Aim Your Standards Higher

Joining fellow Alternative Press Tour 2011 acts Black Veil Brides and D.R.U.G.S., VersaEmerge were to make their Download debut to a large crowd gathered inside the third stage tent. Fronted by alluring vocalist Sierra Kusterbeck, it seemed that the band unquestionably have the potential to achieve greatness. Yet, once their eagerly-anticipated set began, it emerged that there is much work to be done.

The pop-rockers exhibited hardly any stage charisma, rendering songs such as 'Mind Reader' rather dull to watch. On the occasions that Kusterbeck did spring around the stage, her movements affected her vocal performance and the sound technician's attempted solution to raise the microphone level just worsened the inevitable feedback. Whilst spurts of energy were exerted sporadically, the band's efforts were inadequate. VersaEmerge have developed quite a decent recorded sound, but their live performances of songs such as 'Past Praying For' and 'Figure It Out' did their compositions little justice.

Floridian act VersaEmerge offered one the poorest performances of the weekend, with the vocals of Kusterbeck and guitarist Blake Harnage often falling out of tune. Whist one may see the potential for VersaEmerge to repeat the success of fellow Americans Paramore, Sierra Kusterbeck simply does not have the same degree of natural vocal talent as Hayley Williams.

Finally, Miss Kusterbeck; if you insist on standing in front of the PA system, you will subject the audience to ear-piercing feedback, so it might be worth steering clear in the future for the sake of your fans.