Photo credit: Luke Sutton at Blunt Mag.
Frank Iero and the Patience certainly know how to keep their audience waiting. With three support acts, waiting for the main event could have become a tedious exercise, but with such an eclectic line-up the audience were kept on their toes.
First up were Paceshifters, a three-piece punk group from the Netherlands, who had some awesome hooks and an insanely energetic drummer. Next up was The Homeless Gospel Choir, a brilliant but misleading name which saw a single American man with nothing but an acoustic guitar come to the stage. If “person with acoustic guitar” is usually the sort of phrase that makes you groan in despair, then The Homeless Gospel Choir is the man for you – he is a politically-charged comedy act in concert form, purposely hilarious and nothing but entertaining. It’s really something that needs to be seen live. Dave Hause and the Mermaids were the final support, a clean-cut, good ol’ American rock band, with anthems big enough to fill a stadium.
And finally Frank Iero and the Patience took to the stage. It was a career-spanning set, focusing heavily on newest album Parachutes, but not entirely neglecting debut album Stomachaches. Fans were even treated to “This Song Is A Curse”, a song he wrote for the Disney film Frankenweenie, and a riotous cover of The Beatles’ Helter Skelter – two totally unexpected treats. The joy in Iero’s eyes when he plays is wonderfully evident and his confidence as a frontman has grown massively since the last time I saw him play live in 2014. There was a real sense of community in the room during the band’s set: Iero knows how dedicated his fans can be and how the shows allow like-minded people to come together and form lasting relationships, so he made sure to interact with the crowd in as personal a way as you can when standing a couple of metres above everyone else.
The tour now continues around the UK and on to Europe, and then who knows - maybe Iero will need a break. If so, this triumphant show should leave the South West satiated for now.