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Fightstar - Leeds Cockpit

Charlie and co fail to ignite in Leeds.

2 Nov 2009, Leeds Cockpit // By Toni-Michelle Spencer // Rating: 3/5

Even though this particular Fightstar visit to Leeds was a little later than originally planned, it was better late than never. Opening up were Yorkshire's very own Laruso, who are quite frankly brilliant. The few dedicated fans at the front 'get it', but sadly the vast majority gathered just don’t seem to understand at all. And not for lack of effort on the band’s part; energy abounding and sheer brilliance in abundance. Bless ‘em. Laruso put up one hell of a fight – and some of us are won over. Shame about the rest, though.

After such a great start, great things are expected of main support Deaf Havana. Sadly, we’re massively let down. The music itself is actually alright, but it’s ruined beyond repair or recoup by the increasingly annoying ‘screamo’ bullshit. Somebody please stop him. I beg you. It’s comforting to know they’ll go away eventually.

In true Fightstar fashion, it begins a little ominously with an intro consisting of seemingly meaningless dialogue played to a darkened venue and expectant crowd. Having seen them a fair few times, I’m used to these kind of entrances, so it's time for a shake-up, I think. Still, don’t they also say: 'if it ain’t broke, why fix it?'. They explode into a well loved track and the crowd below instantly go crazy. This time is no different, opening with crowd-pleaser ‘Tannhauser Gate’ and following it nicely with ‘Colours Bleed…’

Previous single ‘The English Way’ proves a winner, as usual. New track ‘A City On Fire’ is something pretty special and yet more proof Fightstar have exactly what it takes. The addition of ‘War Machine’ is no different – having almost reduced me to tears by the end of the first line, it’s obvious that they know exactly what they’re doing – crafting and combining lyrics and music that can move, chill and excite every human emotion all at once.

‘Amaze Us’ and ‘Deathcar’ get their usual response – intense, manic and fascinating to watch from a distance. Once again, Charlie passes the buck to the crowd to sing that line in ‘Deathcar’, and they’re more than willing. Just once – just once – I’d like to hear him do it himself; from the heart. Although the crowd give it their all, its potential power, clout and emotion is sorely missing.

As usual, the night's drawn to a close with ‘Palahniuk’s Laughter’ – usual, but somehow it kind of seems necessary. It doesn’t fit anywhere else in the set list anymore – but that’s ok; it works. Despite expecting it, ‘Until Then’ has been left out. Rumour has it Charlie’s vocals weren't up to it… and sadly, I agree. That’s not to say the overall performance was shoddy; it wasn’t, just a little lacklustre.