Before the days of guy liner, The Black Parade and Pete Wentz’s fringe, the emo genre in the ’90s belonged to bands like American Football.
With their spoken word style of singing, and lyrics drenched in adolescent angst, they received critical acclaim for their first self-titled EP, before drifting into obscurity, only to reunite in 2014 to announce a re-release of that same EP, with additional tracks and a worldwide tour.
After selling out their evening show in Manchester, they were forced to add a matinee performance which was also a sell-out – so it’s safe to say their fan base was still as curious as ever.
The intimacy of the Gorilla venue is hard to ignore as the genre legends tear the entirety of their back catalogue. With crowd and band so close you can hear their cross-stage whispers, fans fall to silent appreciation at times. The tempo swirls between sullen songs such as Never Meant and the trumpet-induced The Summer Ends.
For most people inside this venue, the Illinois outfit in front of them went a long way to defining their youth. By holding on to the songs that were created by this band 15 years ago, the gig already feels like a fond memory.
Where the band go from here is anybody’s guess, I’d like to think they will finish up this tour – which includes appearances at Reading and Leeds Festival – and work on new material. Will they stretch the boundaries of ’90s emo? I’d love to see them try.