9 out of 10
So-called “emo” or “screamer” music had never been my ‘thing’ but when my eldest son asked if I would take him to a gig by one such band, I thought, why not? Too many people are blind to other genres of metal and rock music, preferring to stay within the safe limits of what they usually listen to. But breaking out of the box once in a while doesn’t do anyone any harm, does it?
This is exactly what happened to me with this gig. I well and truly broke out of my comfort zone and I am damned pleased I did.
With their fifth studio album, “That’s The Spirit”, released in 2015, becoming a phenomenal success, November 2016 saw the band embark on their largest arena tour ever…..and what a better way to start it than with a Halloween gig at London’s O2 Arena.
Added as a second date after the original November 5th date sold out, you might have thought a band such as Bring Me The Horizon wouldn’t be able to pack out another night, especially on a school day. But how wrong you would be. With Basement, Don Broco and Enter Shikari added to the bill, the arena, although not quite a sell-out, was almost full to the brim of young emo kids, couples in their twenties and the…ahem….older generation such as myself, proving just how diverse an audience these sort bands can have.
With doors opening at 6:30pm, the first band onto the stage was Basement, from Ipswich, and although the arena was less than a quarter full, those who were there really enjoyed them. They were a basic band, no back drop, no special lighting but they were perfect as an opener. They pumped up the growing crowd with their mix of alternative, emo and punk rock, setting the scene well for what was to come.
Next to take the stage was Bedford band, Don Broco. With an entrance theme of the clip-clopping of hooves, the band emerged onto the stage wearing cowboy outfits and came complete with a pantomime horse!
But this was when I knew the gig had well and truly started. The band were well-known amongst the crowd, which had by now filled almost half of the arena, with many around me singing along to many of the songs. They had a huge backdrop and, with it, a stage presence that could rival even the biggest of bands. By the time their relatively short set of just six songs was over, even I was tapping my foot along with the music.
Enter Shikari were third on the bill. I had heard of these and I must admit, I really wasn’t looking forward to them. I had heard them in the past and I wasn’t really a fan of their music. The mix of post-hardcore, alternative and hardcore punk with electronic sounds and screaming vocals was just too much for me, and that’s saying a lot being a total thrash girl at heart. BUT, even I had to concede they were good. Actually, they were very good. Combining heavy Rammstein style riffs with The Prodigy-esque dance beats and keyboards even Jean-Michel Jarre would be proud off, overlaid with all manner of vocal styles, this band had a unique sound I have never heard before. Accompanied by a fantastic light show, one minute we were at a rock concert, the next we had been whisked away to the middle of a rave.
This was the band’s last performance in the UK for 2016 and they made pretty damn sure both they, and the crowd, enjoyed it!
Then came the main event! Having only heard one album, once, before I walked into the arena, I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting but I definitely wasn’t expecting what I got.
Bring Me The Horizon are a band whose sound spans numerous genres, more recently incorporating “pop-rock” into what was once pure “metal-core.” But this shift in sound has done little to harm them. In fact it has elevated them almost to superstardom. Playing across such a wide range of genres brings the pop fans and alternative kids together, producing songs that can be sung along too, while at the same time, creating the same feelings and emotions that metal music as a whole generates.
So what of the gig itself? Well, I must say I don’t think they put a foot wrong. Ollie Sykes held the crowd in the palm of his hand, as any good frontman should, and the rest of the band were just as energetic and enthusiastic. Being a band that has toured relentlessly over the years, it is clear they give everything to a performance, and even a little bit more.
The stage at the O2 Arena was huge, a two tier affair that would have swamped lesser bands. But they filled it with ease. Backed with rows of screens that projected images as they played, along with another incredible lightshow, Bring Me The Horizon certainly know how to do things BIG.
Playing thirteen songs as part of their main set, then returning for a three track encore, Bring Me The Horizon deserve every accolade that is thrown their way on this tour. Having seen them being recently described as the “most exhilarating, boundary-smashing rock band on the planet” I have to say I very much agree.
Everyone who has a ticket for this tour is in for a treat. If this is your first time seeing the band, or your fiftieth, or if you have never heard of them before, the sheer energy, hard work and determination they put into their performance will leave you a fan.
I just need to go and check out all their previous albums now!
- Ronan Crix – guitar
- Andrew Fisher – lead vocals
- James Fisher – drums
- Alex Henery – guitar
- Duncan Stewart – bass
- Bad Apple
- For You The Moon
- Earl Grey
- Promise Everything
DON BROCO are:
- Rob Damiani – lead vocals
- Simon Delaney – guitar
- Matt Donnelly – drums, vocals
- Tom Doyle – bass
- You Wanna Know
- What You Do To Me
- Money Power Fame
ENTER SHIKARI are:
- Rou Reynolds – lead vocals
- Chris Batten – bass
- Rob Rolfe – drums
- Liam “Rory” Clelow – lead guitar
- Enter Shikari (reprise)
- The Last Garrison
- Sorry, You’re Not A Winner
- The Appeal & The Minesweep II
BRING ME THE HORIZON are:
- Oliver Sykes – vocals
- Lee Malia – lead guitar
- Matt Kean – bass
- Matt Nicholls – drums
- Jordan Fish – keyboards
- Happy Song
- Go To Hell, For Heavens Sake
- The House of Wolves
- Shadow Moses
- Chelsea Smile
- Follow You
- Crucify Me
- Can You Feel My Heart
- True Friends
- Oh No
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.