Manchester Orchestra | Live Review


We get a mish-mash of a setlist, dipping from soaring highs, to heart-rending lows.

Sometimes you have to admire a band for the classic no-frills approach. Manchester Orchestra bring just that on their return to Bristol, with a minimalistic stage-show, lack of fancy clothes, and an understated air of modesty; tonight it’s just the music that does the talking.

Nonetheless, we’re in a much bigger venue than their last visit, though it still has no problems selling out. Anson Rooms is teeming with people who’ve just climbed a nippy Park Street and enthusiasm is rife. There’s been no new material since the bombast fourth album ‘Cope’, although the announcement of the next record ‘Hope’ has recently been made.

Tonight we get a real career-spanning mish-mash of a setlist, dipping from soaring highs, to heart-rending lows.¬†A song which encompasses both of these vast opposites is ‘Pride’, which kicks it all off. The rippling power of Andy Hull’s vocals is instantly at the forefront of the spectacle. Amidst a wall of throttling guitars, the crowd build into a fierce movement, though they aren’t out to boulder into one another, it’s all about losing yourself in the dense power of such a hard-hitting sound.

The Americans are also on top form with the chit-chat between songs, telling tales of inspiration and funny moments from the shows prior. This humour sits a peculiarly well against songs both sincere and lumbering. It’s always positive to see new material making an equal impact to tunes of old, with highlights such as ‘The Ocean’ and ‘Top Notch’ taking the spotlight.

If tonight proves anything, it’s the sheer dedication of ¬†Manchester Orchestra’s following. They hang on every word, beckon back every lyric. There’s a real warmness at this show that only comes around once in a while. It’s a good job they’re over here often.

Check out ‘Top Notch’ right here: