Sorry for the hiatus (I can hear all you MCR fans crying still…)!
Onwards with the post:
On Saturday, I went to Alexandra Palace, London, to see the one and only Bring Me the Horizon play the biggest show of their lives so far and I must say they definitely didn’t disappoint.
We arrived at 9.15 am, far earlier than anticipated, with high hopes of meeting at least one member of one of the three bands but after hypothermia, most people singing along to Bieber, and 9 hours, we realised that wasn’t going to happen as doors opened, but no matter.
From the front of the queue we all flowed excitedly into Palm Court and then the West Hall, to see it kitted out with the usual street eat stalls and a huge merch stand, which showed it was going to be a good night.
Slowly filling up as the 10,000 people were making their way round from the other side of the enormous building, I picked my spot just behind the barrier on stage left, close enough to see perfectly but not so close I’d die in the first crowd surge, which was to follow fairly shortly.
At around 7.00pm, Pvris came on stage. I must admit, I have never been their biggest fan; getting into Kerrang and Rock Sound magazines with little effort while producing nigh-on pop music seems illogical to me in every way, but no matter. The crowd went crazy and waves of pogo-driven metalheads started flowing along with the likes of Mirrors and St. Patrick, coming to a mighty climax in My House, which really does show off (vocalist & guitarist) Lynn Gunn’s voice to an extreme.
After a bit of hardcore interval music over the PA came the turn of Wrexham pop-punks Neck Deep. I love Neck Deep and I don’t care who knows it. They entered with the the opener of 2015 LP Life’s Not Out To Get You (which is a stunner of a record, may I add… produced by ADTR’s Jeremy McKinnon, their producer Andrew Wade and former guitarist turned producer Tom Denney), Citizens of Earth, which featured a surprise guest performance from one of the best in the business in ARCHITECTS’ Sam Carter, who came and screamed his heart out for 10 seconds then vanished once more. Crashing through other songs old and new, most notably Gold Steps, Can’t Kick Up The Roots and Kali Ma (all from LNOTGY), climaxing in an emotional rendition of A Part Of Me followed by the staple set-closer What Did You Expect? to finish off an awesome set (BRING ON THE FORUM!), despite what the guy behind me was musing…
Then came the turn of the hosts. They’re the biggest band in the UK at the moment, one of the biggest in the world and they’re knocking on the doors of the various record books, and their name is Bring Me the Horizon.
The lights fell, the screens all piercing the gloom with a bright white glow and sure enough, the BMTH boys came bouncing onto the stage, with 10,000 of the most hardcore fans of any band ever screaming, cheering and all round being stoked for the next couple of hours.
Jordan Fish kicked off proceedings with the sampled opening of That’s The Spirit‘s intro track Doomed, following with Oli’s (rather appropriate to the weather) vocals, ripping through the verses that turn pain to pleasure as the screens displayed artworks from the TSS era of the band recently, and naturally the singalong had already started.
Then came the first single of TSS, Happy Song. Lee Malia (guitar) ripped through the leads with precision and feeling as per usual, creating an absolutely killer atmosphere right from the off, but we all knew from the final chorus with Oli’s scream of “so let’s sing along a little f***ing louder” that they meant business and that this gig wasn’t going to be another average metalcore gig like so many on the scene these days: for this was a Bring Me gig and they never fail to impress.
Then came a little Sempiternal interval in the shape of Go To Hell For Heaven’s Sake and The House Of Wolves, during which Oli did the usual speech about this being an amazing gig and how much we mean to him, which only motivated the crowd that little bit further, and he knew he had us wrapped round his little finger, using this to his advantage as he ordered “circle f***ing pits” in the same scream as normal (and everyone joined in, we knew the drill…).
Oli spoke about the “band for 10 years” thing, then asked us the unnecessary question “Are any of you fans of [BMTH’s 2008 deathcore LP] Suicide Season?”, which only led to more screams as we realised what the next words were going to be: “this one’s called Chelsea Smile”.
(I’ll say now, Chelsea Smile is my favourite song of all time and whether that makes me “emo”, “scene” or “weird” then great, I love it anyway.)
With Oli tearing through the opening lines with little backing from the band (the fan favourite has morphed into a far more rounded song from its deathcore teenage roots…) and blasting into its iconic breakdown riff, there sprung up instant pits and mania among the lot of us which only made it the atmosphere all the more insane. The pause after the first verse came and Oli looked out over us, all 10000, and used the power he had in that moment to enforce a wall; 5,000 people on either side of the room with a gap of about ten feet down the centre, only to be closed with the words “f***ing kill each other” in his usual half-screamed violent fashion, which obviously led to the closing and violence that was expected, as he roared for repentance and the End. Another verse through and as per usual, during the synthesised 16 bars (doubled from its original 8 on the LP) he ordered us to sit down, and more or less every single person in the entire venue sat down on the floor. 10,000 people just sat down in the main hall of Alexandra Palace, awaiting orders which soon came in the form of “three, two, one” and the huge galloping breakdown we all know and love with all our hearts and once again the crowd were one in the pit.
Another short speech before second TSS single was announced, Throne. The industrial electronic intro and verse absolutely thundered through the giant room and everyone just had a huge party really.
Then back as a short sharp reminder of the album that made them who they are today in the form of Shadow Moses’ scream of “THIS IS SEMPITERNAL” followed by Sleepwalking, which was a huge sing-along moment yet again.
Next up was perhaps the most hardcore of the new LP in True Friends, with the crowd shredding the semi-screamed pre-chorus and the vicious chorus with aplomb and delight, followed by Sempiternal favourite Can You Feel My Heart.
The set closed with a fiery rendition of Antivist with the crowd declaring as always that they “don’t give a f***”, and keeping the pits rough right up until the final note.
Stupidly, some people decided this was in fact the end and started to leave, which meant they missed the most emotional performance of Blessed With A Curse in BMTH history, with 10000 of London’s finest singing through the tears dragged out by Sykes’ heart-wrenching words.
Then came the set-finisher Drown, the song that turned the band from a metalcore band to rock superstars and the entire crowd went nuts to end the night in style, and the band stayed on form.
After a long set of goodbyes and throwing kit into the crowd, we all made for the exit to the sound of Paramore’s Ain’t It Fun which led to a little bit more of that party atmosphere we had experienced that night, but alas it was over.
I can safely say it was the best gig ever and one of the best nights I’ve had in my life, so thank you to everyone involved!
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