Set It Off + Weathers + Cemetery Sun + Lizzy Farrall
@ O2 Forum Kentish Town
11 November 2022
Photos and review by E Jepson
Starting the night off very strong, Lizzy Farrall made herself known to the adoring fans pressed against the barrier. Whist fans were still lined up outside, Lizzy put on an incredible performance with her band: singing angelically, and dancing rather seductively. As the set went on Lizzy threw one of her garter straps into the crowd causing everyone to huddle together in the hope of being the lucky winner. As pink, green and yellow lights danced around the stage so did the band, throwing themselves around in circles, everyone was surprised they didn’t get dizzy. With such a hold on the crowd, Lizzy invited everyone to bend down and crouch in anticipation of the tuneful chorus in which everyone jumped up and began dancing, putting all of their power into it.
As the lights dimmed to a pink-purple the crew came out, resetting the stage in anticipation of Cemetery Sun. With them was guitarist Matt Scarpelli, who posed for a fan photo on the side of the stage then knelt down for one from their photographer. As the lights faded to orange, vocalist Josh Dotty cautiously strode onto the stage to make a short speech. He started off by explaining how all their gear had been stolen only a few nights ago in Manchester making it impossible to them to play in Birmingham last night. Apologizing profusely, he explained that the kind guys on the tour had allowed them to borrow ever single piece of their gear to make tonight’s gig happen. The whole crowd erupted in thanks for this generous gift to Cemetery Sun. Allowing the crowd’s cheers to die out, the rest of the band joined Josh on stage to begin their first song of a mind-blowing set, and with the crowd immediately engaged people began singing and dancing along.
Before playing 19, Josh took a moment to speak, explaining how this song was fully up to everyone’s own interpretation. Shortly after the beginning of the set, Lizzie came into the venue from the stage door, alcohol in hand, to enjoy Cemetery Sun’s set. As the stage filled with a flood of warm orange, Josh led the venue into ‘Piece of Shit’ which had the crowd very quickly singing as a call and response type of game. With such a powerful set it was no wonder that some audience members had tears in their eyes when Josh asked everyone to pull out their phone torches.
With the lights fading into a deep red, matching Josh’s hair, he paused to exclaim ‘this is great, this is so refreshing’ before checking if they had time for their final 2 songs. Just as quickly as the last song ended the next began, getting people clapping their hands over their heads immediately. With Josh putting so much power and emotion into every word he sings, the constant crowd interaction, and incredible harmonies from Matt Scarpelli and Elliott Polokoff, it’s no wonder why Cemetery Sun has gained such a devout following. Leading into their last song, ‘Chemical Warfare’, Josh asked everyone to take a knee to be able to jump up as the song began.
They finished off with, “Like I said, all our shit got stolen, if you could buy a beanie it would help us out so much to be able to continue this tour and pay for our shit back. Every one of you better get off your fucking feet”. With the threat of the end, everyone put everything they had into enjoying the last song as much as they could, jumping and dancing around till the last note. Pausing briefly to take a group photo with the crowd, the band left the stage.
As soon as the lights faded to the same pink-purple from before, Josh burst out of the stage door looking for Lizzie and her band to find a spot to watch Weathers perform. As he walked past security he looked around for his pass, unable to find it the security jokingly told him there was no need: they thought he look similar enough to the guy that was just on the stage to let him pass.
Striding on like he owned the stage, Cameron Boyer, lead singer of Weathers, got the crowd screaming before a single note had been played. As the rest of the band took to the stage, a very clear costume theme became apparent: a baby blue suit and white shirt. As the crowd’s cheer died down momentarily, Cameron let out a belting ‘London!’, getting the crowd back up to their previous energy level almost instantly, and the band wasted no time in getting going with their immaculate set.
Cameron took a moment to talk about the second song, letting everyone know that in Weathers mental health matters, and dedicating the next song to depression and all of those who are suffering with it. He flowed seamlessly into the next song, pausing briefly after to ask the crowd if they had ever had anyone fuck them over. In response to the overwhelming ‘yes!’ that was yelled back by the crowd, Cameron asked everyone to take a second to picture that person and then yell “fuck you” as loud as they could after a count of three. Shortly followed by one of the most entrancing covers of ‘Famous Last Words’ by My Chemical Romance. The band put everything they had into the song, even more than the rest, this was also reflected in the crowd. Not a single person in the venue had their mouth closed, even the security sang along.
