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Last time Welsh rockers The Blackout performed in Cardiff they were main support for My Chemical Romance. Two Months later and the energetic sextet are back, performing at Cardiff Solus in support of their latest album release ‘Hope’. This was an occasion like no other for The Blackout’s clan, ‘The Riot Squad’, who took the streets of Cardiff by storm. Many fans could be found queuing outside fashion store ‘Pulp’ to meet the band and eagerly queuing outside of the Solus awaiting for the doors to open. Opening the show was Hyro Da Hero, who features on The Blackout’s latest single ‘Higher and Higher’. The rapper from LA was greeted with deafening screams and immediately had the crowd in the palm of his hands. Hyro’s combination of rock and rap is the perfect balance and simply draws comparison to Rage Against the Machine and MC Lars. Tracks such as ‘Dirty South Rock’ and ‘Ghetto Ambiance’ went down a storm with the crowd and it’s very clear to tell that Hyro’s uniquely put together performance is leading the rapper to mainstream attention. Pop rock band The Swellers from Michigan, opened with ‘Do You Feel Better Yet’, the band are packed with contagious riffs and fast paced vocals which received a great reaction from the young crowd. Performing a set that that featured new and old songs, The Swellers concluded the set with the debut track from their latest album ‘Ups and Downsizing’, purely leaving the crowd wanting more.

With anticipation through the roof and deafening chants of ‘We are the dynamite’ flooding the arena, the crowd erupted with excitement as the band launched into ‘Ambition is critical’ and then straight into ‘Children of the night’. The Blackout are never shy of energy or confidence and turn the liveliness up a gear with ‘The Fire’ and ‘Said and done’. Inbetween songs it really is clear to see that frontmen Sean Smith and Gavin Butler are a great partnership, both packed with banter and charisma which adds to the enjoyment of the performance. The Blackout performed a set that featured tracks from all three previous albums including, ‘Murder in the make believe ballroom’, ‘Spread legs not lies’ and next single ‘Never by your side’. The new album ‘Hope’ is a record that shows how the band have matured in the past five years and is an album that is full of influence. It’s obvious to see why The Blackout have developed a reputation for their live shows and don’t hold off throughout their set, incredible interaction and the same energy as what the crowd is giving clearly show those in attendance why the band have this staggering reputation and a huge following. The band left the stage after performing the chaotic , ‘I’m a riot’ from their debut E.P, but only to return back to the stage to perform ‘STFUppercut’ and new single ‘Higher and Higher’, which featured opening act hyro also return to the stage to perform his rap and a daring stage dive. The Blackout concluded the set with crowd favourite ‘Save Ourselves’ which rightfully received the most impressive sing-along of the show and ended the evening on a high.

Word and Photos: Mike Lewis