Live review: Neck Deep, Alexandra Palace

They’ve brought some friends to kick things off – California hardcore mob Drain announce themselves in uproarious fashion, with charismatic frontman Sammy Ciaramitaro letting out a gigantic “YEEEAAAAAH!” as they attack the arena with their crunchy riffs. On paper, hardcore and Alexandra Palace seem to pair like sardines and ice cream, but frankly, Sammy’s personality is made for a room this big – “If you weigh more than 200 kilos, let me see you on the dancefloor!” he commands, not long after getting the crowd to do a jump-the-fuck-up at 7:30 in the evening, no less. Their enthusiasm is rewarded with swirling mosh pits and a guy crowdsurfing even with no music playing – “This guy has the right idea!” Sammy says.

Knuckle Puck have drawn the short straw, having to follow that absolute blinder of a set. Despite a slightly anaemic mix that waters down some of the potency of their heart-on-sleeve pop-punk, they’re a resounding hit, earning rousing singalongs just two songs in with No Good and raising spirits with a sharp airing of Tune You Out. By closing track Pretense, the joy in the room has properly spiked, ready to hit terminal velocity by the time Neck Deep arrive.