Sheffield lads Bring Me The Horizon have come a long way from the days when they were trudging around the UK pub circuit as a leading name in the MySpace influx of new metal bands. Compare that to when the band completely levelled Castle Donington earlier last Summer when they headlined Download Festival (read our review here), and it is like comparing chalk and cheese.
Finally, the NX_GN tour arrives in the North East of England, and the bitterly cold weather wasn’t going to stop legions of fans from turning out in force for this sold-out gig.
Sadly, Yorkshire lads Static Dress had been and gone by the time we arrived at the arena, but it wasn’t long before rising alt-pop star Cassyette was bouncing onto the stage. Having announced her new album, This World Fucking Sucks, along with her biggest headline tour, that day, Cassyette was ready to work this packed to the rafters arena into a frenzy. It’s been a long two years since first crossing paths with the singer, so it’s great to report that she is blossoming into an absolute star of the alternative scene with her infectious anthems. It’s going to be a long seven months until the release of the album, but on this evidence, it will be worth the wait.
Following their set, the road crew needs to use a forklift truck to dismantle Bad Omens stage production. It would appear that, while they may only be special guests on this run, the Richmond metalcore crew are pulling out all the stops with a headline-level production. Thankfully, the band have the material to match their retina-burning set-up as “ARTIFICIAL SUICIDE” and “Glass Houses” shake every corner of the room. Blending thunderous metalcore breakdowns with equally huge melodies, Bad Omens are the perfect example of how a melding of metal and pop should sound. Wrapping things up with a ferocious “Dethrone,” the band have shown why they’re rapidly becoming a leading light in the new breed of modern metal bands.
Anyone who thought that Bring Me The Horizon had not earned the right to share a headlining bill alongside metal giants like Slipknot and Metallica at Download Festival last year would have soon been eating those words as the Sheffield rock band delivered an unforgettable performance. Bringing out a scaled-down version of that spectacle for this run, the “NX_GN” production still dwarfed most other shows, setting the bar high for the rest of this year and beyond.
Interestingly, prior to their set, the huge screens at the side of the stage flashed up a series of video game adverts, and as the band took to the stage with an equally futuristic, video game-style intro, it almost felt like this was a massive market that the band are going to be tapping into in the coming year or two.
Announcing new album news and the departure of keyboardist Jordan Fish recently, it’s been a busy time for the band. They hit the stage with “DArkSide” with near hysteria greeting “Empire (Let Them Sing).” The first of a number of stoppages followed before “MANTRA” and “Teardrops” ramped things up again. By the time the show had reached the current single, “Kool-Aid,” the band were cruising. Frontman Oli Sykes has become the kind of frontman who can hold crowds like this in the palm of his hand while writing the kind of tune fit for the pop charts and the moshpits.
Those tunes include the likes of “Shadow Moses”, “Anti-Vist” and “Drown”, one perfect slice of pristine pop and modern metal after another. They return for an encore which includes “Doomed” and “Throne,” the crowd responding with almost boy band-like hysteria. Mosh pits spit out, girls scream, and Sykes oversees the insanity with a huge grin on his face knowing that, while headlining Download might have been a high point of their career, tonight showed that the Sheffield band were just getting warmed up.
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