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LIVE REVIEW: ††† (Crosses) @ New Century Hall, Manchester

LIVE REVIEW: ††† (Crosses) @ New Century Hall, Manchester

After an absolutely scorching day, a sticky night awaited us in one of Manchester’s nicest spots, New Century HallTonight’s entertainment came in the form of ††† (CROSSES)the side project of DEFTONES vocalist Chinese Moreno next to Shaun Lopez. As soon as the doors opened, the crowd was buzzing with excitement. It’s a haven of goths and emo’s as far as the eye can see, ready to sing the night away. The occasional, very welcome sliver of air conditioning intermittently sweeps in to the relief of everyone crammed into the former dance hall with no venue for concerts.

Opening the show is the Australian duo WISHES. Playing like a heavy version of DIVISION OF JOY mixed with NINE INCHES OF NAILSguitarist/vocalist Matthew James sounds eerily like Ian Curtis while he sings. Keyboardist/vocalist Rizz also shares vocal duties, but his singing style has a rougher edge that counteracts the monotonous style of Jamessinging in a pleasant way. They are dark and brooding, which makes them the perfect opening for a band like ††† (CROSSES). You could feel the bass ripping through your body as they played, which is always a good sign. Their stage presence was reinforced by playful banter with the audience throughout the set and set a fun and good-natured tone for the rest of the night. They’re a band to keep an eye on in the future!

Rating: 7/10

††† (Crosses) live at New Century Hall, Manchester. Photo credit: Eliza Waite

Shortly after 9pm, it’s time to ††† (CROSSES) to go on stage. The room is full of great football chants singing Chinese Moreno‘s name, it’s very clear ††† (CROSSES) has devoted followers brought from DEFTONES. An earth-shattering night of industrial metal and gothic rock is in store. The intensity is ratcheted up as the duo takes to the stage with a barrage of noise before launching into the first song of the night, Invisible hand from the 2023 album, Good night, God bless you, I love you, Delete.. This sees the audience in full voice from the start. They take it seriously as they move through their set at breakneck speed. Tracks like This is a trick It is Ghost Tour follow suit with similar levels of intensity.

The show itself is a total assault on the senses, the strobe lighting is as intense as the sound, especially on the track Vivien that has an almost seductive feel to it as it pulses and grips you, you can’t help but feel a little mesmerized at this point. Shortly after, Rizz in WISHES makes a special appearance on stage to sing along with dark skinned on the track Pulseplagg which sees a welcome reaction from the audience, she obviously left a good impression on them from the support slot. It is after this point, however, that the duo’s songs unfortunately start to blend into one and it becomes very difficult to differentiate one from the other due to their repetitive nature. As each song is so skillfully and executed so tightly, you almost forgive them for this. Exquisite Corpse was met with a great reaction from the crowd, which inspired a great sing-along. The Epilogue It was a very welcome track, as it had a slower pace, accompanied by a hip hop/pop beat, which brought a very welcome change of pace to the show.

The big highlight of the night was when they closed the main set with Great Youth, a track that on his latest album features El-P in RUN THE JEWELS fame. Unfortunately he wasn’t there, but his presence was felt as his voice played over the speakers and he kept appearing on the screens behind them. The duo’s influences shined through on this track, as once again the NINE INCHES OF NAILS style of music shone and dared to be a little different. Returning to the stage for an encore, they played some covers of Interpol It is Q Lazarus before completing the night with the funkiest songs of Telepathy It is Option that help liven things up a bit before the night ends.

††† (Crosses) live at New Century Hall, Manchester. Photo credit: Eliza Waite

During the night, dark skinned showed off his ever-impressive vocals that fans of DEFTONES have fallen in love over the years. He prowls the stage in and out of the darkness like a predator leaping along to the huge pulsating beats that help drive each song. The entire set itself is a well-oiled machine that leaves no room for error. Shaun Lopez He himself has to do most of the work, as he is not only on guitar but also running the show on a huge set of laptops and drum machines. This sometimes gets in the way of the duo, as there is not much to see during the show. However, they were helped by an LED screen in the background that provided mind-blowing visuals that helped add to the entertainment of the show.

Overall, the show itself was fun. But you can’t help but feel like they were missing a full band. With just the two of them, there’s not much to see and it doesn’t have the dynamic that a full band would have to watch as an audience member. The songs themselves are huge and definitely wouldn’t be out of place in an arena setting, but they lack a certain punch with many of them sounding the same. If you’re a fan of dark skinned It is DEFTONES then they are definitely a place worth checking out!

Rating: 8/10

Check out our gallery of photos from the night’s action in Manchester, taken by Eliza Waite here:

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