LIVE REVIEW: Bring Me The Horizon @ Arena, Birmingham (23/11/2018)

Credit: Promo

Date: November 23rd 2018
Venue: Arena, Birmingham
Support: Fever 333 / Yonaka


Bring Me The Horizon have seen many changes throughout their career. For a group that doesn’t hesitate when it comes to progression, 2015’s ‘That’s The Spirit’ saw them move towards a more commercial sound, and, as the group gained a wider audience, a portion of the original fan base defected.

Their upcoming sixth album ‘amo’, at least from what we’ve heard so far, sees the group continue to move further away from their original metal sound, and with it stadium shows have replaced the smaller venues that the band would once frequent.

Faced with kicking off the tour is Brighton’s Yonaka [7], hitting the stage with intensity. Opening with ‘Own Worst Enemy’, guitarist George Edwards contorts his shirtless body to suit his jagged riffs. Despite their best efforts, the crowd doesn’t really get into it until vocalist Theresa Jarvis launches into a rendition of ‘She’s Not There’, a fitting tribute to The Zombies.

Fittingly, as the first chorus to ‘Fired Up’ hits, the crowd are in unison thanks to Jarvis‘ commandeering. Closer ‘F.W.T.B.’ sees all four members are on fire; pummelling drums push the crowd up and down whilst Edwards attacks his guitar with delight. The group may have had a quiet crowd to begin with, but by the end they were desperate for more.

As the black and white montage plays, Fever 333 [9] frontman Jason Aalon Butler stands hooded, and the tension beings to burn for what might happen next. Guitarist Steve Harrison and drummer Aric Improta take the stage quietly, feedback squeals, and the group collide into ‘Burn It’.

A barrage of riffs and body parts tear through the stage as the crowd pumps back forth, and the energy is frantic with Butler climbing the structure to the upper tier before the track has even finished. As Butler screams along to ‘We’re Coming In’ alongside a bewildered audience, both Harrison and Improta decimate the stage below with guitars being swung in every direction.

Behind the intensity, aggression and theatrics, Fever 333 has multiple messages behind their compositions. One of those messages is highlighted when Butler explains that “Every woman here should feel safe”, prompting Yonaka‘s Theresa Jarvis to join them onstage for a rendition of ‘Walking In My Shoes’, all before one final explosion with ‘Hunting Season’.

Greeted by an eruption of noise, Bring Me The Horizon [9] take to the stage underneath dim lighting and ambient soundscapes provided by Jordan Fish. Moments later, streamers explode and cover the arena as guitarist Lee Malia signals the opening notes of ‘Mantra’. From here on in, the group attack their instruments with ferocity as frontman Oli Sykes stalks the stage.

Impressively, current single ‘Wonderful Life’ sees the crowd dominate the hook with chants and screams. With previous records moving towards gargantuan sized choruses, it’s mesmerising to see the audience bellow the call and response of Shadow Moses’ with intensity.

Whilst the expectancy of the set list was to be comprised of the band’s later records, they present the really unexpected by launching into a medley of deeper cuts (‘The Comedown’, ‘Medusa’, ‘Diamonds Aren’t Forever’ and ‘RE: They Have No Reflections’), some of which the band haven’t performed live in over a decade.

Regardless of the punishment that Sykes has put his vocal chords through in the past, he hits the falsetto of ‘Follow You’ perfectly, allowing the mid-tempo number to bring the audience down before flying into ‘Antivist’, amidst a sea of raised middle fingers.

With the crowd spent, Malia and Sykes stand onstage and, with an acoustic guitar in tow, Malia delicately plays through ‘Drown’. For a group that has shown consistent progression, the soaring vocals and captive audience proves that there’s no avenue that Bring Me The Horizon can’t steer themselves into.

The obligatory silence before the encore is pierced by screams as the quintet re-appears, hurtling through ‘Doomed’ and the ever anthemic ‘Throne’. An intense victory lap sees the band and crowd alike bounce through the arena, with every word shouted back. Leaving the room euphoric, Bring Me The Horizon delivered a blistering set, with acknowledgements for both old fans and new.