Boston Manor brought their headlining tour to the historic rock-and-roll venue The Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas on May 4th, with support from Trash Boat, Higher Power and Anxious. Three of the four bands on the bill were formed in England.
A long way from home, the bands were eager to put on an entertaining show.
Connecticut pop punk band Anxious — the only band on the bill originating from the United States — started off the night. Their sprightly jumping and sing-along choruses made it nearly impossible to stand still. Leeds hardcore band Higher Power were next to take the stage. The stark difference in sound created a different mood amongst the crowd, but in no way stifled the energy. Loose push pits popped up throughout: the goal being less about inciting violence typically associated with the hardcore genre and more about the audience getting acquainted with one another.
A highly anticipated set from St. Albans punk band Trash Boat followed. With each song on the setlist, more and more of the people in the audience knew the words. By the time they finished their set with “He’s So Good”, a single from their most recent album, seemingly everyone in the crowd was enthusiastically singing along.
Boston Manor finished off the evening, inviting everyone in the room to take ownership of the show.
Vocalist Henry Cox told the crowd, “This stage is your stage. Come do what you want with it.” People began stage-diving and crowd-surfing for the first time all night, and kept going all the way to the final song “Laika”. Despite Boston Manor playing 14 songs, the crowd didn’t want their set to end. They waited near the stage for a couple minutes at the finish before it was clear there would be no encore. Fans brought that excitement straight to the bands and began forming a line at the merch table that wrapped around the room, taking nearly an hour to get through the entire line!
Photography by Jayme Bigger