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April 2019
Live Review

Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington

It's their ten-year anniversary tour but there's no nostalgia to be found.
Published: 10:39 am, December 21, 2018Words: Ali Shutler. Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett.
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington

Tonight Alive might be touring to celebrate ten years since the band first formed but tonight isn’t about nostalgia. It’s about embracing change, praising growth and standing proud that through everything, they’ve endured.

On record, the outsider exploration of ‘The Other’ sees Jenna working things out in real time. “Never really knew what it meant, just always knew that I was different,” she admits but tonight those same words open the show as a fierce declaration of self. Leaning straight into the snap of ‘What Are You So Scared Of?’, the band make good on their promise. From the very start, Tonight Alive have offered understanding and fearless compassion and this evening at London’s O2 Academy Islington, they stay true.

Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington

Behind the scenes, a lot has changed. It’s been a turbulent, upsetting few years for Tonight Alive but that’s just furthered their resolve to grow, adapt and celebrate. 2018’s ‘Underworld’ is a record about exploring pain and turning that negative energy positive and it’s an energy that threads itself through tonight. ‘Crack My Heart’ champions “divine female liberation”, ‘Disappear’ flirts with freedom and escape while ‘In My Dreams’ feels alien but full of awe.

“I’m no longer the same person I was taught to be,” recites Jenna. Her poetry has been a regular part of TA shows in recent years but tonight, instead of talking about global awareness or self-empowerment, it comes with the barbed warning that “you will fail if attempt to take control of me. My life is not a means to regain your power through.” Direct and unafraid, it’s a lesson about trust, standing your ground and not bending to the will of others.

‘A World Away’ bursts with starshine, ‘No Different’ chugs and thrashes with reckless abandon and the throwback corner of ‘Amelia’ into ‘Wasting Away’ is torch lit, powerful and still vital after all these years. ‘The Edge’ is about being unconditioned and unafraid, the band know exactly what it’s like to teeter on the brink before the closing runaway dance of ‘Temple’ underlines every powerful message of self-acceptance, positive change and being your own fearless self.

Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
Tonight Alive celebrate their journey at London's o2 Islington
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