Bring Me The Horizon

support Parkway Drive + Architects + The Devil Wears Prada
author BL date 27/04/11 venue Guildhall, Southampton, UK

Tonight was the first big show in a long time that came to me in Southampton instead of me having to travel to somewhere like London to see, something that I could definitely appreciate given the current economical climate of me being dead broke on funds. Musically speaking it was a star-studded lineup of metalcore that showcased some of the biggest and most well known names from the international and domestic scenes, so needless to say I was pretty excited and pumped to get everything underway.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada cemeted their position in the modern metalcore scene by releasing a pretty damn solid EP in "Zombie" last year. I had seen them play this exact venue supporting Enter Shikari in October of 2009, and needless to say that set then left a mild sense of disappointment as these Ohio metalcore quintet didn't really live up to expectations then. Though unlike fellow staff here who seem uncomfortable with the idea of their modern representation of metalcore being a little more preconceived as a live show with practiced stage choreography (not to the degree of a lot of other bands in the scene like a certain Asking Alexandria mind you), it was mainly their short set and terrible sound that let them down (part of which is due to the acoustics of the venue being atrocious). In any case a few stage moves aren't something that bothers me usually since they can add to the visual experience. Also fortunately the band kept things moving fast and to the point when they started to a half empty room with some older hits in "Danger: Wildman" and "Hey John, What's Your Name Again?", unleashing their trademark fast gnarly precise riffs, the screams of frontman Mike Hranica distinctive and punchy ontop, and the fast kick drums shaking the ground. Guitarist Jeremy Depoyster's high cleans seemed really strong today and a pretty near rendition of his studio voice which was impressive given the current climate of increasingly autotune-masked studio wizardry. The new EP songs also sounded great live next to the established songs with their increased dramatic content and more pummelling heavy sections. Good start to a stacked lineup for sure.

8

Setlist:

  • 01. Danger: Wildman
  • 02. Hey John, What's Your Name Again?
  • 03. Escape
  • 04. Anatomy
  • 05. Dez Moines
  • 06. Outnumbered
  • 07. Assistant to the Regional Manager

Architects

I had only spun the new Architects record "The Here And Now" a few times, and I have to say that while I'm not going to side myself with people who were disappointed with it and those who embraced the band's stylistic change whole heartedly (because I honestly haven't made up my mind yet), neither position would have allowed me to enjoy what seemed like a lacklustre performance from one of Britain's brightest prospects. What I did see I thought was lacking in more ways than one, Sam Carter's voice seemed 'ordinary' and flat at times tonight - both his screams and singing. Then there is the setlist that included from "Hollow Crown" only the three 'money' songs in "Follow The Water" (predictable now sadly), "Hollow Crown" (the big pretty ballad), and "Early Grave" (which they can't not play) which just seems a real shame. I can't say I outright dislike the new songs, since I actually think "Learn To Live" is a pretty damn good, but something about them just doesn't set the stage on fire like their older tracks could, and none of the band members did anything to make the visual experience any more complementary as well. Any sort of uneasy feeling I had seemed compounded when they played "Heartburn" complete with lighters and hands waving in the air from the audience. Sure its a pretty song on the record, but its inclusion both on the record and here live just seemed so forced and cheesy to try and get certain younger more female audiences to wet their ... appetite that I find it hard to buy into its sincerity (if it is indeed an honest track). I wasn't alone in feeling this way either as the crowd seemed noticeably less excited at these moments too. I just hope Architects can convince me in the future that they still have what it takes to be forefront runners of the UK metalcore/hardcore scene because this was not their night by a long shot, and I'm feeling generous.

