Both myself and Em were lucky enough to attend Memphis May Fire’s show in Leeds on the 5th December at The Key Club. The venue was intimate and the crowd lining the wall outside were hyped, but did the show live up to the excitement, keep reading to find out…
Defining Lines (30 min set)
Coming all the way from sunny Bradford, as the lead singer described, this 5 piece band were the openers for tonights show, opening up the gig with high-energy bangers from start to finish. Although the crowd weren’t the most co-operative throughout the set, they did their best to encourage crowd participation, something some bigger bands could be better at. They had both a clean and rough singer, with the former also being a guitarist. At one point throughout the set their guitarist even began doing the ‘macarena’ as their vocalist jumped into the crowd, which was definitely unexpected albeit incredibly memorable. Throughout the full set they battled some technical difficulties regarding the lead singer’s microphone but they powered through it like champs, maintaining complete professionalism and putting their all into the performance. They also performed some new music, a single they have just put out, as well as a single that will be being released in January, so keep an eye out for that, it’s definitely worth a listen!
Walkways (40 min set)
Walkways are a 5 piece from Isreal, hand picked by Matty Mullins himself to be their only main support for the tour. Contrary to the previous band they have the same singer performing rough and clean vocals, with him switching between the two styles flawlessly, in fact the vocals were so smooth you’d almost question if they were miming. I must say, this band have their in sync jumping down to a T, and certainly got the crowd jumping along too which was great to see, in fact, their set had better crowd involvement all together, however this could also be down to the venue filling up more too, so there was more people to get involved. This band had a lot more talking between some of their songs, which in turn makes them more personal and relatable, as well as letting the crowd know more about themselves, the break between songs was also beneficial as it was hard to follow some of their tracks, with them leading into one another seamlessly which is both a blessing and a curse in a concert environment. They played a lot of new songs from their recently released album ‘Beat Out, Heal Out’ so check it out!
Memphis May Fire (60 mins)
Memphis May Fire hit the stage with ‘The old me’ the first single off their latest album Broken. From the moment they stepped onstage the crowd were alive; screaming, cheering and clapping all filled the room pretty instantly. Their setlist was planned impeccably, jam-packed with fan favourites such as Beneath The Skin, Miles away and No Ordinary Love. There was only 2 songs off their latest album ‘Broken’ however, with so many hits and singles in their catalogue it was hard to pick any faults with their chosen setlist.
Their lead singer, Matty Mullins, took advantage of the lack of barrier, making sure to get up close and personal with the fans as much as possible, even giving the microphone to a fan during Beneath The Skin so they could take the reins with singing. Quite often throughout the set, Mullins could be found standing on top of a platform or speaker in order to see and connect to as much of the crowd as possible, paying attention to everyone and not just the front row, displaying just how much of a class act he really is.
The full band exude professionalism and showmanship throughout the full show, with Kellen MCGregor performing backing vocals alongside shredding the guitar, Cory Elder absolutely smashing it on bass and Jake Garland holding down the fort on the drums. Let’s not forget their touring guitarist Samuel Penner who blended in flawlessly with the other members like they were all a well oiled machine. The only downside to the show was that the mics were occasionally not loud enough, resulting in a struggle to catch some of the vocals, luckily those instances were very few and far between and certainly didn’t taint the awe-inspiring show that the band were putting on.
For their encore, the band chose two classic songs ‘Without Walls’ from their 2012 Album ‘Challenger’ and ending with ‘The Sinner’ from fan-favourite album ‘The Hollow’ released in 2011. Even though these songs were 7+ years old, it was clear that every single fan in that room still adored and hung onto every single word that Matty sang, proving that these singles are timeless, that fans will still get hyped up every single time they hear them now and probably for the foreseeable future.
Catching their set tonight reminded me just how much this band care about their fans and about connecting with the audience, something more bands need to pay special attention to, and for that I commend them.
I fully recommend you catching them on the rest of their tour (if you can) or if not, keep an eye out for them returning, we’ll definitely be reporting it!