Review: Editors @ Cardiff Student Union
After selling out their original venues on their most recent tour, the Editors burst back on the scene with another round of electric performances, coming to Cardiff’s Student Union on 21st March 2010. After originally missing out on tickets for Bristol’s Colston Hall show, and facing being left out from this brilliant tour, it was pure elation for many to hear that they had added more venues, and that Cardiff was one of them! So they came, they saw and they rocked the house down! As Aurelien Bernard from the Blue Man Group once said to me: "the rock concert is a modern day ritual”, it’s not one to be missed!
The undeniable highlight of the gig was their title single from their brilliant and more sophisticated second album ‘An End has a Start’ (2007-2008). There were endless encores of the leading line of the chorus, “You came on your own, that’s how you’ll leave!”. If you could literally sing your heart out in a concert, the room would have been one big bloody mess. Every time even a single second of silence threatened the room in between songs, there were jubilant outcries (often-drunken) of this line as people swayed in the moment.
Ironically, it is a pretty untrue thing to say about an Editor’s gig. You leave having gained so much! If you just leave with that line alone then you leave with a blood-pumping, fire-starting, life-grabbing anthem, which you can sing in ecstasy as you throw your hands in the air and shout, as a particular Florence and Machine once said, “Oh Lord, I just don’t care!” No, seriously, you leave having heard one of the most crisp and perfected sounds in modern music.
There is an Editors song for everyone and personally, they’re pretty much all for me. The thousands of people that bought the tickets which sold out this tour indicate that I'm clearly not alone in my opinions, and there are probably many others that are somewhat mutually inclined! Although, on this note, they didn’t play ‘All Sparks’, which is one of my all-time favourite songs. This would have been an asset to any show or situation, and so was sorely missed. However, they did play the ever-sharp and explosive anthems that are 'Munich' and 'Racing Rats', which set the room on fire.
My only major complaint about the gig didn’t even lie with the band, but was with certain sections of the crowd. There seemed to be these pockets of unenthusiastic people scattered around the arena, who I didn't feel gave the band the support they deserved. Certainly our section made their trip worthwhile, however these rather flat pockets of people were particularly disappointing (especially for those jumping up and down around them). These odd groups were unfortunately situated in the front and the middle, which split up those amongst us who enjoyed a bit of bobbing and pointing at the ceiling.
Editors were joined by Cold Cave and Strange Death Of Liberal England, who were slightly disappointing. In credit to them though, I suppose they eased the mood sufficiently and certainly made us yearn the arrival of the Editors. The audience were left pretty confused by the fact that the second band didn’t even introduce themselves, which didn’t allow us to connect with them very well. Initially, we were unsure of whether they were actually a band or just the sound-check!
I also noticed that after the deafening blurry bombshell that was the second support band, the volume on the speakers seemed to be turned down. This was disappointing because we couldn’t fully appreciate the true power of that crisp and defined Editors sound. I wanted to be blinded and deafened by their sound, but it didn’t quite hit me as much as I'd hoped. It was like seeing the oh-so powerful and beautiful Niagara Falls, but without the water, or at least not as much of it!
One thing that really could have added to the show as a whole would have been the lighting. Possibly an unusual thing to comment on, not my normal topic of conversation, but it’s something you notice in its absence. There were a few songs where light and sound were pulsing as one, complementing one another, and these were by far the best. You know the ones, where everything blacks out and then the whole world flashes and spins and you don’t have a clue what’s occurring! Brilliant. So, whilst recovering from the drug of these songs we noticed that other songs slightly lacked this edge, when the lighting was not so spectacular.
As ever the band was fairly kind in complying with one of the founding rules of a rock (or pretty much any) concert, that is 'the fake ending'. Even though you come to expect this, it still works and is still amazing. Good concerts are made great by their endings, their final, their last chance to stun and impress. Needless to say, the Editors complied with all of these things too.
If you haven’t heard the Editors, then please do. Do it for yourself! They’re one of those bands that once you hear them, you won’t want to go back to those dark days before you knew them. Believe me: there is an Editors shaped hole in your heart that can’t be filled without them!
The only question for me is why did they only go to the university when they came to Cardiff, when they filled Colston Hall in Bristol? Senseless.
Wherever they are though, they’re well worth a butcher’s hook.