There’s been a lot of anticipation for this tour for months upon end, a line-up that would have been more than welcome around four or five years ago comes to Manchester in the biggest venue imaginable. Who would’ve thought that Bring Me The Horizon would go from playing the Star & Garter in Manchester with The Red Chord to the O2 Apollo with Parkway Drive supporting amongst others? I know for one that I certainly didn’t.
Openers The Devil Wears Prada (****) rip Manchester a new arse hole with ‘Danger: Wildman’ plus numerous others from the ‘Zombie’ EP. Well received, until they decided to preach about God (be ashamed those who boo’ed), they showed how they had progressed musically with offerings off the aforementioned EP and their two previous offerings, ‘With Roots Below…’ and ‘Plagues’. Enjoyable and clearly causing mayhem in the pit, the crowd laps them up as they go off to a chorus of claps around the venue.
Architects (****) have the inenvitable task of following on from all this, but they do so in true fashion from themselves. Their set consists of playing a mix from their albums ‘Hollow Crown’ and this year’s ‘The Here And Now’, including the likes of ‘Follow The Water’ and ‘Hollow Crown’ itself, as well as new tracks ‘Delete; Rewind’ and ‘Day In, Day Out’. The crowd sing along orchestrally to the more softer parts of ‘Heartburn’ as the long awaited return of the Brighton quintet before they bring the crowd to a swift riot as they close on ‘Early Grave’.
Always one to impress live, Parkway Drive (***) honestly admit to being rather jet lagged having only arrived in the UK the day before, and unfortunately it shows in their performance. Obviously attempting to put all they can into it, they fall somewhat short of what it is usually offered from the Australians. Coming out to ‘Samsara’ and straight into ‘Unrest’ they deliver a brutal mix of tunes from the albums ‘Horizons’ and ‘Deep Blue’, obviously with the inclusion of ‘Romance Is Dead’ purely for effect. Ending on a deafening rendition of ‘Carrion’, the band go off to apologies to the crowd, all of which are received gracefully because let’s face it… Parkway Drive are fucking awesome!
With a full stage, lights and sound production, you can’t help but feel that as soon as ‘It Never Ends’ kicks in it is going to be one special night, and you would be more than right in assuming so. From start to finish, Bring Me The Horizon (*****) that they’re now a clearly improved and evolved from their former selves as the stage show and performance is completely faultless. Performing an understandably dense ‘There Is A Hell…’ set, the band go from tier to tier in terms of performance, bettering themselves song after song after song. ‘The Sadness Will Never End’ is performed with the harmonies of Sam Carter from Architects, creating a huge, dual vocal tirade. ‘Blessed With A Curse’ and ‘Alligator Blood’ are received by rapturous applause, and despite all the stigma around supporting this band, tonight goes to show that they are without doubt the biggest and best (yes, I said it) British metal band out there. Completely blowing me away in all my years of going to gigs, I have never been so awe struck by a performance by a band who admittedly were god awful live many years back. My, how things have changed, and definitely for the better.
An incredible performance which just couldn’t be topped even if you tried; spine tingling.
Written by Dom Wyatt