Lit Live at Birmingham Institute

Lit 03Take a look around the room tonight and you can see that the late twenties/early thirties age bracket is out in force. It’s no surprise, as this is a 15th anniversary tour of Lit’s finest hour. ‘A Place in the Sun’ came out in 1999 and for that summer at least, Lit were everywhere. A glut of singles accompanied by Californian sun-baked videos made Lit the band of the moment for teenage school kids. Those kids that now occupy the aforementioned age bracket. The album sold by the shedload and as A. Jay says tonight “It changed our lives forever”

Prior to Lit hitting the stage the night had gone along at a relaxed pace. Electric River and Blame had played their shows, which were appreciated by the sweltering crowd, but it seemed a lot were just here on a nostalgia trip. CackBlabbath assumes that Lit don’t have any hardcore fans left after all this time…

Well, that’s until about ten seconds into Lit’s opening number!

The lights hardly get a chance to come up properly and the whole room erupts into movement. Crowd surfers begin flying over the barrier, the floor is bouncing and the ear-piercing screams threaten to drown out the band.

Suddenly, that single security guard down at the front looks to have quite a job on his hands.

Lit 10Thankfully reinforcements arrive to deal with the frenzy; a pregnant fan is plucked from the floor and given some sanctuary at stage left but the atmosphere never dies and the crowd goes bonkers for the whole night.

Even Lit seem a little taken aback by the reaction as they tear through the album in tracklist order. “Birmigham’s not fucking around” beams A. Jay. Their biggest hit ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ is played very early as it’s track two on the CD, but the crowd lap up very track thrown at them tonight; from the ballads to the rockers, the temperature keeps on rising.

A. Jay has retained his stick-thin build fifteen years on and spends the night traversing the stage, lunging out towards the fans and even goes out for a bit of a crowd surf himself towards the end of the set. Jeremy concentrates on peeling off the riffs whilst Kevin takes his fair share of the limelight with his posturing. Nathan chugs the Jager impressively (as well as doing a sterling jobs on the drums, obviously)

After the album set is completed the band disappear for the shortest of breaks before coming back for a monster encore. Newer songs like ‘You Tonight’ get an airing alongside older favourites like ‘Over My Head’. They reflect on how proud their late drummer, Allen, would be that they were still able to do this and they also do what 99% of American bands in Birmingham do when playing the city, they thank the Birmingham for Heavy Metal! In this case, Judas Priest.

The security guards also get thanked on more than one occasion for dealing with the euphoric melee.

It’s apparent that Lit are in no rush to leave the stage and as the show stretches past the 11 o’clock marker they start playing tracks that may be a little “Rough around the edges, as we’ve never played them in Europe before”. The crowd also bully them into playing ‘Same Shit, Different Drink’ before they finally retire for the night.

CB may have under-estimated the buzz around this anniversary tour a little. As did the Institute security. Like the Showcase guys we soon got into the swing of things however and although we can’t deny that a little bit of nostalgia helped this show go down a storm, Lit are still a damn fine band even without the rose-tinted glasses.