VAMPS @ O2 Academy Islington

O2 Islington Academy
7th October 2013
Written by Rachel Yarwood
THE PAST (english version)
MEMORIES (english version)
Life On Mars?
ANGEL TRIP (english version)
SWEET DREAMS (english version)

To the relief of every ticket holder for this night, as Sunday's show had been cancelled, the show for Monday did go ahead as planned. 
As the house lights dim, the supporting band members enter onstage followed by K.A.Z and each time one person appears the screams and cheers grow. The loudest is reserved for front man Hyde who, dressed in classic rock star attire and the clashing glow-in-the-dark eye contacts, took to the mic stand and the show began. 
"VAMPIRE DEPRESSION" opens the concert tonight but as "DEVIL SIDE" follows the excitement of the audience excels to even greater proximity as the whole room erupts in a togetherness that is wonderful to experience. 
The energy is fantastic. The band plays into the crowd's hands with equal enthusiasm as the crowd give back singing, dancing, fist pumping and bouncing along to each song. Hyde remains for the most part centre stage to begin with, as the band perform around him.
The concert continues with some favourite hits yet we don't hear the 'English' versions from their recent album until "THE PAST". In fact VAMPS have not added much of their re-mastered material on tonight's setlist choosing instead to go with perhaps better known and original versions. Notably though, the few that have been chosen are the more down tempo of VAMPS material which, for the live atmosphere actually sounds pretty good and Hyde's vocals are clear and powerful through-out. For "MEMORIES" especially there is both an upbeat and charming quality to this song that resonates an emotional charge through the venue. Although, as K.A.Z once again steps up to the front of the stage to dramatise the wonderful guitar instrumentation there seems to be lacking a certain response from the crowd that ordinarily you would have expected at a gig. 
As the music dies down, lights focus on Hyde and he takes a few minutes to thank London and for coming to see the show. "It has always been a dream to come here..."; obviously Hyde meant this as a dream for VAMPS as a unit and not himself who came only last year with L'Arc en Ciel! 
Things then take a more soulful turn with the performances of "MY FIRST LAST" and the duo's cover of "Life On Mars?", which may have sounded a little “off” on the album, but live makes all the difference… as the crowd sings along in unison, clearly appreciating the duo’s choice in cover.

After this we return to the rock and roll. VAMPS second cover of Shampoo’s "TROUBLE" definitely gives them another bonus point as near enough the entire room, upstairs and downstairs, erupts in unison joining in with the familiar lyrics from the British hit song of the 90's. 
It was clear which song would start the encore as shouts of "Bang On! Stomp Everybody!" made a ripple through the crowd. Somebody had obviously taken a sneaky look at the set list... 
The new version of "Revolution", which funnily enough WAS to be the opening song for the encore, sounds fantastic in the live atmosphere and the extra electronic influence wins over the initial scepticism as this song sounds absolutely thrilling tonight. 
VAMPS end the show on "SEX BLOOD ROCK 'N' ROLL". To end on such a high was a clever move from Hyde and K.A.Z as we reach a strangely excitable peak. The show had many of these from the strong opening tracks, to the low key tracks and then hitting back with rock 'n' roll force once more, the brilliant opening to the encore and now again... finalising the night with one last bang! 
From the accomplished look on each of the musicians faces and the smiles on everyone's lips as they exited Islington tonight, it was clear that VAMPS had made their debut show in London an obvious success.