There are some bands you just love from childhood and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are one of mine.
Arriving at Rock City on a very chilly March evening I was surprised to find the bands playing in the smaller and more intimate downstairs room known as the "basement". The first support, Rat Attack, began their set quickly. Their lead wearing a black sparkly shirt to die for, good looking and fun as he encouraged crowd surfing and dived in himself towards the end of the set. The "party punk" band proved skilled and I can see their energetic music becoming popular, definately one to watch.
It seemed crowd involvement would also be key as the Swedish band Tantrum to Blind took to the stage. Led by feisty blonde Melanie Mohlkert the female-led foursome proved just as impressive as their side cuts. It was a slow and quiet start but the crowd were soon singing along and bouncing about as they got more familiar with the band, preparing themselves for the main event. Tantrum to Blind proved very fun indeed with their dabbling in electronica, rock and pop, a mix of genres to satisfy most. The foursome appeared ecstatic as they exclaimed Nottingham as the "best crowd we've had this tour" and left with beaming smiles, lurking around the merchandise area to speak to their new and squealing fans.
As The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus arrived the crowd went wild on their feet, appearing a lot more plentiful as people gathered around. They began the set perfectly with 'False Pretense' from their first (and my all time favourite) album Don't You Fake It. The lively crowd moved and snapped along, cameras in hand. Moving on to newer things they began 'Don't Hate' from the 2010 EP The Hell or High Water with Ronnie Winters showing just how loud those screams can be.
However, it was not long before we were back to the popular and classic Don't You Fake it of 2006 with the songs 'In Fate's Hands', 'Cat and Mouse' and 'Damn Regret', encouraging a mass of mosh circles and big smiles. Winters humbly asked if we could recall the older music as people swayed to the softer 'Cat and Mouse', before demanding the crowd to become rowdy for 'Damn Regret': " We came all the way from Florida for you guys, get those fists in the air".
We then got round to 'The Crazy Ones' off their new album Et Tu, Brute? Unfortunately I couldn't really hear Winters on the microphone but the fast pace of the music kept people going and it proved itself to be a popular and anticipated song. Back to the past again with 'Reap' from the third album Am I The Enemy 2011. Everyone went a bit mad here, their arms flying about nicely to Winters impressive set of lungs and the rest of the bands impressive guitar riffs and drum solos.
The band from Florida then gave us 'Justify' with Winters saying: "not the most popular but one of our favourites" before encouraging a mosh circle and a load of screams with 'Casting the First Stone' from The Hell or High Water.
Onto calmer things we got an acoustic version of both 'Your Guardian Angel' and 'Seventeen Ain't So Sweet', the latter done by Winters as a solo as he exclaimed: "I sing and you sing, just you and me, no effects." Calm entered the basement as arms swayed and the crowd sang along, an experienced Winters singing strongly with them.
However, this is Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and we all know they don't do things quietly for long. The band finished with the oh so powerful 'Face Down', a favourite of many from their first album. I am sure that the sounds of clapping and vibrations from the movement of the mosh upon the floor echoed that intimate basement for some time after we all departed.