Culture, Music, News

The Midnight @ Manchester Academy review – a nostalgic band making retro a thing of the present

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Featured image and gallery: Ben Redshaw


American rockers The Midnight returned to Manchester with a bang for their ’Change Your Heart’ tour, which first kicked off in Barcelona back in March. Since then, the band have toured Europe stopping in countries including Spain, Germany and Sweden. Their Manchester Academy date saw them bring a mix of 80s style rock and jazz, giving the audience an outstanding night.

Nottingham’s very own Saint Raymond introduced the evening with a calming acoustic start as the crowd filled in before The Midnight took the stage, kicking off the performance.

Introducing his first song of the evening, Raymond said: “I’m going to do some acoustic songs for you all tonight, not ‘Wonderwall’ like that guy said, but some of my own.”

He opened with ‘Young Blood’, one of his all-time favourites. Loudly cheering for his soothing songs, the crowd gave Saint Raymond a warm welcome to the city.

“This next song is about texting the wrong person after a night out and getting wasted”, said Saint Raymond introducing ‘Mackerel’. This song proved to be a firm favourite with the Manchester crowd who were galvanised by this more upbeat hit of his set.

He expressed gratitude to Manchester as he looked out into the packed venue and spoke about how much it meant to him as an artist just before he left the stage. To close out his set, he performed his song ‘Come Back To You’. As they awaited The Midnight to enter the stage, the crowd cheered for Saint Raymond one final time.

After a short interval, the stage lights turned on, the room went dark, and the music erupted. Lelia Broussard (Bass), Royce Whittaker (Drums), and Justin Klunk (Sax) entered the stage to an explosive welcome.

When lead singer Tyler Lyle took the stage, a loud noise immediately erupted from the darkness. Their fans knew they were in for the night of their lives when they began their performance with some of their greatest hits, including ‘Heroes,’ ‘Gloria,’ and ‘Deep Blue.’ The band really knew how to blast the place with a great blend of rock and jazz.

Further into the night, the band brought the energy all the way from Los Angeles and the Manchester audience showed them how wild they can get as they began ‘Brooklyn Friday Love.’

The energy that was anticipated from the prestigious group was present in this classic rock tune. The Midnight played ‘Comeback Kid,’ one of their more melodic tracks with a delightful sax introduction, to lower the energy of the performance. However, they immediately brought it up again with some of their greatest hits after that.

Fans shouted the words to the title song, ‘Change Your Heart,’ as well as ‘Days of Thunder,’ filling the room with adrenaline. Rumour has it, tonight’s performance was heard throughout all of Manchester as the Manchester Academy’s attendees blew the roof off! 

The band not only put on a show that was not to be missed, but they also had a spectacular visual performance with a light show that lit up the venue. It felt like Manchester was illuminated by Hollywood this evening. The gig saw fans who’d flocked from all over the UK join together in harmony to sing, dance, and have one of the most exhilarating night of their lives.

The audience was screaming for more when the concert concluded with ‘Los Angeles.’ As the band made a triumphant comeback, they played their greatest songs for the final encore, including ‘America 2,’ ‘Aerostar,’ and their most popular song ‘Sunset.’ 

The beloved supporters had The Midnight covered during the encore, so there was no need for the sound system. It was remarkable to witness how enthusiastic and motivating The Midnight were to their crowd. Lead singer Lyle, couldn’t put into words how much his fans meant to him as he gazed into the audience just simply shouting: “We love you Manchester!”

Don’t pass up the chance to see this thrilling ensemble perform before they head back to Los Angeles. Catch The Midnight at their final performances in Nottingham, Glasgow, and London as part of their ‘Change Your Heart’ tour.

Gallery: Saint Raymond supporting The Midnight at Manchester Academy


Gallery: The Midnight Performing at Manchester Academy


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Ben Redshaw

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