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LIVE: The Blackout are Still the Best in Town

I still remember the day; reading the announcement that The Blackout were saying their final goodbye. I was sat in my childhood bedroom, reading Kerrang Magazine, and I was devastated; it’s easy to say the entire house knew about it. I was twelve and unable to attend their final show - I think I cried. So to my absolute glee, when they announced they were coming back with a hometown show, I knew I had to be there - it was eight years in the making and boy was it worth the wait.

Monday night was a rollercoaster of emotions; the time had come for them to reclaim their throne as Merthyr’s finest and return home to play the set they’d been waiting years for. On walk the six to the screams of ‘we are the dynamite’, smiling from ear to ear from being met with the knowledge of knowing their spark never died out. The opening notes of Children of the Night begin, and as arms rose in the air, it was obvious that this was going to be a night to remember.

The band effortlessly transported the crowd back to 2015; each song greeted with roars of recognition, not one word missed by fans, with a setlist made up of classics such as ‘Ambition is Critical’, ‘Hope’, and ‘Higher & Higher’. In between, vocalists Sean Smith and Gavin Butler bantered back and forth, telling stories of their return and how they didn’t think they’d sell a single ticket. They were certainly proven wrong as the room didn’t calm down for a single moment.

Signalling the finale was the instruction to raise left arms in the air; followed by a chorus of ‘whoa’s that launched into ‘Save Our Selves’. There’s something euphoric about a crowd screaming back ‘we are the blackout’, finally unleashing years of pent-up anticipation, and the entire room exploding into heartfelt chaos.

The band’s undying passion and dedication was undeniable on Monday evening, playing with unwavering enthusiasm, leaving no doubt that they genuinely love and really miss what they do. It was a moment of unity between artist, community, and fans; it was goosebump worthy really. In what has been a year full of band comebacks, this is the only one that mattered and boy was it special.

The Blackout take to stage at Download Festival tomorrow at 5:30PM on The Avalanche Stage.

Image: Ashlea Bea

Words: Tate Powell


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