Lostprophets at Manchester Academy 20/4/12

By Laura Mountford

The Manchester Academy with its 2000+ capacity was heaving tonight with scores of people eagerly waiting for the start of the sold out, fourth show of Lostprophets’ 14 date UK tour to promote their new album 'Weapons'.

London based Dubstep/electronic rock band
Modestep were the only support on the bill tonight, and despite the difference in genre they managed to get the crowd nicely warmed up for the main event with their bouncy drum & bass.

The room was abuzz when Lostprophets hit the stage to thunderous sound of the crowd chanting their name. They opened with the first single from Weapons - '
Bring Em Down' and everyone in the room immediately started singing along. Next came catchy old favourite 'Can't Catch Tomorrow' which led into a short instrumental techno piece with singer Ian Watkins shining a blue laser into the crowd as the stage lights went out. When the lights came back on, the band had all changed into matching T-shirts with the initial logo 'LP' on.

The stage went quiet momentarily and then lead guitarist Lee Gaze surprised the crowd by playing the opening notes of the
Guns 'n' Roses classic 'Sweet Child Of Mine' which melted into the powerful 'Where We Belong' , a song which features an emotional anthemic chorus.

The epic power ballad '4AM Forever' followed next with wolf whistles and cheers throughout and a fantastic guitar solo from Lee. They then played another track from the new album entitled 'Jesus Walks'.

Singer Ian announced that it was time for a water break and proceeded to throw bottles of water into the crowd. Good job really, considering very little water was being handed out by security despite many of the audience looking dehydrated.

The band continued to play some old favourites including 'Our Last Summer' and the iconic hit anthem 'Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)' with the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs. When the first few notes of 'Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja' are played, everyone in the room went absolutely mental, jumping up and down, head banging, crowd surfing and moshing. The song is very pop punk and has instantly recognisable guitar riffs and chorus sections.

After a brief chat from Ian Watkins, someone in the crowd shouted out that they want the very heavy track 'We Are Godzilla, You Are Japan' playing from their 2004 album 'Start Something', which leaded to chants demanding the song and the band kindly obliged and proceeded to play it. It's nice to see a band who listen to their fans requests! Ian’s vocals were quite harsh here, complimenting the strong, fast drum beats from Luke Johnson.

The very contagious 'We Bring an Arsenal' from the new album had everyone singing along to the catchy chant; "way oh, way oh, na na na, la la la la la" and then the band slowed the pace down with the slow moving intro into classic 'Last Train Home'.

LP ended their set with another heavier song - 'Burn Burn' with backing vocalist Jamie Oliver screaming his heart out and climbing up onto the platform where drummer Luke Johnson is blasting out some fierce beats. When the song ended Ian Watkins declared that this has been "one of the best shows they have ever done" before leaving the stage.

A chant of "we want more" filled the room as the fans eagerly anticipated an encore and the Welsh wonders took to the stage once more closing with the very chilled out and rarely played live, 'Sway',which served as the perfect showcase for Ian's smooth, melodic vocals.

Despite the notable absence of their popular hit 'It's Not The End Of The World, But I Can See It From Here', the band delivered a fantastic two hour set of new and old material and had a great relationship with their fans throughout the show. The gig was a real crowd pleaser and one of the best gigs I've been to!