Date: October 12th, 2009
Venue: Academy 1, Manchester
Support: True Tiger, The Devil Wears Prada
‘Common Dreads’ has most certainley sky-rocketed Enter Shikari up the charts and given the band a level of recognition they could never had achieved with their 2007 debut. The fact they’re selling out venues twice the size they were capable of a year previously, and the main Academy venue in Manchester is just one of them.
Dub-step group True Tiger (**) begin things to try and get people nice and warmed up with their synthetic dance beats and remixes intended to get the crowd moving fast and hard. What they reel out of their sleeves though is very tedious, repetative, and unoriginal, regardless as to how smooth each track flows into one another. The gang chants are very limited in a variety to, with more than enough “When I say ______, you say _____” being used, and the continuous mistake of calling the following band “Devils Wear Prada” is a tad annoying.
Of course they are called The Devil Wears Prada (****), and reflect more the heavier side of the night’s headliners as opposed to their dance/trance side from the previous act. Songs like ‘HTML Rulez d00d’, ‘Danger: Wildman’, and ‘Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?’ are batted out to the intense crowd, who’ve developed more than enough mosh pits in appreciation for the band’s UK return. Vocalists Mike Hranica and Jeremy DePoyster blend each others style better than before, and are clearly much stronger and confident within the band’s newer material than the older songs. Keyboardist James Baney is loving it too, coming up as close to the crowd as he can at any given oppurtunity, and when behind his instrument he rides it like a bucking bronco. Definitely overshadowing the failed attempts of the evening’s openers, whilst leaving themselve a tough act to top.
Still, Enter Shikari (****) deliver the goods to match, and perhaps even surpass that of the christian metalcore mob. Coming on the stage with matching band attire of polo shirts, the band shift through ‘Solidarity’ to ‘Step Up’ with precision and ease. The blend of extreme dub-step/trance/dance from one support band and heavy metalcore from another blends and transitions into the headliner more than well, and most definitely cleverly planned in advance. New material like ‘The Jester’ and ‘No Sleep Tonight’ entices as much crowd energy and participation as older hits like ‘No Sssweat’ and ‘The Feast’. Despite the freshness that has been added into the older material with the newer influences and approaches of synth the band have injected, some of the older material just seems to have sounded a lot better and bolder the way they were. Still, the buckets of sweat drenching the room from the thousands of people creating a minefield of moshpits and frenzied jumpers gives the band and extra confidence and edge. Frontman Rou Reynolds is as quirky as ever with his in-between song banter, really involving the audience. But you don’t see the full scale of this band’s impact until encore hits ‘Juggernauts’ and ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’ finally make an appearance. The crowd surfers number triple and there’s little to no movement from the front to the back of the venue; evidence that their latest album is the start of more good things to come.
Written by Zach Redrup