Tonight Alive at The Underworld
Skinny jeans and era cap-wearing teenagers swarm in bright colours of Camden’s Underworld, in which Australian pop punkers Tonight Alive gather their fans and promote a number of new singles in preparation for their second LP (the title is yet to be announced). Almost as soon as they took to the stage, screams and cries from the audience emerged, and the band swiftly started playing despite the decibel levels of the crowd not dying down.
Comparing the group to Paramore seems trite (female lead singer Jenna McDougall and the band’s relatively young age make these comparisons seem lazy) but really, Tonight Alive are attempting to be a karaoke rehash of that band circa 2007 – and a very lacklustre one at that. This comes as no surprise, considering the band is part of the brief yet popular emergence of teen punk rock. Whereas Paramore have recently shown signs of maturing, Tonight Alive come off as unsubstantial, tame and what’s worse, fairly unoriginal. The songs are repetitive (the acoustic number broke the monotony, due to an unexpected marriage proposal on stage from a couple in the audience) and the lyrics are so beguilingly anodyne that they are unfortunately rather uninspired.
Their more recent singles such as Breakdown and their signature tune Wasting Away allowed the fans to become more frenzied and uncontrolled, which undeniably added to the atmosphere. Sadly though their music was rather hollow, but they do at least show that they have a kinship with their fans which, for a band, is always an important factor.
We’ve seen this type of “pop punk-rock” before. It was refreshing then, but it seems dull. Of course, this is a band tailored specifically for a young demographic and the fans present were obviously devotees. Anybody of a young age will probably enjoy the music (it’s difficult to imagine an older audience enjoying the band yet there were some exceptions). If you’re over the age of seventeen it is quite likely that you will keep at a distance.
Photos: Bartek Odias
Watch the video for Breakdown here: