As the venue slowly fills out, more and more Cloud Nothings fans mill around excitedly waiting for the band to take the stage. Before the band comes on everyone talks quietly amongst themselves, anticipating the songs on the set list as well as a possible encore. Also discussed was the best technique on how to crowd surf without having your face scraped across the impossibly low ceiling. Unfortunately keeping your face intact was a conundrum that no-one was ever quite able to crack. However there was one thing all the crowd seemed to agree on: Cloud Nothings’ brand of sweaty, indie punk will feel right at home in the compact basement venue that is Sticky Mikes Frog Bar.
Now Hear In begins the show and by the time the first chorus comes around, the nights first (and by no means last) mosh pit is already in play. Dylan Baldi (Lead Vocals/Guitar) screams with the power and anguish of a tortured soul while thrashing away on his guitar as the crowd bounces along with him, mirroring the energy that is clearly present on stage. Next the melancholy melodies of Psychic Trauma slow things down for a brief while, before immediately launching back into a punk rock assault as soon as the frantic chorus explodes onto the scene.
The song Stay Useless, a hit single from the bands 2012 album Attack On Memory, got the first truly big response of the night which granted a sing a long chorus for many of the fans in the crowd. The prize for biggest reception however, goes to the massive I’m Not a Part of Me, which was greeted like a long lost anthem. The whole venue sang along to the catchy chorus melodies as crowd surfers bounced off the ceiling and people moshed as hard as they physically could (without causing any permanent damage). There was even a stage invasion as a crowd surfer came tumbling over the barrier and proceeded to play air guitar on stage, before promptly getting down on his knees and worshipping the band. Kudos to the professionalism of Cloud Nothings that they managed to keep a straight face throughout the whole charade. There was even a blackout during Pattern Walks where the lights cut out for a good 30 seconds, however the band weren’t phased and played on in the darkness, which just added to the madness ensuing in the crowd.
Cloud Nothings close the show the only way a rock band should, with a 10 minute punk jam including numerous breakdowns and big choruses. The epic Wasted Days from Attack On Memory closed the show in style and ended the band’s first Brighton headline show on a monumental high. Though the lack of a lead guitar meant the catchy guitar line from the studio version couldn’t be played to full effect, the crowd didn’t care as the song crescendoed into a flurry of power chords and mosh pits. Once sweat was dripping from the band, the crowd and also the ceiling, Cloud Nothings were satisfied. With one final goodbye they left the stage, hopefully not for the last time.
By Matt Austin.