Live Review: Four Year Strong – The Fighting Cocks, Kingston Upon Thames, February 16th 2011

Tonight’s the night… Following a mad 11-second ticket scramble two-weeks ago, we see popcore legends Four Year Strong play in an incredibly intimate setting to around 100-people while playing the album that made them, Rise or Die Trying, in full.

This evening’s lone support act Such Gold is a nice addition, playing their first ever UK show, and while it’s a sound that’s becoming all too popular these days, hardcore-inspired gruffy pop-punk, the band sound a lot more rough-around-the-edges live than on record. Frontman Ben Kotin confidently commands the stage, belting out tunes from their records Pedestals and Stand Tall, but it’s their Saves The Day cover of You Vandal that probably gains the best response, doing a fine job in hyping the crowd for tonight’s headliners – the sole reason why everyone came.

The time has finally arrived, and as soon as the church bells of The Take Over kick in, the entire room surges forward for those all-important mic grabs. Hearing typical closer Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die so early on in the set, is just as odd for the crowd as it is for the band as they continue powering through anthem after anthem, including golden nugget If He’s Here, Who’s Runnin’ Hell?, which hasn’t been played since 2006. It’s clear that Four Year Strong are having just as much fun as the lucky few with speedy Internet connections, while attempting to drag their set out with hilarious banter, due to the aforementioned album only lasting around 30-minutes. The encore of It Must Really Suck To Be Four Year Strong Right Now, with the first verse humorously played in slow motion, and sing-along central Wasting Time go down an absolute storm. Bruised and battered, this was something really fucking special.

- Faye Turnbull.

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