This review originally featured in The Skinny.
It’s been a year of contrasts for Frightened Rabbit – from praise in the spring for their most ambitious record yet, Painting of a Panic Attack, and end-of-year album list vindication, to health problems, tour exhaustion and fraternal acrimony. But they have managed to swim through the shite of 2016 – and tonight’s final of three sold-out shows at the legendary Glasgow Barrowlands proves the struggles have only served to strengthen the five-piece.
A decade on and five albums in, it’s a far cry from the shy solo acoustic performances of Frabbits past, as tonight they’re as big and as bold as they’ve ever been. It’s a glorious celebration of how far they’ve come and frontman Scott Hutchison is in fine spirits, his frenetic energy palpable throughout the packed ballroom.
The Modern Leper stirs the first of many singalongs and it’s easy to forget the band are at the end of a long run of shows. Living In Colour makes full use of the sprung floor before the sublime pre-Christmas treat of The Twilight Sad‘s James Graham joining his pals to perform lead vocals on Be Less Rude.
Things is also incredible, showing the full scope of the group’s ability to build anthemic, chest-bursting odes to anxiety, whilst Old Fashioned is toe-tapping, gig-going communality at its best. Snake and Scottish Winds are a perfect start to the first encore, then My Backwards Walk and The Loneliness and the Scream signal an uproarious end before an extra encore of Keep Yourself Warm.
Selling out three consecutive nights at the Barras is an impressive feat, and tonight feels like a reward for Frightened Rabbit as much as it is for the fans. The band’s elation at the crowd’s reaction is obvious, but they’re more than deserving of the worship.