Following the October release of their highly anticipated fourth album Sticky, Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes took Rock City (proclaimed on the night by Carter himself as his ''favourite venue'') by storm. Well renowned to be an exhilarating live act, Carter and his Rattlesnakes brought their quintessential swagger and high-octane energy on the second night of their first tour since the pandemic. Jodie Averis reviews.
Their set list was the perfect combination of old favourites, as well as the entirety of Sticky. Opening with punchy and poignant My Town is a bold statement in itself. Carter openly pens his thoughts about mental health in this track, and there was something immensely cathartic being part of a jumping crowd, screaming along with the charismatic frontman, ''my town it looks like yours, we hide those tears behind closed doors''.
Having briefly raised Carter’s incredible ability as a compelling frontman, it is imperative to mention his crowd control during the proceeding song, Wild Flowers. The singer is celebrated for consistently creating a safe space for women and speaking out against sexual violence, commanding the crowd to split and have a women’s-only mosh pit. ''You have never seen a happier pit'' he proudly proclaims, as the final chorus erupts into life. In light of the recent and frightening rise in spiking attacks in nightclubs, for once I felt safe in a large crowd, having felt protected by Carter and his band that use their platform to condemn the behaviour of deviants and to explicitly create a safer environment for everybody.
''Carter gets amongst the waves of fans, who carry him into the centre of the Rock City floor''
Crowd pleaser Kitty Sucker is an archetypal song of the Rattlesnakes, featuring sexually charged lyrics with storming instrumentals. The crowd was whipped into sing-along frenzy, which was the perfect warm up for Carter to then launch into the new records’ title track. At this point, Carter gets amongst the waves of fans, who carry him into the centre of the Rock City floor. Limbs are flailing as the fans are physically holding up Carter, shouting with him ''we’re getting sticky''. The band proceeds to play three more tracks from Sticky, including Off With His Head, where Carter brought out the track’s featured artist, support act AND very talented vocalist, Cassyette. The crowd very well received her reappearance on stage.
Sticky’s Bang Bang and Go Get A Tattoo featured Lynks, an eclectic and unique rising star in the underground electro-punk scene. Following Carter’s footsteps, fans in the crowd held them up. Carter’s involvement with the crowd did not stop here; slowly walking through the crowd through the brooding Acid Veins, and then leaping into the onlookers, crowd surfing during Cobra Queen. This level of interaction exacerbated the already electric atmosphere of the venue. Even better still, guitarist Dean ‘Deano’ Richardson generously passed some of his guitar picks to some of the lucky fans stood at the barrier of the stage, one of them being myself. The appreciation and mutual admiration that the band has for their fans is overt.
Without a doubt, it is difficult to not sing Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ praises after their performance at Rock City, or any other venue. Wherever you get the chance to see them, take the opportunity and grasp it with both hands. Unadulterated attitude, infectious energy, and raw talent are the promises at any of their shows. This is the look of a band that is showing no sign of slowing down.
Written by: Jodie Averis
Edited by: Amrit Virdi