LIVE REVIEW: Hoobastank go nostalgic in Sold Out London Gig

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Review & Photography by Damien Harvey

Last night at the O2 Academy Islington, I experienced a nostalgic journey that took me straight back to 2003-04, when Hoobastank’s second album, The Reason, first captured our hearts. This one-off show, less than 24 hours after their performance at Download Festival, was a celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary, and it was nothing short of spectacular.

The night began with a burst of energy as Hoobastank opened with “Pieces” and “Remember Me,” both from their debut album. The crowd was immediately on fire, the anticipation building for what was to come.

Then, as promised, they dove headfirst into The Reason album, playing it in full from start to finish. Each song brought back a flood of memories, starting with the powerful “Same Direction.” Doug Robb, the frontman, was a powerhouse on stage, exuding energy and charisma. His voice, as strong as ever, carried the emotion and intensity of each track.

“Escape” and “Unaffected” followed, their lyrics resonating deeply with everyone in the room. By the time they played “Just One” and “Lucky,” the audience was completely immersed in the music, singing along to every word.

Doug’s interaction with the crowd was a highlight of the night. Midway through the set, he spotted a sign held by a young fan, proudly declaring it was their first-ever gig. With his trademark humor, Doug quipped, “Are you being punished?” This playful moment added a personal touch to the concert, making it even more memorable.

As the band continued with “Disappear,” “What Happened to Us?” and “Never There,” the energy never waned. “Out of Control” and “From the Heart” showcased their musical prowess, each member delivering flawless performances. “Let It Out” was another standout, the raw emotion palpable in the air.

And then, the moment we had all been waiting for – “The Reason.” The room erupted as the iconic intro played. It was a truly cathartic moment, singing along to the song that had defined so many of our teenage years.

But the night wasn’t over. For the encore, Hoobastank returned with a powerful trio from their debut album: “Inside of You,” “No Destination,” and “Running Away.” Each song was a testament to their enduring talent and the timelessness of their music. They closed the night with “Crawling in the Dark,” leaving the audience on an absolute high.

This concert was more than just a trip down memory lane; it was a celebration of an album that has stood the test of time. Hoobastank’s performance at the O2 Academy Islington was a perfect blend of nostalgia and pure, unadulterated rock. It was a night to remember, a tribute to the impact that The Reason had on all of us.


  1. ​Pieces
    2.Remember Me
    The Reason Album: 
  2. Same Direction
  3. Escape
  4. Unaffected
  5. Just One
  6. Lucky
  7. Disappear
  8. What Happened to Us?
  9. Never There
  10. Out of Control
  11. From the Heart
  12. Let It Out
  13. The Reason
  14. Inside of You
  15. No Destination
  16. Running Away
  17. Crawling in the Dark

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