Mong Kok’s Macpherson Stadium must feel like home for Against the Current by now. Last week, the pop-rock trio played their third Hong Kong show in as many years – they’ve been here enough times to remember that it’s mid-autumn festival in September.
“We tried mooncakes last time, but if anyone can tweet us what the festival is really about, that’d be awesome,” lead singer Chrissy Costanza told the enthusiastic crowd last Friday night.
Three years ago, AtC was just another cover band on YouTube, enjoying slightly more popularity than other acts looking to find their big break mainly thanks to Costanza’s charisma. They tagged along with Alex Goot to Hong Kong, performing under the shadow of the more renowned YouTuber, slipping in a couple little-known original singles from their independently-released EP Infinity amongst their covers.
Against the Current answers fans' questions
Their next EP, Gravity, manage to grab a spot on four Billboard magazine charts. They came back to Hong Kong in 2015, headlining their own show as new artists signed to label Fueled By Ramen.
They’ve gotten better with time. Last week, they were here to bring us songs from their first full-length studio album, In Our Bones, released in May this year. The only cover we got to hear this time was an acoustic mash-up of Justin Bieber’s Cold Water and Love Yourself.
“Have you heard of a guy called Justin Bieber?” Costanza asked her audience. “You should really check him out.” The crowd roared with laughter; fans were appreciative despite having to wait for two hours before the band showed up.
Costanza’s goofy sense of humour has always been one of the highlights of their live shows. She chewed on gummy bears that a fan passed up to her and mused on what Darth Vader’s kitchen would look like, while beside her drummer Will Ferri did an impression of the Sith Lord.
Right from opener Runaway, it was a night of full-on energy as the trio delivered new hits like Wasteland and Running With the Wild Things, as well as old favourites like Gravity and Dreaming Alone. They included an intimate acoustic set in the middle to let the crowd breathe, singing In Our Bones and Infinity.
Ferri’s enthusiasm was infectious, sitting at the drums like a king at his throne on a raised platform, hammering out beats with all his might as Dan Gow dutifully strummed on his guitar below him. Ferri’s performance was the heart and soul of harder rock tracks like Outsiders and Paralysed, outshining Costanza as she leaped about the stage, her voice at times inaudible over the loud music.
The band’s recent intense touring schedule has clearly taken its toll. Costanza’s usually powerful vocals sounded strained, and besides delivering some phenomenal high notes, her performance was well below her potential. Young and Relentless as they may be, a break might do them good.
How well do Alex Goot and Against the Current know each other?
- Forget me now
- Young & relentless
- Chasing ghosts
- Coldwater/Love yourself
- In our bones
- Wild things
- Another you
- Dreaming Alone