JAWS, O2 Institute Birmingham - review

Finishing off their tour in tradition, JAWS brought it back to B-town, performing at the O2 Institute on Friday.

Frontman Connor Schofield looked right at home on stage and started the night off with Surround You (a clear fan favourite) from their first album Be Slowly.

Before all of this, however, Social Contract and Marsicans warmed the crowd up almost perfectly. Judging from the vast amount of mosh pits opened, Marsicans most definitely gained new fans this evening.

Now let me set the scene for you - a very youthful crowd have spent most of the evening already crowdsurfing and moshing to the support bands, it's Friday night, those out there are itching for Connor to come out and when the quartet do appear, the night only gets more intense.

Third song in and ‘think too much, feel too little’ began to play and feelings of nostalgia were in full swing. This is a clear favourite from the Be Slowly album as an echo of voices - so perfectly in sync with Schofield - beamed out.

A song that really got the crowd invested was Stay In, starting out quite stripped back but then eventually bringing in the whole band to cognate such a powerful wall of sound.

Taken from their latest album, Simplicity, Connor mentioned how this song ‘means a lot to him’ and clearly the crowd took note.

17 began to play and an ocean of teens all on each other's shoulders belted the lyrics straight back to the stage. It was a very surreal moment seeing the pure emotion pour out of these youngsters.

Connor reiterated how he had a sore throat and needed help singing the next song, so yes the crowd did their job wonderfully and everyone came together to sing Just a Boy (however his voice was still just as perfect, you really wouldn’t have been able to tell).

There was minimal downtime between each song; just a quick and quiet 'thank you,' or 'you guys are wicked' from Connor, with a slightly longer speech near the end thanking everyone for coming.

When closing their main set, Connor uttered ‘Be slowly’ into the mic and that was that.

The band then disappeared but returned to the stage (after much chanting and applause from the hyped-up audience) to end the night on an encore of Toucan Surf, Right in Front of Me and, just for the crowd to let go one more time, Gold.

This finished the evening off with pure energy. Everybody left delighted - and covered in sweat.

All I can say is that JAWS never fail to put on a brilliant performance.

Definitely a must see band when you get the chance.

By Laura Benwell

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