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[Concert Review] Awolnation at Scala – London, UK 04/22/18

A few months ago I covered Awolnation’s latest studio effort Here Come The Runts in a review here on AltWire, offering my thoughts and feelings on what I felt was an incredibly captivating and exhilarating body of work. Here Come The Runts stood out to me, with an extreme enjoyment that lasted from the very moment ‘Here Come The Runts’ began, to the last huge riff and slam of percussion on finale ‘Stop That Train’. It may be ‘Sail’ or ‘Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)’ that drew some to the London Scala venue to see the band, or perhaps long-time fans since the release of debut Megalithic Symphony, but for me it was the wonderfully diverse Here Come The Runts.

I recently caught Awolnation at Scala in London on April 22nd and it was a fantastic show. Opening act Eliza and the Bear kicked things off in exactly the kind of fashion the evening needed; the smaller enclosed Scala venue easily allows for a more personal atmosphere, and you certainly felt that Eliza and the Bear were proud to be there. The group played for what felt too short a time, but this is by no means a criticism; a handful of songs were all that was really needed for much of the audience to completely fall in love with the act, all members of the band clearly having a fantastic time throughout their performance.

Before long, the snappy introductory percussion of ‘Here Come The Runts’ began, a warm and fuzzy synthesizer, and that wonderful opening line kicked things off:

“Let’s start the magic.”

Pulling heavily from Here Come The Runts’ track listing, it wasn’t long before Awolnation’s performance had the entire venue in a state of euphoric uproar; through the likes of ‘Passion’ and ‘Miracle Man’, or ‘Seven Sticks of Dynamite’ and ‘Table For One’, the band captivated and awed, magnified immensely in the enclosed Scala, and the audience drinking in every single second of it. And from the looks of things, the band were loving every moment of it too; from Aaron Bruno adoringly throwing flowers into the audience, to encouraging everyone to dance enthusiastically during ‘Burn It Down’, or moments where the vocalist vacated the stage completely to allow the band to perform instrumentally, such as ‘The Buffoon’ or a brief excerpt of AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’. The performance of the moody titular track to second studio effort Run easily proved another highlight, the atmosphere hitting an wonderfully ominous note with Bruno crooning the gentle mantra “I am a human being, capable of doing terrible things.”

Unfortunately as all good things do, it came to an end far sooner than anyone would have liked, but not before an extended performance of the band’s iconic hit ‘Sail’, the audience in full force screaming along, Zach Irons throwing in a blistering guitar solo, and Aaron Bruno’s repeated scorching screams of “We. Are. The AWOLNATION.”

Be sure to catch Awolnation if they come through your city. This is a show you wont want to miss!

M. Stoneman

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