Photos by Paul McWilliams review by JMM
The pulsating thrum of heavy guitar riffs announced the imminent arrival of The Answer at the Manchester Academy Club. As the crowd eagerly awaited the band, the anticipation crackled in the air. It was my second time witnessing their magnetic performance this year, and the shift to this more intimate venue only heightened their brilliance. The fusion of a smaller setting and an engrossed audience promised a night of unfiltered musical enchantment.
From the very outset, the band exuded an unrelenting surge of energy, leaving no room for the interference of electrical gremlins that sometimes plague live performances. The Answer, now a five-piece ensemble with the addition of a new female keyboard player, seemed to relish the cosy space, their music amplified by the charged atmosphere.
The instrumental prelude of “Sundowner” served as a gripping overture, swiftly followed by the thunderous “Keep Believing,” setting the tempo for the evening. In a moment of musical finesse during “Want You To Love Me,” the singer’s incorporation of a mouth organ injected a soulful dimension into the performance, captivating the audience with each note.
As the set progressed, it was evident that the band was on an unstoppable trajectory. The tracks flowed seamlessly, each one a testament to The Answer’s prowess and versatility. From the heartfelt melody of “Under The Sky” to the spirited rendition of “Wild Heart,” the band navigated through a repertoire that showcased their musical dexterity and unyielding passion.
The encore was nothing short of a crescendo, stirring the audience into a frenzy of fervour. “Always Alright” and the climactic finale with “Demon Eyes” were the cherry on top of an already electrifying night, leaving the crowd craving more.
The meticulously curated setlist was a testament to The Answer’s evolution as a band. Tracks such as “Blood Brother,” “Comfort Zone,” and “Spectacular” transported the audience on a sonic odyssey, each song a chapter in a larger narrative of musical brilliance. The audience was taken on a journey, from foot-stomping anthems to soul-stirring ballads, painting a vivid musical landscape.
The band’s ability to engage the audience was unparalleled. The synergy between the performers and the crowd created an electric feedback loop of energy, where each chord strummed and each beat of the drum resonated with the pulse of the room.
“Living on the Line” and “Preaching” acted as pillars of the set, showcasing the band’s ability to craft immersive narratives within their music. These tracks encapsulated The Answer’s ethos, delivering messages that reverberated with raw authenticity and unbridled passion.
The Manchester Academy Club bore witness to a night of musical transcendence, where The Answer proved once again why they are an indomitable force in the rock scene. Their performance was not just a concert; it was a communion of music, an invitation to embark on an auditory expedition that left an indelible mark on everyone present.
In conclusion, The Answer’s show at Manchester Academy Club was not just a display of musical prowess; it was a testament to the band’s ability to create an immersive, unforgettable experience. Their evolution as artists was palpable, leaving the audience in awe and craving for more. As the lights dimmed, and the echoes of “Demon Eyes” lingered in the air, it was evident that The Answer had once again proven why they remain the answer to a soul-stirring, unforgettable musical experience.