With a sold out show at O2 Institute Birmingham, Alec McGarry, Nathan Lambert and Ryan Meaney, known as New Rules, were ready to put on a show to remember.
The room filled with some of their most dedicated fans, who were ready to hear the band perform some of their favourites songs, including unreleased music. Crowd interaction is a massive part of a New Rules show. Whether someone had made the trip down to the show alone, or came with friends, the band made it feel like one big happy family and a safe space.
Before New Rules took to the stage, supporting them on tour was singer Calum Bowie. Armed with an acoustic guitar and strong vocals, Calum was ready to give the people of Birmingham a show to be proud of, especially as this was his first time in the city.
As soon as he got on stage, ,the audience welcomed him with a massive round of applause and screams of excitement. From his evident passion for being up on stage, strong vocals and how genuine he was towards the audience, Calum was a fitting opener for New Rules.
Tracks such as “Call Me Back”, which Calum explained was a song about a breakup and his favourite to perform live, provided the relatability factor as many people in the room had gone through a similar experience. The energy continued throughout, especially with a cover of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”.
Every single person was singing their hearts out and was genuinely having a good time. As his set came to a close, with a big smile on his face after his well received set, Calum said his goodbyes to Birmingham and just like when he entered the stage, he was given cheers and a round of applause from everyone in the room.
It was now time for Alec, Ryan and Nathan to take to the stage. Armed with acoustic guitars, New Rules were ready to kick things off in Birmingham with “Lucky Me”. Every single person sang back every word. This was to continue throughout the evening.
Crowd interaction is a huge part of their set. Whether it was taking photos with fans while on stage or asking them to speak about some of their funniest dating stories, they know how to make their fans feel even more connected and bridge the gap between fan and artist.
“Drunk Text”, pretty self explanatory, was definitely a fan favourite. There were a number of moments while the band were on stage that showed how grateful they were to be where they are and did not take that moment for granted.
The show’s setlist was built around their fans, as they were asked what songs they wanted to hear live on social media. Alec joking, “so if you don’t like it, it’s your fault! It should be perfect,” before dedicating the song, “Go The Distance” to fans who have travelled to the gig.
As the show went on, the atmosphere and the energy continued just like when the evening began. For every song, audience participation didn’t have to be encouraged as the crowd were ready to sing every word with the band. And that didn’t go unmissed.
From the harmonize and strong vocal, the interactions that they had with their fans, through to their genuine love for performing, New Rules gave it everything they got and undoubtedly, Birmingham took in every single second.
Before the show came to an end, Alec, Ryan and Nathan said their thanks to the fans for their continuous support before finishing with “Really Wanna Dance With You”, which of course received an enormous and well deserved cheer from the satisfied ear-busting crowd, leaving the band with huge smiles on their faces and were left completely speechless.
Words + photography by Sarah Akomanyi