LVL UP – Gullivers, Manchester – 31/03/17

“Daniel your beer’s ready!!!” is the echoing sound around Gullivers wood ceilings and floors, some drunk Mancunians are already helping our NY friends on stage feel comfortable by reporting their escapades to everyone in attendance. “Cool” Nick Carbo says sarcastically “Daniel, your beer is here if you want it” as he tunes up his bass ready to begin the show.

“Hey, yeah we’re LVL UP, thanks for being here”, Carbo smiles before the band dive straight into their set. Loud as hell and ready to cause a racket, the NY foursome are currently half way through their first ever UK tour. First ever! How exciting, and the bustling crowd clearly feels the excitement brooding.

As soon as one hand strikes down the first chord of ‘The Closing Door’ the excitable crowd are bopping and cheering immediately. “I don’t know what I’m looking for, the closing door has brought my body here before” can just about be heard through the muffled microphone as the onlookers sing along. Apart from the singing and cheering, the audience in Gullivers is reasonably docile, not for lack of enjoyment, simply due to being encapsulated by our Stateside performers.

The words “I feel insane when you get in my bed” sends a shiver down the crowd’s collective spine as we near the end of the set on ‘I Feel Extra-Natural’. The repetitive rhythmic guitars and spacious melody leaves a lot of breathing space for both band and onlookers, taking every moment as it comes and appreciating every second that tiny bit more.

Before closing on captivating catchy surely soon-to-be classic ‘Hidden Driver’, the LVL UP boys mention their merch table, but more specifically how they’re collecting donations for Make The Road NY, a charity helping immigrant families in Queens and New York with financial aid, legal fees etc. Go look into it and donate if you can, whether it’s online or at a LVL UP show. If more bands/people cared this much, the world would be a better place. Big up LVL UP.

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