2013). When the band took to the stage it was nice to see a healthy sized crowd and they took no time launching into ‘Conquer Them All’. With hardly chance to take a breather, we then got ‘Drag Me Down’ and ‘Medicine’ and the atmosphere was sweaty to say the least, even more so down at the front. The sound could have been better, and the drums were very prominent and Ricci’s vocals a little too low in the mix, and this was a bit of a distraction, but the band’s live ethic could not be faulted. The energy levels were maintained from start to finish and the closing one-two of ‘Watch Me Burn and ‘One Shot’ pretty much had the room bouncing.


Red first visited the UK in October 2022, but I missed their Manchester show on that tour. The musical style can be classed as Modern/Alternative and it has an epic quality, incorporating extensive programmed and string elements. The core of the band is Michael Barnes (vocals), Anthony Armstrong (guitar) and Randy Armstrong (bass), and they have been joined by Brian Medeiros (drums), who has been part of the line-up since 2021. The ‘Rated R Tour’ is a promotional run for the album of the same name (their eighth studio full-length release), which dropped in 2023.


The temperature in the room had gone up considerably when Red began their set with ‘Surrogates’. Once more the sound was dominated by the powerful drums, and I think I will be hearing that snare for weeks to come. Michael Barnes vocals were somewhat buried and only for the fact you could see Anthony Armstrong, you would be hard pressed to know that there was a guitarist at all. Being familiar with the songs was a big help and the set had a nice balance, even though the ‘End Of Silence’ tracks made the biggest impact. Having waited the best part of eighteen years to see/hear these songs performed live, it was these that impressed me most, with ‘Pieces’ and ‘Already Over’ being particular highlights. Another stand-out moment was the acoustic run through ‘Shadows’, when Barnes could be heard clearly, in the process showcasing a great vocal delivery. ‘Death Of Me’ and ‘Release The Panic’ were both in-your-face and powerful, and the crowd reaction was suitably intense. The show came to a close with the band’s signature ‘Breathe Into Me’ and then it was time to finally take in some fresh Manchester air once more.


In recent months I have become more and more disillusioned with some of the Manchester venues, due to poor sound a lighting issues. It was still a great night, but the next time Red (and Lansdowne) hit the UK I will be re-thinking the location.


 

Review & Photos: Dave Bott

 

Gallery All photos © Dave Bott (used with kind permission)

 

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