Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne VIC
December 5th, 2019
One of post-hardcore’s most impressive acts, thought provoking quartet Enter Shikari have returned to Melbourne armed with their raucous trademark anti-establishment anthems and barrage of frenetic skittering beats.
Down under as part of the Good Things Festival, the ‘social commentators with synthesizers’ bounced into The Croxton Bandroom to dazzle the masses with their unpredictable sound. For a band capable of filling out arenas, this intimate setting only amplified expectations for what was certain to be a night of eclectic genre-bending and irreversible ear damage.
The feverish anticipation was broken by the first strains of frontman Rou Reynolds voice:
“Greeting carbon-based life forms.”
“We are Enter Shikari.”
“We control pitch, rhythm and light to control your emotions.”
Opening with soon-to-be fan favourite ‘Stop the Clocks’, a post-punk flickering flame of positivity, it’s clear to see that the St Albans quartet have come a long way since Take to the Skies. As true innovators, Enter Shikari are a band who are willing to forego convention. They experiment with new standards through their ideas, imagination and sounds – all whilst somehow keeping their staunch political and personal principles.
Swiftly jumping into ‘Destabilise’ and ‘Sssnakepit’, the lads demonstrated what makes them an industry stalwart. What was the most shocking this evening was realising just what an impressive range, and diverse back catalogue Enter Shikari have. They smoothly transitioned from chugging riffs (‘Arguing with Thermometers’) to skittish wobbles (‘Rabble Rousers’) via jaw-dropping electronica (‘Anaesthetist’) as if it were normal. However, all was overshadowed by a affectionate solo rendition of ‘Airfields’ followed by a trip down memory lane with ‘Mothership’.
There were no signs of fatigue or exhaustion as their infamous ‘quickfire round’ saw the lads whip through classics ‘Sorry, You’re Not a Winner’, ‘No Sleep Tonight’, ‘The Last Garrison’ and ‘…Meltdown’, all before finishing the night triumphantly on ‘Live Outside’.
In demand now more than ever before, Enter Shikari are undoubtedly one of the most imperative British political bands of a generation. Praised for their superb showmanship, famously forthright views and signature cathartic sounds, tonight’s offerings were no different. It is however rare that are we treated to such a great band playing with such genuine authenticity, solidarity, perspective and perseverance.
Until next time, we will be here, standing like statues…
Gig Review by Jimmy Russell @jamco17