You have to accept it as a rare treat when a band with a popularity the size of As It Is make their return to more intimate settings. And as 'The Great Depression Tour' landed within the claustrophobic walls of the Liverpool Arts Club - you get a sense there will be a palpable energy burning through this evening unlike most you'll have experienced before.
Main support band Modern Error [7/10] are making waves in the alternative scene with their blend of post hardcore and straight up rock - and they certainly land with authority tonight. Despite being at the precipice of their career, they strut around with enough charisma to fool you into believing they've been doing this since the turn of the decade.
Though occasionally crowd participation was left wanting, it was clear that we have a band here capable of moving up the ranks of alternative music rapidly. Singles ‘Separation Scars’ and ‘Self Synthetic’ animate the bands impassioned tone and the intensity of the light production all combines to make Modern Error a band with a real fine tone, edge, and personality.
It's important to note that regardless of the venue size - As It Is [8/10] were evidently pumped up to make a statement tonight. You sense the mood of the venue turn on its head as the opening to ‘The Wounded World’ brought the crowd into attention with the atmosphere building as the Brighton lads announced themselves to the fans. Lead singer Patty Walters is the puppet master tonight with his energetic stage presence engaging the crowd into the usual antics of crowd surfing, singing, dancing and head banging - there was no room for anyone who didn't turn up for a good time.
The Intimate Depression tour kept to its namesake and As It Is’ set was based predominantly around songs from new album The Great Depression - with the delightful inclusion of a few old bangers thrown in such as fan favourite ‘cheap shots and setbacks’. The tone of the night dimmed slightly in the middle of the set though, as the inclusion of an acoustic guitar cover of ‘Such Great Heights’ by The Postal Service interrupted the tempo of the evening.
That being said this didn't remain an issue for long, and the four piece were soon to up the ante again with 'The Truth I'll Never Tell' being the potent shot in the arm this set needed to bring it back to prominence. If anything it shows that the quartet are capable of switching the ante up at any given moment - a trait few bands possess to this level of finesse. Finishing off on a one-two of 'Dial Tones' and 'The Stigma' - the bands work was well and truly done, crowd surfers were ten a penny, and the room echoed Patty Walters passioned cries in unison - elation can be felt everywhere.
As It Is have living proof that the concept of "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is very much true to life, their energy, crowd appreciation, and overall good guys demeanour continues to set them up for what could be a special career. In the here and now though - they're yet another great British band to stand on the pedestal of alternative music.