It is incredibly clear how much all four of the band enjoy putting on such a fantastic show, no doubt about it. Everyone put such enthusiasm and emotion into every word and movement they made all the way to the end. “How many here know who the fuck we actually are?’ called Cameron, and again such an overwhelming yes response was thrown back at him, he was slightly taken aback with how many fans turned out to see Weathers and not just for Set It Off. With the newfound unity and power in the room, Weathers made no hesitation in moving on to the next song. Cameron took his suit jacket off mid-way through, causing the crowd to cheer, revealing a patterned pirate-style shirt.
To announce the next song he asked if he could teach the crowd a new one. Starting off he sang out “My mine, my mine, sleep tight at night” which the crowd easily followed. After a couple of times back and forth the band delved into an unreleased song, coming out soon. They continued on quickly with ‘Lonely Vampire’ and finally finished off such an incredible set with “C’est La Vie” which got everyone moving and dancing. “Thank you, seriously thank you,” Cameron called out before letting fans know that the band would be over by the merch table and will be happy to meet everyone outside later before exiting the stage, but not before drummer took a photo with the crowd. An incredible end to their first UK show.
Anticipation grew and blue and green lights danced vibrantly around the room and pink, blue, purple and yellow balloons surfed their way across the crowd. With the music perfectly matching the party atmosphere it kept everyone dancing around whist the stage was set. A disembodied voice announced 15 minutes till the showcase. With songs like Discord, Barbie and Ken and Helena on the pre-show track list and amazing stage lights, who needed a band? Obviously everything is massively improved with live music though and this was no exception.
As soon as Set It Off bounded across the stage the crowd let out a deafening scream, and they ran straight into the first song. As crowd surfers flew along, Cody Carson commented, “I can tell you who will walk away with the best crowd award,” before launching into the next song. Cody jumped down into the pit and onto the crowd, first kneeling, then standing, then crowd surfing. He returned to the stage just in time to finish the song and ask, “You know who didn’t mind the isolation? The introverts!” before launching dramatically into ‘Lonely Dance’. The crowd went wild.
“I wanna switch up the vibe right now for anyone who has gone through loss. I lost my dad in 2008 and there was one song that connected us, ‘Danny Boy’. So please if you are going through that, heal with me during this song,’ Cody commented as the rest of the band left the stage and he moved over to the keyboard. Everyone got their phone torches out to create an incredibly moving sight. “I really appreciate the lights, there’s lyrics coming up soon that’s about the stars and this place looks like a galaxy!” As the backing track faded out Cody was handed a clarinet to make the whole piece even more moving.
“A toast to you London for having our backs every time, now sing this shit loud” yelled Cody, launching into the next song. As with all the bands, everyone put everything they had into it. Not a single person was stationary. Rainbows flew across the stage, bouncing off the fantastic hair colours present both on stage and in the crowd. “I’m not bullshitting you, this is the best show we’ve ever played, you know that this is a sold out 2300 person show, this is the biggest headliner we’ve ever played”. As they launched the next song the crowd went wild knowing what was to come, as multiple band members came to the front of the stage to put on an incredible performance whist Cody grabbed his saxophone and serenaded the room, what can’t this man do! It’s been four years since this gig was meant to happen and as a result the band have perfected the set.
Next up was a nine song mash up spanning all the albums they have released. Cody jumped around with his neon pink mic without a care in the world, commenting on how much he loves mash-up songs. Hues of all colours danced their way delicately but dramatically across the stage as everyone jumped and danced around, with sections of the song where the three mobile band members danced in sync. Ending the song powerfully, the drummer, Max, came to the front to sing with his ukulele.
Cody paused quickly after the chorus of the next song to carry someone out of the crowd, taking a second to ask if everyone else was okay. Once he made sure, and asked if they could carry on, the band didn’t hesitate in launching into ‘Hypnotised’, with Cody coming down into the crowd and giving the mic to random people to sing along with him. As pink light matching Cody’s hair flooded the stage, he finished the song off on stage.
At some point during that song he broke the mic stand, called Nate over to fix it then asked the audience to when they next feel stressed to “Why Worry?”, leading perfectly into the final song of the set. “Thank you so much London, we’ll see you soon,” Cody called as he left the stage. “One more song” the crowd cheered, then “Set It Off”, and a few seconds after doing this the band reappeared, pausing briefly to thank the openers and to exclaim “This is the best fucking show I’ve ever played,” before launching into one final song of the evening. Rainbow lights flooded the stage and everyone gave everything they had for the last song. What an incredible evening!