Live Review – Free Throw @ The Sunflower Lounge
The Sunflower Lounge
Review & Photos by Orla Crawford
Opening up the night is young band Fullshore, brought to the table by Birmingham Promoters. Their mic stands dressed in artificial daisies brings the band’s aesthetic to life, paired perfectly with melodic guitar riffs and catchy choruses; this band emits the new wave of emo energy, along with a shoegaze vibe.
Lead singer Ben’s mellow vocals are accompanied by guitarist Jack and bassist Jonny’s more zealous backing vocals, creating a potent contrast that works harmoniously. Drummer Darren supports each song with solid and varied beats, just another reminder that this band really put work into their songs and performances, and it shows.
Second on the lineup is Wallflower, the supporting band of Free Throw’s UK tour. The London based alt-rock band bring a more stoney atmosphere to the gig.
Wallflower visibly show passion and vigour, whilst simultaneously radiating a friendly vibe; welcoming photographers onto the already crowded small stage, and greeting fans with a smile at the merch table after the show.
With three guitarists on stage, there is room for experimentation with this band, and they utilise this well, using guitar slides and an abundance of pedals between them. With influences such as Nirvana, Brand New and Radiohead, Wallflower bring a blend of memorable hooks and varied breakdowns to their set. Each song holds emotion and energy, pumping up the the crowd and getting them ready for the headline of the night.
The room is fully packed now as Free Throw take to the stage, and they waste no time getting started. Opening with ‘Randy, I Am the Liquor’ from their most recent album Bear Your Mind, the crowd immediately erupts with fans singing along.
They follow this opener with ‘Pallet Town’ from their 2014 album Those Days Are Gone; the band’s distinctive guitar hooks partnered with frontman Cory Castro’s raw and unrelenting voice work in chaotic harmony and fills the venue.
Between songs, Castro tells the crowd how happy he is to be back in Birmingham; alluding to more UK tours to come, possibly after they release a new album, of which a new song was played. Fans seemed to calm slightly during this new song, listening and taking it in, enjoying it nonetheless.
The band ended their short but sweet set with fan favourite ‘Two Beers In’ and the crowd went all in during this last song, pushing and jumping but remaining within the center of the room, mindful of people at the front and sides.
One young lad being the sole crowd surfer of the night, only held up by 5-10 people, but held up firmly before being gently placed down on his feet. The crowd at this gig cast a great feeling of love for music and the desire to just have a good time together. Regardless of whether they know the people they’re dancing with; they all share that same feeling, and that’s what gigs are all about.