Neck Deep at the Tivoli Theatre – review

Emer Handly


Pop-punk band Neck Deep took to the Tivoli theatre stage on October 5th for their first Irish headline gig. The concert was originally supposed to be held in The Workmans club but due to high demand it had to move to a larger venue. Their most recent album ‘The Peace and the Panic’ went to top 5 in the UK and US, showing just how big the band have become.

To the dismay of those over 18, the Tivoli was not serving alcohol. However, fans did not let this stop them from having a wild evening. Support bands Real Friends and As It Is. warmed the crowd up as they eagerly waited for the arrival of their favourite Welsh five-piece.

After a short speech from Jonny Boucher, a member of the suicide prevention charity ‘Hope for the Day’, Neck Deep exploded out on stage with their first song of the night ‘Happy Judgement Day’ and the crowd went crazy.

The band play energetically and have the crowd head banging to songs new and old such as ‘Lime St.’, ‘Gold Steps’, and ‘Motion Sickness’. ‘What did you Expect?’ is a fan favourite from their first EP and has everyone screaming the words to their exes. “You’ve got some nerve thinking we could be friends, well what did you expect, a f*cking compliment?”

Frontman Ben Barlow sings about exes, small town angst, and how the world is going up in flames. Their sound is heavy but all their songs have meaningful lyrics that fans can relate to and give them a sense of not being alone.

Their energy is really quite impressive. Guitarists Matt West and Sam Bowden do whirlwind spins on the spot while still being able to play their guitars. Drummer Dani Washington pounds on this drum kit in a way that has your heart racing to its beat. Barlow jumps and slides all over the stage while singing, sometimes screaming, to the crowd. The band’s energy transcribes to the crowd, who are also jumping around and shouting like crazy to songs like ‘Kali Ma’, ‘Rock Bottom’, ‘Don’t Wait’ and huge hit ‘In Bloom’.

‘December’ was originally one of the bands slower songs that fans adored. However, the band performed a faster pace, heavier remix of the song. This sent the crowd into a frenzy singing the words “I hope you get your ballroom floor, your perfect house with rose red doors, I’m the last thing you’d remember, it’s been a long lonely December.”

After a mental hour, Barlow told the crowd they were going to slow things down, which the crowd was thankful for as everyone was now a hot sweaty mess.

Passionate performances of ‘Head to the Ground’, ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘A Part of Me’ had fans swaying and singing their hearts out. Some were in tears while singing the deeply emotional lyrics about love and loss.

“Don’t say everything’s meant to be, ‘cause you know that’s not what I believe, can’t help but think that it should’ve been me, either way I still wish you were here.”

The band exited the stage but fans knew they would come back for an extravagant finale.

The five jumped back on stage moments later and the crowd erupted again. Their two encore songs ‘Can’t Kick Up the Roots’ and ‘Where Do We Go When We Go’ had fans going crazy again and were an epic end to an epic night. The band thanked fans for their support and assured them they would be back.

Neck Deep are a crazy band who do the pop punk genre justice with a mixture of heavy energetic songs and deep heartfelt ballads. They really do put on a one hell of a show.

Emer Handly