6

Setlist:

  • 01. Day In Day Out
  • 02. Delete, Rewind
  • 03. Follow The Water
  • 04. Heartburn
  • 05. Learn To Live
  • 06. Hollow Crown
  • 07. Early Grave

Parkway Drive

Parkway Drive were a band I would have loved to see when I was younger and more exciteable about metalcore that was solely rehashed melodic-death riffs and heavy-as chugging breakdowns (er then again has this changed that much?). Though nowadays I find their new record "Deep Blue" to be lacking and uninteresting as a listening experience and as a result had only listened to it more or less once prior to tonight's show. The overwhelming initial feeling I had with that album was that this band had gotten itself stuck still in the 2005-2007 mindset in terms of writing heavy metalcore music, and so it didn't feel fresh or new (what a surprise you might think). I decided to waive this lack of enthusiasm in the hope that the band would still play some of their highlight tracks from their much older albums that I could still get into seeing live for the first time, which unfortunately didn't happen since most of the songs played tonight were all new (hence no setlist listed) other than the odd old song here and there. Luckily though the band had a fairly intense and engaging stage performance that had the crowd by the balls and forced an eruption of chaos and violence in the pit that livened the place up considerably. Bodies were crashing into each other and everybody loved the atmosphere even though the sound was still atrocious (increasingly worse from the opening band, not a surprise since each band just had their volume levels raised in order of appearance - a practice I really hate). I can't say much more despite how relatively decent Parkway Drive were live tonight honestly, though that said I don't think I'd be too excited to see them play again any time soon knowing I won't get into the setlist so much.
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Bring Me The Horizon

And so we finally come to the main attraction of the night. It took what seemed like an age for the band to even get started with audience members noticeably getting 'bored' - people started taking their tops off to amuse and equally appall depending on your moral stance with the questionably underaged males and females here tonight. So when the lights finally dimmed, the music started, and then the curtains... remained closed (a pretty hilarious technical mishap that had to be sorted mid-song) for "It Never Ends", people went wild understandably. Drummer Matt Nicholls had broken his hand earlier today playing football (the right and not American kind) with members of Architects and Parkway Drive and so had been replaced by Dan from Architects, who did a remarkable job of filling in despite only having less than an hour to practice the songs (and we were told the set would be shortened as a result). Oli Sykes's looked like a veteran of being on the road, experienced and charismatic in his crowd interaction and willingness to climb all the speakers on the side to reach out to the audience, not to mention his vocals sounded crisp and unnerving. The rest of the band took turns moving around the stage and looked pretty lively in front of the every blinding flashing white lights, bassist Matt Kean in particular doing his trademark jumps and guitarist Jona Weinhofen doing a respectable job filling in on some of the vocals (and the cleans for "Fuck" in particular).

Inevitably "The Sadness Will Never End" featured Sam Carter joining in on the fun of re-enacting the recorded version of the song, and we got to see the latest single "Blessed With A Curse" which sounded great live with its emotional hooks resounding surprisingly well when you could barely hear what was being played. Noticeably, no songs from before "Suicide Season" were included here, and it felt like some kind of impressive milestone the band had achieved, their long awaited coming of age almost. While those songs from "Count Your Blessings" may have been tongue-in-cheek (if you don't take them that seriously) sort of fun live, they would have definitely felt quite out of place amongst the undeniably superior newer material. "Diamonds Aren't Forever", "Football Season Is Over", and encore "Chelsea Smile" have usurped their position anyway as the goto lets party-hard songs in the set and things haven't looked better since (aside from maybe a few more songs would have been nice, like "The Comedown" perhaps). I think my main takeaway here is that Bring Me The Horizon convincingly showed tonight (to fellow friends Architects especially) that you can include a ton of new tracks that are comparatively softer, and still have a live experience that is as adrenaline pumped and exciting as before, if not more so.

Setlist:

  • 00. Anthem Outro
  • 01. It Never Ends
  • 02. Fuck
  • 03. The Sadness Will Never End (with Sam Carter)
  • 04. Blessed With A Curse
  • 05. Diamonds Aren't Forever
  • 06. Football Season Is Over
  • 07. Suicide Season
  • 08. Anthem

Encore:

  • 09. Chelsea Smile

Photos courtesy of Lauren Harris. To see the rest of the photos check out Lauren Harris Photography's facebook page.

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