Glass aggravated an ankle injury in Tokyo recently, but managed to take to the stage on the first night of the tour, which continues throughout February.
The Vaccines opened the show, and despite the fast-rising London band attracting the likes of Blondie’s Debbie Harry and actor Jake Gyllenhaal to recent gigs, frontman Justin Young admitted to NME that he still suffered from pre-show nerves.
“This is all just feels like unreality to us,” he said. “This gig is about four times bigger than the biggest gig we’ve ever done. I can’t help but wondering if anybody is even going to be here. I can’t imagine anybody queuing up in the rain to watch us tonight.”
The band did, however, attract a strong crowd, opening their 30-minute set with debut single ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’ and later performing next single ‘If You Wanna’, due for release in March.
Mancunian band Everything Everything were up next, with the band marking the occasion by debuting their new matching grey and blue boiler suits.
“This was the first time we’ve played in them,” said frontman Jonathan Everything. “They’re a bit ridiculous, and so it was either sink or swim for us. And I think we swam… for a little bit, at least.” During the band’s set, ‘MY KZ YR BF’ and set-closer ‘Photoshop Handsome’ both layed decent early claims as anthems of the tour.
Dubstep supergroup Magnetic Man were up next. Earlier, band member Benga had said he was always confident the trio would be able to win over the crowd. “All scenes are jumbled up at the moment,” he said. “We’re not going to be playing to a complete indie crowd tonight, but if there are people out there who don’t know who we are or what we do, they’re still going to be willing to give us a chance. I’m expecting it to be great.”
Headliners Crystal Castles, meanwhile, remained as enigmatic and elusive as ever – staying out of sight from the rest of the bands until stagetime.
Despite her injury, when she did emerge, Glass managed to leap around the stage madly while fronting the likes of ‘Baptism’ and ‘Air War’.
Principle songwriter and synth man Ethan Kath, speaking after their set, proclaimed himself “surprised and kind of humbled that you guys would consider us to headline a tour like this. It’s pretty exciting for us”.
The Shockwaves NME Awards Tour continues tonight at the Manchester Academy.