It's hard to believe this show is finally taking place. When Sunny Day Real Estate reformed last year it seemed to much to hope that they would finally play in the UK, having split up on the eve of their first European tour in 2001. Then, having announced this show for the 22nd April, it was put back as a result of the Icelandic volcano fiasco. It was almost as if there was someone up there trying to stop SDRE ever getting on to UK shores.
Everyone in the forum for the show is visibly tense. How can a show that has been waited for this long live up to to the expectation? I suppose it helps if you can get arena botherers Biffy Clyro to casually stroll in as an acoustic support act. Having long proclaimed SDRE as one of their favourite ever bands it's clear that even being present at this gig is a treat for Simon, James and Ben. They only stay on stage for half an hour, playing a casual set of all their recent hits such as 'The Captain', 'Many of Horror' and 'Mountains' alongside old classics in the form of 'Breathe Her' and 'Scary Mary'. The fact that they are playing acoustically is something of a godsend as a no holds barred all electric Biffy set, even only a half an hour one, would have stolen a fair amount of SDRE's thunder. Tonight however they are restrained enough to provide just a short warm up with enough time to show their appreciation for the headliners.
When Sunny Day Real Estate finally do get on stage the tension in the room disappears. This is a band that sounds like they've only been around a few years, not one that has reformed to try and relive its early nineties heyday. Jeremy Enigk is occasionally drowned out by the rest of the band but it doesn't matter as the crowd is on hand to scream along vociferously to every word of 'In Circles' and 'Seven'. The set is mostly culled from the band's first two records with only 'Gutars And Video Games' and 'The Ocean' being called on to represent the latter albums. This is one of those rare gigs when each and every song is a highlight of the show. 'Sometimes' makes a heart wrenching closer and after it, all of a sudden, it's all over. Barely an hour after arrival, the band exit. The crowd chants for them to return for a good five minutes but it's all in vain. Perhaps they don't want to give the crowd too much of a good thing but it's undeniably disappointing that after all the time the UK has waited for a SDRE show they only grace the Forum with their presence for an hour. Whilst they are on stage, they are perfect. It's just a shame it was all over so quickly.
Biffy Clyro - 8/10
Sunny Day Real Estate - 9/10
Biffy Clyro setlist (all acoustic)
God & Satan
Many of Horror
Sunny Day Real Estate setlist
Guitars And Video Games
Song About An Angel