Picture this; it’s a blustery, damp Saturday evening in Philadelphia and fans are packing into a basement venue known as Underground Arts to witness UK band You Me At Six back in the city of Brotherly Love for the first time in nearly two years. The tour is supporting their sixth studio album, VI, that was released in October 2018. The seventeen date tour consists of mostly intimate shows in clubs, across major cities in the United States.
It’s a late show, all attendees are 21+, and the first opener known as Machineheart doesn’t take the stage until nearly 8:45pm. They’re a female-fronted indie band from Tacoma, Washington with a pretty relaxed vibe. The crowd sways and bobs through their set as the room continuously floods with pink lighting. Second to take the stage is DREAMERS, New York natives who adorn the stage with neon lighting and, appropriately, dream catchers. Their set eases the audience into its high-energy, wonderfully doing their job of hyping the crowd up for the headlining band.
Right around 10:30pm, You Me At Six takes the stage. It’s the all-too-familiar notice of the house lights dying down and your chest rumbling with the crowd’s enthusiastic cheers as the band files one-by-one into their respective places on stage. They opened with “Fast Forward” and fans immediately sang along; not a single soul remained still as they launched into an eighteen song set. Lead singer, Josh, makes use out of every inch of the stage and is singing right to the fans. His energy radiates into the room and it’s hard not to feel happy while he’s non-stop smiling as he sings.
It’s one of the most laid back shows I’ve ever witnessed, in terms of crowd-surfing and moshing, but the energy is thick in the air and undeniable. Hundreds of voices bounce off the walls through some of the band’s biggest hits during their fifteen-year career before it’s time to slow things down. Josh asks that the house and stage lights be shut off, following with requesting that fans take out their phones or lighters or flashlights and light-up the venue themselves during “Take On the World,” a song with lyrics that are full of hope and messages of not being alone. It’s a special, intimate moment in this small room.
There’s not even a moment to breathe before the room switches right back into upbeat melodies and dancing the night away. The band is grateful to anyone who’s come out, joking about having a round of drinks once the show is over, to celebrate being back in Philadelphia, since the show is all 21+. It was mostly light-hearted fun and banter to finish out the night, a bit more joking about how encores work. As a whole, YMAS’s charisma on stage is enchanting to witness. They absolutely know how to put on an excellent show, never lacking in charm or personality. The night ends with a four-song encore, “Underdog” being their final number. The crowd is noisy and riled- up, chanting with as much force as they could possibly muster, long after all five members of You Me At Six exits the stage.
Fast Forward / Lived a Lie / Reckless / Loverboy / Back Again / Night People / Fresh Start Fever / Cold Night / Predictable / Give / 3AM / Take on the World / I O U / Bite My Tongue / Room to Breathe / No One Does It Better / Straight to My Head / Underdog