The word triumph is used to describe a lot of things in the world of music: a good album, a tour that didn’t include any arrests or technical fails, a reasonably priced merch line. But Tonight Alive’s KOKO show was the textbook definition of the word triumph.
Playing The Other Side in full for the first time ever, the Aussie band were understandably buzzing with an energy that dissipated to the room within one song. Opening with The Ocean, Tonight Alive spur the crowd into action. There are people from all around the world (Australia, Finland, Italy, Spain and more) for this show, and it’s easy to see why when the band are bounding about to Lonely Girl, sweeping all those around them up into their zone.
Any fears of this gig falling to a lull during songs that weren’t singles are hushed when songs like Complexes and No Different get amazing reactions – and it’s not surprising with Jenna McDougall’s vocals going from strength to strength throughout the performance, and the band being as tight as ever too. Having toured extensively on this record, including a date at the Electric Ballroom just down the road from KOKO in October last year, the band are obviously technically excellent, and songs sound as good as they do on the record. But live, Tonight Alive have a whole new aura about them. It’s as If they truly understand what’s going through the minds of the people in the crowd. And they probably do. The Other Side contains songs about realising you can move on from heartbreak and pain, and it’s easy to see that both the people on stage and the people off it share a mutual appreciation for what that experience is like, and the result is an electric show that will go down in Tonight Alive history.
“I guess The Other Side isn’t the last change we’re going to go through, it’s probably going to happen again.” Jenna says from the stage before the last song, You Don’t Owe Me Anything, “But I’m not really sure how to finish this, because it’s not over yet”. And she’s right. It’s not over. The album cycle may be coming round again, ready for a new record from Tonight Alive, but The Other Side will live on in its songs, and the memories of shows such as this one; shows where a shared feeling of nostalgia, fondness and determination is found in both band and crowd. The Other Side has provided the soundtrack for many many Tonight Alive fans at pivotal points in their lives, and as the band grows, which at this point it can’t do anything but grow, The Other Side will remain as a turning point in their careers as lyricists, musicians and performers. A triumph, this was.