Upon arrival at The Cambridge Corn Exchange for this evenings’ show, two things were readily apparent: Lostprophets’ Cambridge fanbase were out in force, and judging by the sound check going on that was very audible through the walls of the building, support band Modestep were bringing a huge sound with them.
The queuing system at The Corn Exchange is slow so by the time entry was achieved there wasn’t much time to wait before Modestep kicked off tonight’s proceedings. Rocksins was also lucky enough to catch up with Modestep for a chat before the show and you can read that exclusive interview here very soon! If you’re not familiar with them, Modestep are a four piece electro rock/dubstep group with a very interesting sound. They’re definitely not the kind of support band Lostprophets have had in the past (the likes of Kids In Glass Houses or Bring Me The Horizon for example) and it was going to be very interesting how they went down with a rock crowd.
The answer almost from the word go was extremely well, particularly amongst the younger members of the crowd (and a few of the older ones too). Their sound, as promised from the outside, was enormous as it felt like every bass note was reverberating around the walls of the Corn Exchange. They mixed up their set very well, combining their own original songs such as UK top 20 single hit Sunrise and new single Show Me A Sign with some effective remixes (Cee Lo Green’s F**k You and the obligatory Tetris remix both proving popular). None more so that their killer Killing In The Name of remix, of which different parts got an airing on a couple of occasions throughout their 45 minute set. As you might expect with a song like Killing In The Name, it incited a huge moshpit, which was then further topped by frontman Josh’s insistence that “both sides of this pit need to touch the f**king walls!” which caused some set closing carnage.
A band like Modestep touring with a band like Lostprophets was always likely to achieve a marmite reaction but the evidence suggests there’s lots of room for them to pick up new fans from doing more shows like this. They have enormous potential and they seem like a band where the sky really is the limit. We could all be hearing a lot more of Modestep in the mainstream in the years to come.
It’s over two years since Rocksins’ was last able to catch Lostprophets live (check out the review of when we last saw them at Brixton here if you wish). Word had been doing the rounds before the show about how good Lostprophets had been so far on this tour and that the setlist was among their best in their whole career, so talk of this nature was deliberately avoided as things that are hyped this way are so often an anti-climax. Not this time. For an hour and forty five minutes Ian, Mike, Lee, Stuart, Jocko and Jamie held 2,000+ people in Cambridge in the palm of their collective hands and unleashed one hell of a show.
The mix of newer material with old favourites and hits was pulled off in seamless fashion, a skill which countless bands seem to get wrong but judged perfectly by the Prophets on this occasion. The high energy opening featured the two most obvious hits from the new album Weapons sandwiched against the very popular Its’ Not The End Of The World and longtime fan favourites such as the “always guaranteed to get a crowd moving” Can’t Catch Tomorrow and A Town Called Hypocrisy.
Now with five albums under their belt, Lostprophets have an arsenal (sic) of songs at their disposal to allow them to mix things up a fair bit. Songs such as Make A Move (which got a huge moshpit going) and 4:Am Forever were slightly unexpected additions to the setlist but welcomed most enthusiastically by the Cambridge masses. Of the new material, aside from the set opening Bring It Down the loudest response was for the forthcoming new single We Bring An Arsenal, which sounds every bit another hit in waiting live. Ian Watkins and the rest of the band were passing the banter around on a regular basis joking with each other and the crowd, although having had my hearing (or what’s left of it) destroyed by Modestep it was hard to make out most of it.
The last twenty five or so minutes of the main part of the set saw the crowd reaction building with every song; More huge singalongs for Last Summer and especially Rooftops, a huge circle pit for the always brilliant Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja, the aforementioned We Bring An Arsenal and then just general chaos for Last Train Home and the traditional closer Burn Burn. The Prophets milked their encore enough to once again whip the crowd up into a frenzy before unleashing Liberation Transmission opener Everyday Combat which collectively was received as well as if every single person in the room had won the lottery. As they have done a couple of times in the past, things were slowed down by Ian Watkins and co a little for the finale with Sway. It was a more relaxed finale to the show but no less effective than everything that had gone before, sending the masses in Cambridge into the night very happy indeed.
The full Lostprophets’ setlist in Cambridge was:
Bring It Down
It’s Not The End Of The World
Better Off Dead
Can’t Catch Tomorrow
A Town Called Hypocrisy
Make A Move (Wake Up)
Where We Belong
Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja
We Bring An Arsenal
Last Train Home
Tonight’s performance proved that Lostprophets remain one of the most powerful forces currently going in British rock music. The way the new songs from Weapons were received suggests that the appetite for new Lostprophets material remains undiminished amongst their considerable fan base and this suggests the band have a considerable shelf life left on them yet. Songs like Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja still sound as good today as they did when Lostprophets burst onto the scene over a decade ago and that’s a great indication that the band have lost none of the fire or enjoyment of playing live. They’re not quite at the peak of their popularity from when they headlined Download a few years ago but don’t bet against them rising to the very top again before too long.
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