It’s never a good sign when a support act upstages the main feature, but that’s what threatened to happen on Saturday night, as Hundred Reasons followed Hell is for Heroes onto the stage.
Leaving aside a blistering set from the earlier band, their fifth in five days, the headliners got off to a false start, with the first seven songs, including Broken Hands and Stories With Unhappy Endings, getting a less than ecstatic reaction.
However, following a brief break and the beauteous strains of Europe’s The Final Countdown, the band broke out the songs everyone had been waiting for. Perhaps it was a ploy, but when the first track from debut Ideas Above Our Station rang out, the atmosphere turned from disappointment to joy, with the majority of the crowd who’d not wandered away from the stage bouncing in delight
The band ploughed through the entire album, rocking tracks such as I’ll Find You and If I Could almost as if they’d never been away. Falter held all the poignancy of old, and Avalanche remained as beautiful as ever; a final burst before the band disappeared for a second time.
The encore was in a similarly popular vein, including Cerebra and Remmus from the band’s early E.P.s, and confetti filled balloons were a nice touch. But after such a poor start the band would always seems like an unsatisfactory dessert following the magnificent smorgasbord of the previous act.
In all, the night at the Forum had a truly party atmosphere, with the feeling that plenty of old faces were being re-encountered and many memories relived. As a ten-years-after performance, it was wonderfully refreshing, as a gig it could have been better planned.