Being one of the most exciting tours of the year, the vast crowds of people attending to welcome metal anti-heroes Bring Me The Horizon displays that, for all their detractors, the band’s popularity is set to continue soaring as their live reputation improves with each show. The inclusion of some further up and coming prospective headliners means that the night promises big things.
Openers The Devil Wears Prada (***) are impressive. Fighting against a slightly muddy sound, the metalcore mob turn in an energetic and utterly furious performance, which quickly won over an ever increasing crowd. Guitarist Jeremy DePoyster‘s slick clean vocals soar with a melodic abandon, whilst drummer Daniel Williams is absolutely vicious behind his kit, especially in the pounding assault of ‘Anatomy’.
Disappointingly, Architects‘ (**) set seems to fall short of the mark this evening. Choosing to air mostly cuts from their latest offering, ‘The Here And Now’, the songs lack bite and fail to incite the sort of chaos that it is clear the band are capable of, and the inclusion of two lengthy ballads served to banish any energy that might have been apparent beforehand and generate a muted reaction. Indeed, it is when songs such closer as ‘Early Grave’ and the anthemic ‘Follow The Water’ appear that the response is at its most rabid, just serving to prove that ‘Hollow Crown’-era material remains the most effectual in the Architects arsenal.
The same can certainly not be said for Parkway Drive (****), who arrive onstage to a rapturous reception. The band are air tight after months of constant touring, and deliver a punishing performance as the Australians steamroll through a set littered with highlights. Fan favourite ‘Boneyards’ sees an eruption of circle pits as breakdown after breakdown generate a crowd frenzy. The monstrous bounce of ‘Sleepwalker’ is as infectious as it is venomous, and the hulking groove of ‘Dead Mans Chest’ is as hard hitting as it gets tonight as riffs lurch and heave with a crushing intensity. Parkway Drive once again prove on British soil that they are one of the best live acts touring today.
And so to headliners Bring Me The Horizon (****). With a dazzling stage show replete with ramps, steam cannons and a flashing BMTH backdrop, the band are clearly well versed in delivering a spectacle, yet the musicianship and energy on display is just as striking. Frontman Oli Sykes stalks the stage with a confident swagger whilst the band pummel their instruments with clinical precision, yet particular accolades are deserved by stand-in drummer Dan Searle from Architects, who with so little time to learn the songs executes them flawlessly. Tracks such as ‘Diamonds Aren’t Forever’ and ‘The Comedown’ rattle along at a furious pace, all the while with Sykes remaining a commanding presence and sparking some ferocious crowd participation, whether it be in the deafening mass sing along during new single ‘Blessed With A Curse’, or the sea of bouncing bodies which greets closer ‘Chelsea Smile’. As the band exit the stage triumphant, they leave a breathless audience that, on tonight’s evidence, will only be hungry for more as Bring Me The Horizon continue to go from strength to strength.
Written by Tony Bliss