Concert Review // Peace @ Digital

PeaceBirmingham-based indie band Peace have recently been touring the UK with their highly successful debut album, In Love. They played Newcastle’s Digital on December 1st with support from Drenge.

Drenge began the night with a quite a long set, playing all of the well-known songs off their recently released self-titled album. Although the atmosphere in the crowd during the two brother’s performance wasn’t electric at first, during Fuckabout most people were singing along to the heavy chorus and during their last song, Face Like a Skull, people were jumping around as if Drenge were the headlining act of the night. After Drenge’s set though, I and everyone else around me felt more anticipation for Peace.

At this point I was at the barrier in front of a tiny stage, watching technicians set up Peace’s extremely cool peace sign shaped lights. After waiting for what seemed like hours, Peace appeared confidently and performed Waste of Paint– one of the lesser known songs from In Love. Follow Baby was next, and the crowd went crazy over the raw guitar riffs and infectious lyrics. Follow Baby was followed by Higher Than the Sun, Drain, and one of the slower songs off the overall upbeat album- Float Forever.

During the performance Harrison Koisser, the bands vocalist, made a lot of interaction with the crowd. At one point someone threw their denim jacket onstage and Koisser wore it for the remainder of the night, saying he would trade with the owner of the jacket later. After Float Forever, the atmosphere was still brilliant; somehow it seemed to get even better with the psychedelic sound of Lovesick. The quartet then performed one of their new, never before played songs, Money.

After Toxic and Sugarstone, the almost eerie sound of Wraith kicked in and the atmosphere was amazing, everyone was jumping around and dancing to the unique sound that is Harrison Koisser’s vocals. People were sitting on their friend’s shoulders and shouting the band member’s names-desperate for a bit of attention off undoubtedly one of the best bands of the year. One of my personal favourites was performed afterwards- 1998. The song lasts a lengthy ten minutes and for us, was basically just ten minutes of dancing and jumping around like lunatics while the band embraced the wonderful atmosphere. As Peace left the stage everyone at the barrier reached their hands out, hoping for an opportunity to say that a member of Peace touched their hand.

Undeniably my favourite Peace song, California Daze, was the first song to be played in the encore. Although it isn’t the most upbeat song from In Love, it’s in keeping with the positive, chilled vibes that can be seen throughout the album. I’m pretty sure everyone felt quite emotional at that point, well at least I did; seeing one of my favourite bands live for the second time and the atmosphere was incredible- I couldn’t have asked for more.

The atmosphere was about to get even better when Koisser asked, “It’s the first of December, isn’t it?” Everyone knew what was coming. A few days prior to the gig Peace had uploaded a video of them doing a cover of Wham!’s “Last Christmas” on Youtube. It wasn’t on the setlist, but Koisser said that they’d “give it a bash,” and despite getting the lyrics to the song wrong, it was definitely a highlight of the gig.

Arguably the band’s most well-known song, Bloodshake, concluded what was an excellent live performance of one of the best bands of 2013. The atmosphere remained incredible throughout the song and the band left the stage smiling and high-fiving the superfans at the barrier. Peace are not only great performers, but with Koisser interacting with the crowd they’re an entertaining band to watch too. Considering this performance I would definitely class them as one of the best live acts of 2013, and after the gig I have a lot of anticipation to hear their new material.

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Laura Hague

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