Saturday, November 5, 2016

Bring Me The Horizon + Don Broco + Basement. Live at the Barclaycard Arena (NIA) review (4/11/16)

Basement's (6/10) (presumably named because they never thought they'd play arenas) take on grunge is earning them a loyal fanbase. They seem like the kind of band that I'd like to see in a smaller venue as they did seem a bit lost on the BCA stage. However that's not down to a lack of good tunes. A lot of fans also showed up for Don Broco (7.6). A band I've never rated up until this point. They seem to exist in a sort of limbo, too laddish for the emo crowd, yet too clean cut for the indie kids. Yet their no nonsense rock tunes seem tailor made for huge arenas, and by the end of the show there was a sense that they could easily be head-liners in their own right.
You've got to hand it to Bring Me The Horizon (9.2), they've earned their status as one of the UK's biggest and best rock/metal bands. They've survived losing members, being bottled, Ketamine addiction, depression, and metal-head elitism. From their start as hyped, metalcore screamers to the arena slaying behemoths they are today. Last years 'That's The Spirit' may have taken big steps away from their roots but it's also exactly the album they need to make. 11 tracks of brilliantly written and slickly produced metal anthems.
It's not surprising that I've looked forward to this show more than any other this year. It's also not surprising that the majority of the setlist comes from that album. after the crowd being suitably warmed up by the supports, there was excitement in the air for BMTH's arrival on-stage. Their stage was made up almost entirely of lights, projecting scenes and images behind them. Rather than just a bit of a backdrop of lights or a video screen of the band, BMTH mix a bit of both, creating an immersive experience. For the bands entrance the screens cracked slightly with each power chord, before smashing entirely as the band launched into 'Happy Song'. Most bands would save their confetti and a song as good as that right for the very end. Yet right from the start BMTH played songs that were prefect for shouting along too. Strangely enough total carnage doesn't seem to follow Oli Sykes wherever he goes any-more. He encouraged a moshpit at the end of one song, but it only lasted a few seconds, even if a huge circle opened in the centre of the room. Instead Oli now has to encourage the crowd to jump about by getting everyone to crouch down then jump up (a trick borrowed by Don Broco earlier). Not that it bothers him, he seemed genuinely thrilled by the reaction of the crowd, claiming that Birmingham is one of their favourite places to play, and that he wanted to high five every one of us.
While 'Chelsea Smile' was thrown in as a treat for fans that had been there since day one, it's newer tracks such as 'Doomed' and 'Oh No' that seem to point where the future's headed. The former began with a spoken word section about life, death and the problems in-between to a backdrop of flowers growing to full bloom. While Oh No shows that BMTH have the skill to write pop songs that other bands would kill for, all set to a pink, 80's style backdrop. Yet it was the NU Metal-ish anthem 'Throne' which in Oli's words was the one to remember. At least until the triumphant closer of 'Drown' (with more confetti). Ultimately BMTH have become arena head-liners with huge confidence, style and an armada of anthems.

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