Is there a better way to spend a chilly November evening then in the company of so many great, young bands? London might be leaning into wintery weather but you wouldn’t know it, such is the heat coming out of the Islington Academy 2.
A night of hard rock and heavy metal music, the main attraction might have been Skarlett Riot but they were in real danger of being blown off the stage by their support acts. Although opening band, Sinners in the City aren’t one of them.
Things just aren’t quite clicking and a broken string on a guitar near the end of their set doesn’t help matters. The crowd are unenthused and the energy is there in just dribs and drabs. It’s just not connecting and while we hate to say these words, it’s just not very good at all. Do they get things warmed up? It’s getting there but the aforementioned guitar string cools things off and the last two tracks pass by with little to no interest from anyone.
If there’s a band you can always rely on for excitement though, it is the epic Ghosts of Atlantis. The odd one out on this bill? Certainly the heaviest band on the bill, and you can see there are a few puzzled faces when they come out on stage. Faces that turn to smiles as Ghosts of Atlantis continue to prove just why everyone who sees or hears them is talking about them.
They’re beyond watchable, even when packed on to a tiny stage, and one of the most listenable symphonic metal bands in a very long time. They create atmosphere like few others and back up the image with tracks that slay and soar. This was their last show of the year and we can only hope they have big things in plan for us going forward.
Things stay on the up as Liberty Lies arrive to bring even more energy and a ton of hard rocking, danceable tracks to the party. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, most of all the band. It speaks volumes about the quality of Liberty Lies’ live show that when asked the age-old question about who has seen Liberty Lies before, the majority of hands go up on the ‘no’ side of things. They’ve definitely won themselves some new fans tonight.
Which brings us to the main event and the very popular hard rock/metal crossover band, Scarlett Riot. Finally in a position to tour their May released third album, Invicta.
It means a lot to them, you can tell. It also means a lot to their fanbase, you can also tell that. The rabid crowd make sure Skarlett Riot know just how glad they’re to have them back and Skarlett Riot repay their patience with a setlist of bangers. Bangers spread throughout their career to date but often, the songs from Invicta get the loudest reaction.
Rightfully so, as they sound fantastic. In fact, Scarlett Riot are on a tear tonight. You seriously wouldn’t believe that tonight is only their second show in two years.
What a fantastic night of rock and metal. The future of our scene is in great hands with bands like these.
Skarlett Riot With Liberty Lies, Ghosts of Atlantis & Sinners in the City at Islington Academy 2, London (17/11/21)
Skarlett Riot - 8/10
Liberty Lies - 8/10
Ghosts of Atlantis - 9/10
Sinners in the City - 4/10