Fresh off the bat from their latest release, Crisis Of Faith, Billy Talent stops by the U.K for a mini-tour. The lads played to a sold-out crowd at the O2 Academy in Islington, London, on possibly the hottest day of the year so far.
Billy Talent – Islington O2 Academy, London – 16 June 2022
Words and Photography: Lawrence Potter
Along for the ride were up-and-coming Essex-based unit, Tigress.
After having a walk around and stopping by the merch stand briefly, I assumed position for our opening act of the evening, Tigress. I’d like to say, being from Essex myself, it’s fantastic to see so much talent emerging on the scene recently from my home county, and this band prove to be no exception.
With a distinct pop-punk attitude, Tigress put on a high-octane performance to kick things off. The band is fronted by Katy Jackson, who had the audience at her fingertips. Along with Katy’s powerful vocal performance was a solid band with plenty of energy and enthusiasm you love to see from this kind of show.
After an awesome start from Tigress, we move on to our evening’s main event, Canadian punk rockers Billy Talent. A quick fact brought up from frontman Benjamin Kowalewicz was that this show in London marks their 20th anniversary of playing live across the pond.
Billy Talent have become somewhat of a touring legend in their homeland as the band that does not stop gigging, and as long as they’re pumping shows out like this one, you’ll hear no excuses from me!
The band put on a masterclass of punk rock goodness with hit after hit. To name but a few, Rusted From The Rain, Surrender, Devil In The Midnight Mass and Red Flag.
Midway through the song, Rusted From The Rain, Ian D’sa’s guitar rig cut out just before his solo was due, but luckily the fans seemed to know every note off by heart, so we were treated to an acapella version until Ian was back in action.
It has to be said that the band handled this somewhat embarrassing moment with true class and professionalism. The rest of the evening went off without a hitch, and seeing these guys live in person finally, I can honestly say it was very much worth the wait.