One of the UK’s finest exports, Enter Shikari, are currently in the midst of a headlining run across North America in support of their latest record The Spark. We caught up with them as they made their way to play a near sold-out show in Cambridge, Massachusetts (essentially Boston) at The Sinclair on January 30, with supporting acts Single Mothers and Milk Teeth.
The night started off with a rowdy set from British punk rock band, Milk Teeth, who were anything but boring. Led by frontwoman Becky Blomfield, they put on an impressive display of grunge-inspired music. The band put out their most recent releases, the EPs Be Nice and Go Away last July and November respectively, so their set included hits from those, “Owning Your Okayness” and “I Stabbed You First.” I hadn’t heard of them until this night, but with their mix of crunching guitars and infections hooks I think they might be a new favorite!
London, Ontario punks Single Mothers were up next, and picked up where Milk Teeth left off, putting on a raucous of a set that more than warmed the audience up for the night’s headliner.
At last, as the time of Enter Shikari’s performance drew near, a 10-minute countdown began to play and a voice announced “10 minutes until Operation The Spark commences” as the radar on their synthesizer which had been set up to look like a mission control monitor lit up and pulsed. At the end of the countdown, the intro “The Spark” from their latest album played out and the band emerged, launching straight into “The Sights” — also from the latest record. With his mad scientist-looking hair, frontman Rou Reynolds danced wildly around the stage, whipping around the mic stand as he belted out the lyrics. Enter Shikari may have just put out The Spark, but they made it clear by their second song of the set that older fans in the crowd would have plenty to enjoy as well, with the track “Solidarity” from 2010’s Common Dreads, which was followed by “Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour,” a deep cut from 2007’s Take To The Skies.
It’s hard to pick one single highlight as the whole performance was a thoroughly good time–but one particularly poignant moment was when Reynolds played the more somber number “Airfield,” that builds into an optimistic and anthemic refrain that had the whole venue singing along “So you’re down on your luck, your down…but that don’t mean you’re out!” A bit later in the band did a “rapid fire” medley of four tracks, which as Reynolds warned the crowd, had been sped up to 174 beats per minute. The result was a bouncy 8 minutes of some of the best moments across some of Enter Shikari’s most beloved songs, including “Sorry, You’re Not a Winner,” “Sssnakepit,” “…Meltdown,” and “Antwerpen.” This was a really fun way to hit more tracks than they would otherwise be able to fit into their set while also giving longtime fans a different way to experience them live. Their set ended with “Zzzonked,” after which the band returned for a two song encore of “Redshift” and “Live Outside,” which saw guitarist Rory Clewlow, guitar-in hand, leap into the crowd. All in all, it was a hell of a show. You can catch Enter Shikari on tour in America through February 27–see the remaining tour dates below!
Remaining Tour Dates:
02/08 – Columbus, OH – A&R Music Hall
02/09 – Chicago, IL – Metro
02/10 – St Paul, MN – Amsterdam Hall
02/11 – Winnipeg, MB – The Pyramid Cabaret
02/13 – Calgary, AB – Commonwealth
02/14 – Edmonton, AB – Starlite Ballroom
02/16 – Vancouver, BC – Imperial
02/17 – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
02/18 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
02/20 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst Atrium
02/23 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
02/24 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
02/25 – San Diego, CA – The Irenic
02/27 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom