CONCERT REVIEW : The Vaccines – 22nd February 2024 Barrowland Glasgow

A chilly night in Glasgow, as the lights of the famous Barrowland Ballroom shine brightly. Below, queues had formed in front of the building, with eager fans gathering outside early to gain the ideal spot within the venue once the door opened to see The Vaccines. The fans that arrived early will be entertained by an excellent two-band support bill featuring Nottingham Divorce and Australian Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers.

First up on stage was Divorce, a Nottingham four-piece consisting of Kasper Sandstrom, Felix Mackenzie-Barrow, Tiger Cohen-Towell, and Adam Peter-Smith. Their unique blend of Americana and alternative country made it hard to categorise their music, but it certainly caught the attention of the audience. Opening their set with the captivating “Sex and the Millennium Bridge,” Divorce provided a perfect introduction to their sound for the Glasgow crowd. The harmonies between Tiger Cohen-Towell and Felix Mackenzie-Barrow were outstanding, and the music itself had an intriguing allure that kept the audience hooked. Standout performances included “Birds,” “Gears,” and “Sugar,” which showcased the band’s ability to deliver a powerful set filled with catchy indie and alternative vibes. Although their set was short, it served as a fantastic introduction to Divorce’s music, culminating in a rousing finale with “Eat My Words” and the awe-inspiring “Checking Out,” which received a thunderous round of applause from the grateful Glasgow audience.

Divorce’s performance at the esteemed venue was nothing short of remarkable. Their unique fusion of genres and captivating stage presence made for a memorable show. The band left a lasting impression on the audience, with their harmonies, lyrics, and talented musicianship drawing people in from the start. The chemistry between the members of Divorce was evident, making their short set feel like a cohesive journey through their diverse sound. The Glasgow crowd bid farewell to the band with thunderous applause, a testament to their exceptional performance. Divorce’s introduction to the audience was undeniably powerful, leaving everyone eager for more of their music.

Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, rock band hailing from Canberra, Australia, took the stage with an explosive energy that captivated the audience from the very beginning. Lead vocalist Anna Ryan, guitarist Scarlett McKahey, drummer Neve van Boxsel, and bass guitarist Jaida Stephenson showcased their talent and showmanship effortlessly. Opening with the infectious track “Ahhh!” and quickly following up with the dynamic “Desk Chair,” the band had the crowd dancing along to their upbeat pop rock tunes. Throughout the set, Anna Ryan’s constant smile and the band’s evident enjoyment of performing for the Glasgow audience created an electric atmosphere. Standout tracks like “I Love You,” “Cayenne Pepper,” and the impressive “Salt” further solidified Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers’ memorable performance. It was clear that this first visit to Glasgow and the renowned venue was a positive experience for the band. Despite their short set, every note hit home with the audience, resulting in enthusiastic applause after each song. Closing their set with the electrifying “Lights Out” and the crowd-pleasing “Girls Sports,” the band left a lasting impression. As the band asked permission to take a selfie with the audience behind them, it was evident that Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers had truly connected with the Glasgow crowd. Their exceptional performance solidified their status as a band worth watching closely on their upcoming tour dates.

As the anticipation built, it was finally time for the headline band, The Vaccines, to take the stage. To the audience’s surprise, a sea of Pink Carnations suddenly appeared, adorning the stage and surrounding the microphone stand. One couldn’t help but wonder why these delicate flowers were chosen as the centerpiece of the performance.  The answer lay in the tour’s and new album’s name, “A Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations,” which hinted at the depth and beauty that awaited the lucky spectators.

As the lights dimmed, the PA system blared the iconic intro of Live and Let Die before the band emerged on stage, greeted by thunderous applause from their adoring fans. Justin Hayward-Young, Árni Árnason, Timothy Lanham, and Yoann Intonti made their triumphant return, opening their set with the infectious Love to Walk Away from their latest album. The crowd eagerly sang along, their energy reaching a peak when the band delivered a rousing performance of Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra) from their renowned debut album. With the stage set, the Vaccines took their fans on a journey through their discography, starting with the anthemic I Can’t Quit from their 2018 album, Combat Sports.

The first part of the show was full of exciting moments, with standout performances including Post Break-Up Sex, Headphones Baby, Handsome, and Heart Break Kid. The energy in Barrowland was electrifying, as the fans sang along at the top of their lungs, fully immersed in the experience. Justin, the lead singer, wore a smile that revealed both the band and fans were thoroughly enjoying every second of the show. Expressing his love for playing in this venue and city, Justin’s sentiment resonated with the crowd, creating a sense of camaraderie and shared enthusiasm.

The Vaccines are undeniably a band that captures the hearts of music lovers, particularly within the indie scene. Their live performances are a testament to their dedication and talent, as they deliver electrifying shows that leave audiences wanting more. As the set progressed, the energy in the venue only intensified, with tracks like “Teenage Icon” getting the crowd bouncing and singing along. The band then graced the audience with fan favourites like “If You Wanna” and “All in White” from their acclaimed album, “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?”. Although the band momentarily left the stage, it was evident that their return was imminent, leaving the audience eagerly anticipating their encore.

The band experienced an overwhelming reception upon their return, greeted by a hero’s welcome and an electrifying round of applause from the devoted fans in Glasgow. They delighted the crowd by showcasing their latest album, performing the captivating tracks “Sometimes I Swear” and the remarkable “Lunar Eclipse” that struck a chord with everyone. Keeping the energy high, they had the entire Barrowland venue singing along to the infectious anthem “All My Friends Are Falling in Love” before concluding the unforgettable show with the exceptional “Nørgaard.” As the band bid farewell to their loyal Glasgow fans, they left the stage with heartfelt goodbyes, fully aware of the unwavering support they had received.

If you haven’t seen the band before, now is the perfect time to witness an incredible live performance from this London band. With their unique blend of Indie Rock n’ Roll, they deliver a show that is unparalleled in its excellence. The energy and passion they bring to the stage are simply mesmerising, leaving the audience captivated from start to finish. Don’t miss out on experiencing Indie Rock n’ Roll at its finest; this is a live show that you won’t want to miss.


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