By Lauren Simpson
I don’t think anyone was quite expecting the explosion AWOLNATION brought to the O2 ABC stage when they turned up to support Billy Talent last night. After quietly walking on, with lead singer Aaron Bruno waving sweetly to those who were clinging to the barrier at the front, they literally launched into the grungy but soulful Guilty Filthy Soul, closely followed by Not Your Fault, which went down a storm with its perfect blend of electro-rock.
Kill Your Heroes, a recent single from the band, is a pop-electro track. This, combined with Bruno’s howling vocals, helped to get the audience moving and singing along. Vocally Bruno gave it his all, ranging from grungy shouts which echoed through the ABC, to softer, smoother, eardrum-pleasing tones.
On stage Bruno is one of the most interesting and bizarre performers I have ever seen, with his odd dance moves and shapes; there were times when I’m not sure even he knew what he was doing, but he definitely had the attention of everyone in the venue. He’s a great performer, full of passion and charisma, willing the Glasgow audience to “go crazy” and start a mosh pit.
A pleasant surprise from the LA rockers came in the form of slower piano-driven track All I Need, with the band telling fans to put their arms around each other, giving the crowd a moment to recover from the energetic set. The brilliant Joke, however, was the overwhelming highlight of the night. Bruno plugged in his guitar to join the rest of the band members instrumentally, creating a triumphant, epic sound, lasting well over five minutes. It did verge a little on the cheesy when the whole band were head banging in unison, but you can’t deny that they put on a show!
AWOLNATION ended their set with Sail, one of their biggest singles to date, followed by Burn It Down, a real aggressive rock ‘n’ roll track which had the crowd well and truly warmed up for Billy Talent. A triumphant set from the Californian electro-rockers, who played the O2 ABC as if they were the headline act- maybe next time they will be.