After travelling to the other side of the world, Trophy Eyes blew the roof off a sweat-drenched Camden Assembly.
Before we delve into the main set tonight, a special mention must go to tonight’s support act, Like Pacific. This Canadian five-piece came out to a slightly more scaled down crowd to what the main act received, however, their passion and energy on that stage were awe-inspiring. Frontman, Jordan Black unleashed seething lyrics onto a bated audience and, those more dedicated fans were yelling them back – to the visible pleasure of their author. Like Pacific were a class act, and will soon be headlining their own shows of this calibre.
Trophy Eyes graced the stage to a rapturous response from a sold-out crowd and they didn’t bat an eyelid – it was as though they expected this response – and I liked that. Just from the way they carry themselves on stage one can tell that this is a band who are comfortable in success. From then on, the crowd were firmly planted in the palm of this Aussie quintet’s hand. At points in the set, enigmatic frontman, John Floreani ceased his duties as the vocalist and adopted a new role as an orchestrator – waving his hands in tandem with the impressive renditions of his lyrics from the crowd. For me, Floreani encompasses exactly how a frontman should act. Stage dives, circle pits and singalongs were all thanks to the way in which he worked his audience.
The set on this night was littered with highlights from their most recent record, Chemical Miracle, which was undoubtedly one of the best albums released last year, and my personal favourite. In addition to this, we were treated to a couple of older songs from their back catalogue, however, in my opinion, it would’ve been nice to hear more. It was particularly surprising that we didn’t hear the likes of Convalescence and Penfold State Forest from 2014’s debut Mend, Move On. The lack of older material didn’t subtract from the overall experience, however, it would’ve been nice to catch these fan favourites live.
One song that was included, much to the audiences’ surprise, was Suicide Pact. It had become a meme on Twitter that Trophy Eyes won’t ever play this song due to the personal and extremely sensitive contextual inspiration behind the song, despite it being one of the most-loved songs in the library of the band. The aplomb with which Trophy Eyes tackle these difficult topics (mental health and subsequently self-harm) is admirable, with Floreani declaring that suicide is ‘never the fucking answer. Never. Never. Never…’ in a suitably impassioned fashion. I have the utmost respect for their attitude and constant awareness towards these issues.
It was hot that night, it got very sweaty and some of us more feeble Brits might have been struggling – but that was the last thing on anyone’s’ mind. We were captivated by a night of pop-punk in its most passionate form. I can’t wait to do it all again and then some at Slam Dunk (South) on Monday.