LIVE: Motionless In White @ O2 Ritz, Manchester (27/01/2018)

Date: January 27th 2018
Venue: O2 Ritz, Manchester
Support: Ice Nine Kills / Cane Hill


It’s been two years since their last headline tour across the UK, and since then they’ve released their first major label record in ‘Graveyard Shift’ through the band’s dream label, Roadrunner Records. So, it goes without saying that the anticipation from the fans to finally see Scranton’s own Motionless In White back on UK shores is pretty high.

Still pretty new to making visits over here, Boston’s Ice Nine Kills [6] have been hauled along for the run to open things up, and they certainly make a good job of that. Their theatrical, dramatic, and horror tinged brand of post-hardcore is similar to Crown The Empire if they had more of an interest in the macabre.

Songs like ‘Bloodbath & Beyond’ really display the impressive vocal chops of frontman Spencer Charnas, donning a bright yellow hoodie, who pounces to the barrier to scream along with a bunch of what will no doubt be some newly converted fans.

We take a more metal route with Cane Hill [7]. Frontman Elijah Witt‘s screams have really intensified over the years, even if at times his cleans get a little muffled under the mix of everything else. Yet, it’s hard to not want to bang your head and throw your whole body around to the likes of ‘Lord Of Flies’, ‘Ugly Model Mannequin’, and ’10¢’, and evidently the crowd whole-heartedly agrees, with pits opening up on the regular.

‘Too Far Gone’ also sounds a little messy throughout, but with mixing issues aside, it’s going to be very interesting to see how 2018 unfolds for the New Orleans boys now that they have album number two out.

The industrial and jarring synth keys of ‘Rats’ lead us into the main act of the evening, Motionless In White [7]. Decked out almost exclusively in black, the band take to the stage, and the crowd screams with excitement. They’re joined by two girls, Gaiapatra and Kylie Devyn, who stand side-by-side with vocalist Chris Motionless, dressed as dominatrixes with crop whips in hand, and as quick as they come onstage they take off again.

‘Reincarnate’ follows up, and from here on out the fans give the band all that they’ve got, whether that be the call-to-arms crowd favourites that are ‘Loud (Fuck It)’ and ‘A-M-E-R-I-C-A’, or the circle pit inducing ‘570’.

The band even have a couple of tricks up their sleeves; Spencer Charnas makes a fleeting return during older number ‘Abigail’, which sees both him and Chris Motionless screaming in one another’s faces, and they even chuck in a cover of Rammstein‘s ‘Du Hast’ to mix things up a little.

It’s clear that the band are trying to make something of a stage show as part of their performance, with Gaiapatra and Kylie Devyn coming out every so often with new costumes and/or props in tow, but it seems very lacklustre, lacking in purpose and impact, and, occasionally a little detrimental; some of their returns to the stage are short-lived, or the choreography doesn’t match or is out of sync.

Other times it really brings an extra element to proceedings, whether that be igniting sparks with some buzzsaws, or dressed as Halloween cheerleaders whilst throwing out trick or treat sweets into the crowd, or using huge water guns to drench the fans.

Before the curtains close, Motionless In White come back to the stage for one last hurrah in their encore and set closer, ‘Eternally Yours’, and it’s here that the band mark the shining highlight of the night. The chorus soars before the pummelling and fast-tempo verses bring us back down to earth, the crowd sweating and throwing limbs one last time before the whole room sings back the closing refrains as the two stage girls return one final time and throw out a bunch of white roses.

It’s obvious that Motionless In White have a lot of ambition and a vision for making their stage show something really special, and, in a few years, they could really make themselves one of the leading live acts as a result; we’re talking Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie levels of showmanship. For now, there’s an awful lot of fleshing out that needs to be done before they risk their progression to the next level becoming ultimately motionless.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)