Bring Me The Horizon

Gig Review: Bring Me The Horizon, O2 Glasgow Academy, 24th April 2011

There’s always a strange atmosphere at a gig when a support band is drawing a larger audience than the headline act. This seems to be the case for Parkway Drive who positively raise the roof when Sam Carter merely mentions their name.

First up though were The Devil Wears Prada (7) who do what they do and do it well. Their brand of metalcore is hardly revolutionary, but faced with the difficult task of opening such an anticipated tour and being thrown on stage at a ridiculously early time, the Christian metallers do a good job of warming the crowd up. With breakdowns aplenty, they get the first pits of the night flowing chaotically with ease.

Architects (8) arrive to a hero’s welcome. On Twitter, most of the band members had expressed excitement at playing Glasgow again, and it isn’t hard to see why. From the opening notes of Day In Day Out, the crowd scream and jump along with Sam Carter who is clearly having the time of his life. They may have ditched the technical elements of their music with latest album The Here and Now, but it doesn’t seem to bother the fanbase – the reception for the new songs is just as warm as the cheers that greet more established tracks such as Follow the Water and Hollow Crown. The only fault with their performance is in choosing to perform two ballad songs (Heartburn and Hollow Crown). In a small support slot this slows things down mid-set, but the energy is reignited for closer Early Grave ending on a high, frenzied note.

The amount of Parkway Drive (9) t-shirts being worn shows exactly who the majority of the crowd is here to see. The loudest cheer of the night is reserved for when the lights go down to herald their triumphant welcome. From the moment Unrest drops, there is not a single body in the room standing still. The band are tight on stage, clearly professional yet visibly overwhelmed by the reception they’re receiving. Winston McCall’s grin is infectious, and as he and his bandmates dance on stage to their breakdowns, not a single word is needed to encourage the crowd to go absolutely mental. By the time Carrion arrives, it’s a surprise to see the room is still standing. Brutal stuff.

By comparison, Bring me the Horizon (6) seem tame. The crowd has visibly changed since Parkway left the stage. The intro music to their set (epic and soundscape-like) does not suit what is to come, and here in lies the main problem with their performance – the whole set felt fake and rehearsed. With ego ramps on stage to run up and down at will while screaming profanities at the crowd, Oli and his bandmates seem totally in sync with each other. Suspiciously in sync. For a band who used to play deathcore, not a genre known for being subtle, the whole show feels like a spectacle, something to watch rather than to participate in. Which would be fine if the songs were strong, but when Oli gives the crowd most of the vocals to Diamonds Aren’t Forever, even the spectacle feels a bit thin. That’s not to say it’s all bad – opener It Never Ends starts things off on a high note, with the crowd that is remaining screaming along to every word. Sam Carter joining the band for The Sadness Will Never End is a great crowd pleaser, providing one of the rare moments of the night where it is actually possible to sing along. Suicide Season falls a bit flat, with a cringe worthy introduction by Oli dedicating a song with the word “suicide” in the title to dead relatives of the crowd. Initial set closer Anthem is positively ruined by Oli consistently asking, almost at one point begging, for a circle pit which never forms. Chelsea Smile ends things on a high, but it’s not enough to save Bring me the Horizon’s set from being the poorest of the night.

Review by Scott Wilson, follow him on Twitter.

     

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