I had been eager to see Bring Me The Horizon take amo to the stage since I first heard the album at the end of last year. The album brought a lot of new dynamics to Bring Me’s discography and I was very intrigued to see how those translated to a live setting, especially with frontman Oli Sykes stepping things up on the vocal front.
The show kicked off very early with Trophy Eyes and You Me At Six playing as the audience slowly grew larger and larger. In all honesty, this definitely didn’t need to be a four-band bill, especially when you consider that the majority of the audience didn’t start rolling in till midway through You Me At Six. Both sets were well performed but felt lacking in a room the size of Rod Laver Arena. When it finally started to feel like YMAS frontman Josh Franceschi was hitting his stride and getting the crowd riled up, their set came to a close with ‘Room To Breathe’, a song definitely written for this kind of setting.
By the time Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes took the stage, I was very ready for some unrelenting energy to pick me up a bit. Frank did not mess around and was in the crowd before the end of their first song. Having seen The Rattlesnakes in tiny venues over the last few years, I wasn’t surprised that Carter took control of the arena immediately. His presence is so commanding that I’m sure you could put him in front of 100,000 people and he’d still have them all wrapped around his finger.
The rest of the band matched Carter’s relentless energy the entire set, especially guitarist Dean Richardson who threw himself around the stage with reckless abandon. Closing their short and sweet set of six songs with the ever so lovely ‘I Hate You’ and promising a return to Australia before the year’s end, it was clear that Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes had converted some new listeners after a ferocious and vibrant performance.
Some bands struggle with stepping up to arenas. Bring Me The Horizon are not one of those bands. They took the stage, jumped straight into ‘MANTRA’ and made it clear that audience was in for one hell of a wild ride. Huge screen displays, confetti cannons and one of the best lighting rigs I have ever witnessed took the band’s performance to an entire new level.
Bring Me’s set was essentially made up of the singles and fan favourites from the band’s last three albums, which garnered zero complaints from myself and ultimately made for an incredibly dynamic set. The pummelling energy of ‘The House of Wolves’ and ‘Antivist’ incited enormous circle pits. The anthemic melodies of ‘Avalanche’, ‘Follow You’ and ‘Mother Tongue’ had the entire arena singing along, and a stripped back take on huge hit ‘Drown’ was a very special and touching moment to close out the main set.
The band returned to the stage with That’s The Spirit opener ‘Doomed’ and Oli Sykes found himself with a sign in front of him saying ‘Play The Deathcore Medley’. At first, it seemed like the idea was shrugged off by the band, but eventually they caved and treated the fans to some older (and far heavier) deep cuts from their early days. Very unexpected, but very entertaining.
After all the excitement of alarm clock riffs and breakdowns settled down, the band closed the night out with recent single ‘Medicine’ and the infectiously energetic ‘Throne’. All in all, the band performed impeccably, with huge props to Jordan Fish for working overtime on keys, pads and backing vocals as well as bassist Matt Kean for simply refusing to stay still throughout the whole set. I had my concerns about Oli Sykes and his inconsistent vocal performances but for the most part he did a stellar job, especially when pulling out the ferocious screams littered all over their early material.
Taking to arenas can be a daunting task, but I doubt we’ll see Bring Me The Horizon in smaller venues ever again if they keep this level of show up.
Images - Tasha Strachan Photography