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8 out of 10
If the first band on the list was anything to go by, it was going to be a long night! Innerpartysystem weren't due on stage until 10.30pm and I had just finished my interview with 2 members of the band (http://www.dieshellsuit.co.uk/article_detail.asp?rID=3074) at 7pm.
I was really looking forward to seeing IPS live as I had been lucky enough to review their recent single and album and had enjoyed them both.
When I arrived at the venue to find out there were 4 stages split over 3 venues on the same road in Middlesbrough, I was glad to see my pass allowed me to roam freely and see all the stages to catch lots of live acts - just up my road.
The only problem was that the first 2 bands I saw were. well, not to beat around any bushes - rubbish. I won't give the bands names, to save them the embarrassment, but it just didn't get better. The only band who before Innerpartysystem who were any good was their tour support band 'Furthest Drive Home'. Keep an ear for them, and any gig listings, definitely worth checking out.
After a delay with some problems with sound, IPS leapt into their set with an explosion of bright backlit lights and lasers. The band performed brilliantly. The vocals were strong and the heavy drumming was amazing. The keys, programming and backing vocals were also excellent and the whole band gel so well together.
I would love to see this band again but on a larger stage instead of the small stage here (well, I call it a stage the drummer was on one, but the rest of the band were on the same level as the crowd, so it was very hard for the small groupie girls at the back to see anything).
The band performed the most uplifting songs from the album (http://www.dieshellsuit.co.uk/article_detail.asp?rID=2968) without any breaks and this worked just as well as any good mixtape.
Apart from the bad bands at the start, Innerpartysystem made up for the rest of the night.
Go check them out, next time they are back on our shores.