Real Friends – Irving Plaza, NYC – 11.18.18

Fall In the USA 2018 Tour

New York, NY – 11.18.18

Photos and Review by Ashton Sotiro

On a stop on their fall 2018 tour, Real Friends performed at Irving Plaza in New York City this past weekend, bringing along special guests Eat Your Heart Out, Grayscale, and Boston Manor. The tour began in mid-October to celebrate the release of their third studio album, Composure, which was released earlier in June.

Sets from openers Eat Your Heart Out and Grayscale began roughly around 7pm as the house filled up relatively quickly—typically unusual for most opening bands to pull in a crowd. Australian pop-punk band Eat Your Heart Out kicked off the night with frontwoman Caitlin “Caito” Henry delivering strong vocals and a powerful presence to set the bar for the night. Grayscale, a band that has been together since its members were in high school, followed with their alternative rock and punk blend of hits including “Atlantic”, “Fever Dream”, and “Palette”. Their solid fanbase was eminent in the room as the energy grew higher, prompting a mosh pit to fester in the center of the room, crowd surfers making their way to the front barricades, and everyone in the room singing along to their catchy songs.

The final opening guest on the tour, UK-based punk band Boston Manor began at 8:30 with an explosive set, playing a variety of songs to promote their newly released album, Welcome to the Neighborhood. Vocalist Henry Cox engaged the crowd leading up to Real Friends’s performance, inciting circle pits, crowd surfing, and being sure to shout-out the security guards, who had been working tirelessly to assure the safety of what seemed like a hundred crowd surfers. The band finished strong as they wrapped up their set with the first single of Be Nothing., “Halo”, dedicating the song to everyone in the room.

Earlier this year, when Composure was released, we issued a review of the album (which you can read here). We knew coming into this show that this would be an amazing performance by the band that quickly bounced back from the hiatus they took in 2017. We were ready to finally hear their incredible new album live in concert, and the anticipation was almost overwhelming.

As the band members of Real Friends entered on stage, a type of energy unlike I had ever experienced before had filled the room. Resonating with such a large population, the raw and emotional music that Real Friends delivers harnesses a dedicated fanbase that gathered in New York City tonight. It was no secret that the band has a special place in its fans’ hearts, judging by the utter excitement behind each person’s screams as Real Friends began the first song in their set, “Me First”.

Real Friends’s performance was nothing short of amazing as they switched between new songs from Composure to old favorites from their first three albums, including “Mess”, “I’ve Given Up On You”, and “I Don’t Love You Anymore”. Everything about Real Friends felt completely in-sync as lead singer Dan Lambton, as well as guitarists Dave and Eric, and bassist Kyle were constantly moving around the stage, interacting with fans and with each other, and even giving one of the security guards a go at the guitar. “He didn’t know how to play. He still rocks,” Real Friends later posted on their Instagram. Much like their new album, the band was stronger than ever.

Setlist:
  1. Me First
  2. Smiling on the Surface
  3. Maybe This Place is the Same…
  4. I Don’t Love You Anymore
  5. Skin Deep
  6. Mokena
  7. Colder Quicker
  8. Cover You Up
  9. Unconditional Love
  10. Composure
  11. Late Nights In My Car
  12. I’ve Given Up On You
  13. Summer
  14. Home For Fall
  15. Get By
  16. Mess
  17. From The Outside