LIVE: Alesana w/ LoveLess, Despite My Deepest Fear
With tonight’s vast room at London Garage woefully under attended, it transpires that this show may have creeped up on a few too many. Fortunately for North Carolina’s Alesana you can always rely on the bands hardcore faithful to show face and make some movement in the front row, and it’s that dedication that ultimately salvages what is destined to be a dour show.
Dour because the under-cards show absolutely no sign of lifting tonight beyond first gear. While Despite My Deepest Fear do enough to rescue their set from the jaws of defeat (the bands clean vocalist is visibly worse for wear with a sore throat) with their onstage energy, such energy doesn’t save LoveLess from looking completely bereft of any quality that befits a band on a stage of this size. The quintets frontman is a ball of enthusiasm, but that unfortunately doesn’t translate to his tone deaf vocals. Like a Poundland AFI, you’d be best saving your pennies for the real deal.
Alesana, perhaps fittingly, are the first taste of any real quality, and it’s quite clearly an opinion shared by the audience as they start to look lively for the first time. The opening salvo of ‘Praeludium’ and ‘Nevermore’ get things warmed up, and with each passing song both the band and fans start to grow in to the set. Frontman Dennis Lee cuts a mischievous character on stage, but oozes the subtle confidence of a man who knows he has the audience in the palm of his hands. Guitarist and lead vocalist Shawn Milke is the vertebrae of the band, constantly communicating with an adoring crowd and with vocals as clean as they come. He looks the part and sounds the part, the embodiment of a modern rock star. Their may be a smaller audience than you would expect, but you get the sense that this is completely lost on the band. The performance would have the same commitment if the room was rammed you suspect, and it makes the encore of fan favourite ‘Apology’ all the more welcome.
With a less than underwhelming support card, you really do rely on the headline band to pull through and deliver the goods. Alesana certainly ticked that box.