You Me At Six, Hawthorne Theater, Portland OR 10/7/13 – by Amanda Burd
You Me At Six have made the trek halfway across the world from the United Kingdom to play in the U.S eight times, but this is the first time they were running the show. They’ve supported other bands and been welcomed onto Warped Tour, but never before had they done a proper headlining tour in America.
At a normal show inside the Hawthorne Theater in Portland OR you would generally see 200ish people fill the room. Half of them would be towards the stage, being immersed in the performance. The other half would hold back, standing near the back of the room, observing. But when You Me At Six took the stage, something unusual happened. The same 200ish people were inside the room, but there were maybe 15 people hanging back. The rest of the crowd was jumping, waving their arms, dancing, and screaming the words to every song YMAS played. Maybe it was because the crowd knew they needed to take advantage of having the opportunity to see a band from a land far far away play their town, or maybe it was just because YMAS is that good live.
The majority of You Me at Six’s set consisted of songs off their most recent release, Sinners Never Sleep. These songs got the most out of the crowd, with everyone in the room chanting the infectious intro to “Loverboy”, or screaming along with vocalist Josh Franceschi as he filled in for a bridge normally screamed by Oli Sykes in “Bite My Tongue”. Between songs, Franceschi touched on the fact that YMAS has been together for seven years. This lead into “Take Off Your Colours” from their 2008 album of the same name, which really launched their career in the UK. Their stage presence and perfectly executed and timed live performance are proof of their long history together, but it’s still impressive that all the members are 23 or younger. YMAS slowed down the set with “Crash” and “Fireworks” before playing a select few songs off their second album Hold Me Down. They also treated the crowd to their new song “Lived a Lie”. The set ended with one of their bigger hits “Underdog”.
You Me At Six tackled a U.S headlining tour at the perfect time in their career. They’ve been around long enough and traveled to the U.S enough times for people to know them and like them, but they didn’t rush headlining and built up enough anticipation for people to go absolutely crazy when the time finally came.