LIVE REVIEW: Motionless In White @ O2 Ritz, Manchester (08/12/2019)

Credit: Promo

Date: December 8th, 2019
Venue: O2 Ritz, Manchester
Support: Defying Decay / Skold


In just a few weeks, the 2010s will be over and a whole new decade will begin. This decade has basically seen the the entirety of Motionless In White‘s signed career, catapulted with the release of their debut LP ‘Creatures’ in 2010.

Nearly ten years later, the band have released a total of five records (the latest being this year’s ‘Disguise’), signed to a dream label in Roadrunner Records, and toured and played festivals the world over. Now, they’re capping off their final tour of the decade in the UK.

Opening on the first date of this leg in Manchester are Bangkok septet Defying Decay [8], who show absolutely no restraint in setting the bar high within the first few seconds. Donning a mish mash of a suit, frontman Jay Poom Euarchukiati kicks down his mic stand and starts screaming like a banshee.

There’s a lot to take in really. Stylistically the band are some parts The Dillinger Escape Plan, some parts Bullet For My Valentine, some parts Linkin Park (aided with a quick cover of ‘Faint’ mid set), and at one point guitarists Song Chitipat and Pon Ujjin employ a Trivium style dual guitar solo. Euarchukiati even throws himself to the floor and starts thrashing about during what they tip as their “slow song”, ‘Ghost’. Ones to watch, for sure.

It’s a shame that almost all momentum is lost with Skold [3], who have the polar opposite amount of energy and intrigue about them. Considering his resume of artists he’s worked with in the past, both as a producer and a member (Marilyn Manson, Motionless In White, Shotgun Messiah), you’d think that there’d be a bit more spark and flair from Tim Sköld, but tonight he’s exceedingly static.

In contrast, keyboardist Nero Bellum is overly eccentric and dramatic, flipping around his keyboard and even dropping to his knees at some of the set’s most sombre and unadventurous moments. Still, at least it’s a distraction from the Diet Manson cuts and vocal delivery from Sköld, who looks as bored as most of the crowd does.

Thankfully energy levels get turned way back up once Motionless In White [8] make their appearance and pounce right into spooky set opener, ‘Undead Ahead 2: The Tale Of The Midnight Ride’, complete with its Sleepy Hollow references and the crowd roaring “Headless” right back at the Scranton outfit without command.

Following with a bustling one-two of ‘Necessary Evil’ and ‘Soft’ (a song which is anything but), next number ‘Rats’ is stopped within seconds as a member of the crowd at the front requires medical attention. “Is someone down? This is when you get in there”, vocalist Chris Motionless says to the security in the front, and for the next 20 minutes, the crowd part a path for medical staff to tend to and escort out the affected fan. Once safe and culminating with the crowd (for some reason) singing ‘All Star’ by Smash Mouth in unison to call the band back on, Motionless In White kick right back where they left off with ‘Rats’.

From here on out the band rarely stray from offerings on their last two records, ‘Disguise’ and ‘Graveyard Shift’; ‘Headache’ and ‘Holding On To Smoke’ sound way more visceral live than they do on record, the hard rock tinged ‘Brand New Numb’ gets fist pumping in the air from start-to-finish, and a look back to older numbers ‘Reincarnate’ and ‘Devil’s Night’ really displays the power behind guitarists Ryan Sitkowski and Ricky Olson.

Though understandably the set is cut a little short following the medical emergency earlier in the evening, the band return for an encore to deliver their grandest song penned to date, ‘Eternally Yours’. At times the crowd even overpower Chris during the song’s soaring chorus, and during its bulky verses they’re going at it in the pit, and with that Motionless In White see out their final stop in Manchester this decade.

Time will tell what the next ten years may have in-store for the Pennsylvanian quintet, but evidently they’ll be taking a horde of devotees there with them.