It had been a while since we ventured out to a smaller gig, not consciously, but it had been longer than we’d like to admit. In our minds, ARXX were already rock stars, and after tonight absolute icons, to this writer anyway.
As if we weren’t already die-hard fans of the duo, seeing them on stage and interacting with the crowd only made us more smitten. From the moment they stepped onto the uncommonly high and delightfully decorated stage at The Deaf Institute, ARXX exuded an undeniable charm that captivated everyone in ear shot. They were more than just musicians; they were, storytellers, comedians, and friends we never knew we needed. Ok maybe we did know.
Throughout the night, ARXX entertained us with rambling anecdotes that may have seemed nonsensical at times, but somehow always found a way to bring a smile to our faces. We may have never discovered the point to those stories, but it didn’t matter.
And let’s not forget the penguin jokes. ARXX had a knack for injecting humor into every moment, intentional or otherwise, even if it meant throwing in a few penguin-related punchlines. It was the unexpected, the delightful surprises that made the gig feel like an intimate gathering of friends rather than a formal concert.
But amidst the banter and jokes, the true magic of ARXX was their undeniable chemistry. Singer and guitarist Hanni Pidduck and drummer Clara Townsend were not only musical partners but also close friends, and their bond was palpable on stage. They played off each other effortlessly, feeding off the energy of the crowd and creating a symbiotic relationship that enhanced the entire experience.
As ARXX unleashed their infectious music the crowd responded with unbridled enthusiasm. We sang along to every word and embraced the joyous atmosphere that permeated the venue. It was a celebration of friendship, music, and the power of live performance.
And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, ARXX delivered an encore that left us begging for more after having already begged for more. The usual chants of “one more song” are replaced at ARXX gigs with the much more adorable “please don’t go” which we actually feel is a far more politer and accurate request! It was a moment that reminded us of why we love small gigs – the intimacy, the camaraderie, the opportunity to buy a t-shirt and express your genuine admiration for the music and the shared experience that leaves an indelible mark on our hearts.
Earlier in the evening, ARXX had jokingly declared that there would be no screamo bands tonight. But as the final song, title track Ride or Die played the audience had taken on that role themselves. It was a moment of pure catharsis, not so much a sing-along as it was a collective roar, a cathartic release of energy that reverberated through the venue.
As we made our way out of The Deaf Institute, we couldn’t help but feel a renewed sense of admiration for ARXX. They had exceeded our expectations, not only with their electrifying music but also with their genuine connection to the audience. They had taken us on a journey filled with laughter, camaraderie, and unforgettable moments.
ARXX, thank you for reminding us of the magic of live music and the power of friendship. You’ve won our hearts with your talent, charm, and undeniable chemistry. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you, and we’ll be eagerly waiting to join you on another wild ride. Ride on!
In addition to the thrilling performance by ARXX, the support act Masca from Bristol delivered a set that perfectly encapsulated the magic of small live gigs. They made the most of their support slot, captivating the audience with their unique blend of heavy pop. Witnessing the energy and talent of emerging artists like Masca is yet another reminder of why we adore small live gigs and why we need to make it a priority to experience more of them. Their performance left us yearning for future opportunities to discover hidden gems in the music scene.