Bring Me The Horizon
September 16th, 2016
Supported by Architects and ’68
You know you’re in for a good night when you see a flood of fans lining up to get into a venue early to see their favourite acts and this was the case with Bring Me The Horizon on Friday night. The Sheffield five piece returned to Brisbane in what front-man Oli Sykes described as the band’s biggest performance outside of the UK but before we get to their (somewhat) questionable set lets kick it off with the openers.
Taking to the stage at exactly 6:30pm the two piece with a whole lot of sound behind them ’68 welcomed the ever growing mass of punters into the venue with their raw, energetic and garage band style rocked. The band fronted by former Norma Jean and The Chariot front-man Josh Scogin and Michael McCellen on drums caught everyone’s attention from the start of their set all the way through until the very end when they even packed up their own instruments (while still finishing off the last song). Josh addressed the crowd during the performance saying he was “very thankful for everyone looking in their general direction” he also thanked BMTH for taking them on tour and also said he’s like to “thank all his friends for being in his band” a joke which drew laughter from across the Riverstage. The guys left the stage amidst a round of applause as they handed their stage crew Michael’s drumkit while he switched from snare to tom until there was only one piece left and with one final hit the gig was over.
At 7:20pm a standing ovation welcomed Architects to the stage as they opened hard, fast and furiously with “Nihilst” from new album All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. Unfortunately for us on the hill front-man Sam Carter‘s vocals were soft and at times you couldn’t hear much of the rest of the band over the dominating sounds of bass and drums. But putting all that aside I tried my hardest to listen only to the band and not the issues plaguing them at the start. The light show accompanying the following two tracks put me in a state where I didn’t know if I wanted to throw down in harmonious rage or start suffering from epilepsy, the constant blue and orange flashes were incredibly powerful and really helped the band express the heavy in their performance. As the band played “Downfall” the mosh was sent into an absolute frenzy with bodies being flung about all across the pit and it was about this time where the technical issues from earlier had been resolved, luckily for the boys as “Gravedigger” and “A Match Made In Heaven”; their two fan favourite tracks followed and the whole audience was feeding off their set. Following this is where the night took on a more raw and heartfelt emotional ride where the band gave us an insight to their lives following the tragic passing of their guitarist and brother Tom Searle.
Sam Carter broke down in tears as he spoke beautifully about how Tom was the driving force behind the band and how it was his incredible songwriting and guitar playing which kept the band progressively moving forward. There were doubts about whether Architects would continue on without him as the band mentioned in their Facebook post when they broke the news, however they had decided to continue on and dedicate everything they do to him including their last song of the night, “Gone With The Wind”. The second this song started there was not one single body standing still between the stage and the sound tent. The band gave everything they absolutely could into this last song and the mosh-pit gave just as much back to the band. As the song comes to an end and the lights go out a roar could have been heard across the city.
It was going to be hard for any band to follow such a deep impacting performance like that but headliners Bring Me The Horizon came on stage and opened with “Happy Song” and at this time all you could hear was a chant of “S-P-IRIT, SPIRIT, LET’S HEAR IT!” from the front to the back. Confetti blows up into the sky as front-man Oli Sykes makes his way onto the impressive multi-levelled stage, complete with animations. The boys have certainly come a long way since they opened for Bullet For My Valentine at that exact same venue back in 2010, but back then it seemed like Oli had more passion in him. During the entire first song it was hard to even hear the guy and at times it sounded like he was mumbling more than singing, luckily the band’s latest addition keyboardist Jordan Fish was there to help carry the former screamer throughout the night with his clean vocals. The opener was enough to get the crowd pumped and the momentum was maintained for “Go to Hell, for Heaven’s Sake” and “The House of Wolves”. Oli’s (now signature) request for the crowd to start a circle pit in his best British accent was welcomed with two emerging for almost the entire duration of the song but his attempt at screaming was starting to become disappointing, at one point it seemed he opted for a dying cat’s how instead of unclean growling.
The band were totally on point by the time “Avalanche” kicked off, sounding so epic for such a relatively small band, Jordan once again came to the rescue with his clean vocals dominating for the entire song. Now this is where things got a little weird and I don’t know how I feel about it. The band addressed fans who had followed them over the years and began playing one of the best releases to date “Chelsea Smile”, which had now had somewhat of a makeover, adding synths to it’s already brutal sound. By now Sykes had his unclean vocals on point and it was beautiful to hear, obviously he can’t scream like he used to but there’s evidence of him still trying so he can please the long time fans. An interesting new rendition of a classic that resonated with old fans who seemed to be lapping it up. Oli asks for the entire Riverstage to get down on the ground and everyone follows his requests, only to jump back up together midway through the song. Now for the fun part of the night…
Sandpit Turtle “Shadow Moses” begins and it goes fookin’ off (as the Brits would put it) with all the members on stage headbanging together at the exact same time, mesmerising and alluring enough to get us going. The evening then took a slow turn for “Follow You” from the new album That’s The Spirit and it’s roughly at this point I realise I’m too far off centre to enjoy the stage lights and animations lining up, but thats my own fault for being old and standing on the hill. “Doomed” is up next which continued the slow theme of the night, Oli jumps into the crowd and is held up on the barrier by hundreds of eager fans trying to touch him, like the musical god they think he is. Back on stage again and Oli makes reference that the next song is about depression and how it makes you feel at times like you’re “Sleepwalking”. By this point the band had reached what I thought was their peak performance, already 80% better than when they first started. “Can You Feel My Heart” is up next bringing the loud and synthy vibes back for us all. I sit and think back to when they put out the album Suicide Season and how far they’ve progressed as musicians to this point here and how amazing it is to see and follow after all these years. The song ends with sparklers from above and cheers from below.
The heavy returns with “Antivist” and the bellowing screams of “MIDDLE FINGERS UP, IF YOU DON’T GIVE A FUCK” would have scared anyone outside the gates of the venue who had no idea what the fuck was going on. Oli’s (hilariously non-aggressive) “Push it Back, Push it Back” orders when trying to start a Wall of Death brought on laughter from around me and fear and fun for those caught in the middle of it. As the frontman screams “DIE” both sides run into each other with so much force it can almost be felt from where we were standing almost 150m away. By this point I’m loving the flow of heavy and am really getting into it but that was nothing compared to what went through my body as “Throne” started up and the band projected a force wave through us all. The energy from everyone on stage and watching was intense as the song went on I didn’t want it to end. Perfect is the only word that came to mind about how they executed that one.
The band left the stage only to return a short time later with “True Friends” kicking off the first of 3 songs for their Encore. It upped the ante one last time to really make sure we were all fucked by the end of the night but the band slowed things right down alluding to their set closing with “Oh No” filling us all with positive vibes. The night was drawn to a close with “Drown” and yet another burst of confetti because you know, gig attendees and kids love confetti. Bring Me The Horizon have certainly positioned themselves as one of the next big genre crossing bands to watch, however they (Oli) may need to work on their live performance in order to be able to be classed as the best they can possibly be. They’re not far off it though. – Browny (@brownypaul)
Go to Hell, for Heaven’s Sake
The House of Wolves,
Can You Feel My Heart
Photographer Candace Krieger was there to capture some of the exceptional moments for your viewing pleasure. Please don’t use without permission (Bands are free to share).
Bring Me The Horizon
Bring Me The Horizon – 2016 Australian Tour
with Architects and ’68
Hordern Pavilion, Sydney –
Sat Sept 17 & Sun Sept 18
AEC Theatre, Adelaide – Tue Sept 20
Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne –
Thu Sept 22 & Fri Sept 23.
Tickets at www.livenation.com.au