With a setlist consisting of angsty hits stretching as far back as 2013‘s A History of Bad Decisions and as recent as their latest full length, The Peace and the Panic, the Welsh rockers ignited life into a soggy audience who had been queueing all day with the massively anthemic Happy Judgement Day. From there on in, it was all go and Ben Barlow (dressed in their tour only, limited edition football shirt) & co. were certainly not shying away from blasting out all but two (Critical Mistake and 19 Seventy Sumthin’) tracks from The Peace and the Panic.
Chatting frequently ahead of tracks, Barlow preluded “this is the first time we’ve played this,” on several occasions, including Parachute and The Grand Delusion. Modern greats such as In Bloom and Motion Sickness keeping the Neck Deep train racing on while calling off at older fan favourites from Life’s Not Out to Get You and Rain in July padded out the setlist giving further depth to their wild live antics. The only ‘non-wild,’ calm moments in Belfast came when the band were replaced with an acoustic guitar for Barlow to pull out Head to the Ground and Wish You Were Here.
Neck Deep have crafted this record elegantly and the tracks are woven seamlessly into a set alongside the likes of December, Kali Ma and Citizens of Earth. Often bands will brush off older projects when a new album arrives, but Neck Deep have stuck to getting everyone to sing along to A Part of Me and delivering massive sounds. Throwing Can’t Kick Up the Roots out as the penultimate song before hitting the ball out of the park with Where Do We Go When We Go allowed the show to end with screaming, dancing and a taste of development in the mouths of fans. In general, Neck Deep are pretty fucking great live.