When people look back on the package tours of 2011, it’s almost guaranteed that this is one that will sit among the very top of them. The ingenious booking of four different sounding bands that are all pushing boundaries within the same scene resulted in at least half the tour selling out. With queues snaking around Brixton and fans racing to get to the front barrier, it’s obvious that this is a crowd that are here for it all. We thought we’d head down and act well ‘ard in the pit while we had the chance.
Six things we learned when Bring Me The Horizon came down south:
1. On the tube to Brixton the folk on our carriage completed the spectrum of modern hardcore. Five lads in baseball caps and wife beaters swigging Strongbow? Architects fans. A six foot tattooed beefcake alternating between pinning his girlfriend to the door and doing pull-ups? He was a Parkway Drive fan. A couple sharing a stick of eyeliner before holding hands in the corner? The Devil Wears Prada tshirts. Lastly, a bunch of tweenage girls screaming their heads off. Two of those BMTH fans are wearing the same Drop Dead tshirt. Social suicide.
2. There are nights when you just walk into a room and know it’s gonna be one of those gigs, and tonight feels explosive from the moment The Devil Wears Prada take the stage. It’s crazy that a band of their quality is playing while the venue is still filling up but TDWP deliver a tight, punchy set that raises the bar early on. It’s interesting how the metalcore sextet do not sound out of their depth in Brixton Academy, a venue which has swallowed and spat out some of the mightiest headliners. Fingers crossed this tour leads to some bigger shows for the Americans.
3. It’s no surprise that Architects chose to focus on their latest record The Here And Now for this tour, and by doing so they are the least heavy band on the bill by quite a mile. The newer songs pack some weight and do sound slightly meatier live but lack the crunch needed to follow such a strong set from the openers. Throwing in some older tracks would have worked in their favour and by ignoring material off their first two records, it’s clear that Architects are sticking to their newer, more commercial guns, however terrible the calamitous anti-ballad of ‘Heartburn’ sounds live.
Bring Me The Horizon @ Sheffield Academy - 04 May 2011 c/o Gary Wolstenholme
4. Parkway Drive could be the heaviest band on this bill and – despite being the most one-dimensional – their live show is utterly compelling. By the time they take the stage, the venue is packed and hotter than a sauna, but this doesn’t stop 4,000 sticky people going absolutely berserk. The riffs that Luke Kilpatrick and Jeff Ling churn out carry a perfect blend of groove and bounce and feel purpose-built for occasions like these. It’s not big and certainly not clever but the energy that oozes out of this Australian quintet is colossal.
5. It’s always a pleasure to see a British band succeeding in life. Bring Me The Horizon are that and are doing that. It feels like a celebration tonight – a really, really sweaty celebration. Fittingly, the band has brought some giant smoke guns to form the Smokey Joe backdrop to tonight. Yeah, the undercard is strong but there’s no doubting that the vast majority of people are here for BMTH. The atmosphere is just insane. Forget about your hearing because it’s long gone by now.
6. Balancing their previous two albums, Suicide Season and the one with a long title perfectly, tonight’s set is an absolute masterclass in modern British hardcore. The variation in songs is superb and the delivery is non-stop brutal. Guitarist, Jona Weinhofen take on the form of an electrified wireframe as his boney limbs fly up and down the stage as often as Oli Sykes takes his own boney limbs on a mini-tour tonight. They definitely missed Matt Nicholls on drums a bit tonight but the rest of the band’s dynamism almost made up for it. BMTH are one of the most exciting British bands around. You’d be mad to suggest otherwise.
Bring Me The Horizon @ Brixton Academy – 30th April 2011 setlist
It Never Ends
The Sadness Will Never End
Blessed With a Curse
Diamonds Aren’t Forever
Football Season Is Over (After the Night Remix)
No Need for Introductions, I’ve Read About Girls Like You on the Backs of Toilet Doors.
Parkway Drive @ Brixton Academy – 30th April 2011 setlist
Idols and Anchors
Romance Is Dead
Dead Man’s Chest
Architects @ Brixton Academy – 30th April 2011 setlist
Day In Day Out
Follow The Water
Learn To Live
Devil Wears Prada @ Brixton Academy – 30th April 2011 setlist
Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?
Assistant to the Regional Manager