You Me At Six are in the US for the 14th time — on only their 3rd headlining tour in the country — promoting their newest record, Night People.
On Wednesday, May 10, UK rock group You Me At Six headlined The Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, Mass. The show was part of a six-date May tour promoting the band’s latest record, Night People. It’s part of a much larger, longer world tour.
Following the January release of the album, I was holding my breath for tour information. Though You Me At Six has played in the US over a dozen times, they’ve only headlined thrice (including this tour).
That may seem bonkers to UK fans, who are used to seeing the band at huge venues. I see comments on photos from US tours all the time like, “I wish you still played smaller venues here.” There’s an intimacy to smaller shows that’s unparalleled.
The Middle East Downstairs is an especially small venue, with a capacity of less than 600. I’ve previously seen You Me At Six headline another venue with a capacity of nearly 1,000, and the difference was noticeable.
Band-crowd interaction at this show was a highlight. Such a small space gave more people a chance to be heard from the stage, which led to a back-and-forth between lead singer Josh Franceschi and the crowd about song requests.
As Franceschi and bassist Matt Barnes pointed out in one bit, “audience participation” makes all the difference. The crowd Wednesday wasn’t shy. Nor was the band. It made for a really entertaining, high-energy night.
You Me At Six stuck to the setlist (sadly), but the song mix was a solid blend of old and new. Franceschi, Barnes, guitarists Max Helyer and Chris Miller, and drummer Daniel Flint sounded amazing.
According to a tweet from Franceschi, it was the band’s first time in Cambridge, despite several previous dates performing in the greater Boston area.
You Me At Six are, without a doubt, one of the best live bands I’ve seen. Their albums come to life on stage. It’s why I keep coming back.
It was my fifth time seeing You Me At Six since 2009. The band’s sound has grown and changed significantly since I saw them open for The Academy Is… and Mayday Parade. Not as drastically as, say, Paramore or Fall Out Boy, but a decade still makes a difference.
Night People, You Me At Six’s latest effort, dropped in January. It had been nearly three years since their fourth record, Cavalier Youth, in 2014. After the rapidfire releases of the band’s first three records, they’ve slowed down.
As a result, each record has had its own unique sound, without detracting from the band’s history. I love that. Even though I’ll admit to not loving Night People, I did enjoy hearing it live.