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Live: WITH CONFIDENCE // The Garage, London

Aussie pop-punk rockers hit the road in support of their sophomore record, Love And Loathing.

The band’s lyrics “Despite the weather, it gets better” could not be more suitable than during their London show last Saturday night. Those who were queuing outside of the venue in the pouring rain for hours know exactly what I mean. But even the chilly autumnal gloom could not spoil the mood and fun that was about to begin.

Having spent the summer on the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour in the US, Sydney-based outfit finally made their way back to the UK. With a set jam-packed with pop and rock bangers, the night was a great chance to present their new album, Love And Loathing, to the UK audience.

Kicking things off with That Something, With Confidence made the energy levels of everyone in the room rock sky high. Lacing electrifying guitars and Jayden Seeley’s melodic vocals into the fast-paced dynamic core, it’s a stadium-worthy tune filled with catchy hooks and singalong chorus. Worth to mention, the crowdsurfing was full on from the very first song.

Intertwining fan favourites with their new material, the band delivered a diverse set of songs. Archers brought out melodic tempo changes and the bold spark that underscored their debut album, Better Weather, whilst new cut Dopamine featured guitarist Inigo Del Carmen on vocal duties, which was really refreshing to see and hear.

Always appreciating their fans, Jayden took a moment to express the band’s gratitude towards all those people who were brave enough to wait outside in the rain, and was even given a gift in the form of a fluffy Pikachu. I still can’t quite find the context here, but hey, it was a nice gesture anyway.

The highlight of the entire set was undoubtedly Jayden’s acoustic performance. “We’re gonna play a song about a bad breakup. Is anyone going through a bad breakup right now? This one goes to you”, we heard as poignant Long Night started to echo throughout the room. Seeing people climbing on each others’ shoulders and joining their voices for a loud singalong was a truly beautiful moment to share.

“And this is a song about getting better. Because I promise you, you will get better”, acoustic ballad Pâquerette (Without Me) created yet another tender moment with its gentle instrumentals and shaking vocals that would make you shed a tear or two. Thrown into a sea of emotions, we endured the heartbreak just to come out stronger to finally admit: “And I’ve been alright”.

Taken from their last year’s Better Weather B Sides, Here For Nothing struck with a massive chorus and sharp instrumental arrangement, allowing Jayden’s vocals to carry the emotional impact. Elsewhere in the set, reflective Moving Boxes soared on Joshua Brozzesi’s excellent drumwork telling us a story about confronting the ghosts from our past and coming to terms that it’s okay to leave things behind in order to move on. And of course, it wouldn’t have been a London show without London Lights; “Once upon a time we wrote a song called London Lights. And every time we’re here it feels right to play it. Thanks for inspiring us”.

Returning for an encore, With Con rounded things off with the absolute hit Keeper and Icarus, a thrilling cut that hit us with its manic riffs and a punchy chorus. Certainly, one of the most outstanding tracks in their entire discography.

With Confidence have experienced some ups and downs since last Autumn due to a line-up change, but it’s good to see that they have come back stronger than ever. Their new album treats about bruises and scars, sure but it also demonstrates their true growth both as a band and individuals. And their live shows are a testament to that.

Photos: Kasia Osowiecka