Seether – Manchester, O2 Ritz – 16 October 2017 Print E-mail
Written by DJ Astrocreep   
Saturday, 28 October 2017 04:40

A jaunt to Manchester, when there are weather warnings to see a band? They'd better blow me away! (sorry/not sorry!).


It's been a long time since Seether first graced our ears in 2002 with their first full release. There's been a trend of various genres having bands tour after hiatus in the last few years - 80s/stadium rock a few years ago, Britpop bands the last couple of years and seemingly Alt-Rock/Nu-Metal era bands in the last couple. While Seether haven't really stopped, unlike a number of their counterparts, it's been a couple of years since they last came over, so it's always interesting to see quite how that will go down with audiences.


Seether 1


On arrival at the venue, there was a long queue outside. Given the winds are giving me a touch of an issue, and I'm 26.5 stone, the usual British discussion of the weather seems somewhat justified for once. Security are searching everyone thoroughly on the way in, with only a couple of them doing it. The result is that the queue extends a couple of hundred metres from the venue, and it takes about 30 minutes to get in, meaning I, like many others miss the start of the first support band.


When I finally get in the venue, Sons of Texas are already on stage, to a venue that is maybe a third full. Immediately, the frontman grabs your attention with his energy and attempts at crowd interaction, which goes down quite well. Guitars have quite a Pantera feel to them, which fits with the band's persona. The usual indicators of tapping feet, nodding heads and the like are strong, showing quite how good a job SoT are doing. The vocalist does well between songs when guitars are being retuned, holding the crowd's attention well. Solos have a decent level of shredding and intricacy, even when, at one point, the vocalist pulls the bandana over the lead guitarist's eyes, leaving him playing blindfolded, to amusement from the crowd. The venue continues to slowly fill up during their set and it is noticeable that even the newcomers are quickly caught up in what's happening on stage, and join in. They finish their set to decent applause, a couple of slightly muted shouts for an encore, and leave the stage for the merch stall just behind me.


Whilst chatting to people around me between bands, a barrage of laughter rings out and I look up, to see the next band, LTNT taking to the stage, all wearing dresses. The venue is about 2/3 full now and it's a touch closer to Seether than Sons of Texas were, with an Alice in Chains Alt-Rock/Grunge feel to their music. The drummer and guitarist take turns to lead the vocals, with the other backing, which works fairly well. There are occasional almost Prog snippets in the time signatures and changes, which work for me personally, but I seem to be in the minority on that. There is no between-song stage patter, with the guitarist instead using feedback whilst the bassist retunes and vice versa to cover any dead space. This lack of patter doesn't seem to work, as the audience are clearly less interested in general by LTNT. Decent musicians, with a fairly tight set, but something is definitely lacking with them. They both enter and leave the stage to no fanfare, and this, sadly, seems fairly fitting.


Seether 3


On now come Seether, to loud shouts of appreciation from the approaching capacity crowd. It's a bit disappointing though - as there are immediately microphone issues. Feedback from the mics is annoying and distracting, with repeats right through the set. It's also clear that the band are getting annoyed by this, as they all try what they personally can to minimise the feedback, to no avail. Seether themselves continue to perform, and where the microphones are either not too muted or feeding back, they do sound like you would expect from a band that have had such a long career. The crowd give the band the appreciation they deserve, with a couple of pogo pits cropping up repeatedly, people dancing, nodding heads and such. The lighting is good, with changes fitting the vibes from the songs themselves, rather than being a general lighting show, as some venues do. Despite the awful sound issues, the atmosphere remains undiminished and overall the gig is great when you get past these.


Seether 4


The band's frustration comes to a head at the end of the set, when Shaun smacks his guitar into the microphone, spinning it out, before leaving the stage. Understandable, when the sound has been quite as poor as it has, stopping them from enjoying it fully themselves. It shows their level of professionalism that they continued regardless, given I've personally seen other bands walk off stage over fewer issues than Seether had tonight.


PHOTO CREDIT: All photographs © Allan Maxwell/Über Rock.


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