Review Cassandra Hale
The heavens opened relentlessly as the crowds made their way to Margaret Court Arena for a night of ear ringing bliss. There was nowhere to hide and the end result was a lot of people’s makeup looking like Alice Cooper’s without even trying! It was a young demographic, balanced by a few parents making the trip to escort their kids to what would be an amazing night of music with all the bells and whistles.
Kicking off proceedings was Australian band Hands Like Houses, they were well received by the crowd and have been touring enough of late to be a familiar name and sound for the screaming hoards. Their most recent release Dissonants is a terrific mix of clean versus dirty lyrics which is well balanced, and if full on screamo isn’t quite your thing you would enjoy Hands Like Houses.
While She Sleeps took the stage, immediately starting a circle pit and getting the fans pumping for the night to come. They were last on our shores for Soundwave four years ago and have been touring heavily of late. Their latest album You Are We is due for release in April this year, and while vocalist Lawrence ‘Loz’ Taylor admitted to having a throat like ‘Razors’ it definitely did not hold him back. Hurricane from the new album was a fantastic mix of almost choir like melodies mixed with screaming metalcore, a taste of what to expect on the new album. Loz joined the crowd in the pit for a sing-a-long, then clearly spent, laid on the stage to finish the out the song and gather some much-needed energy. The band were tight and left nothing in the tank as they left the stage.
A quick trip down memory lane to 2007, Gigantour, Festival Hall Melbourne, I was waiting backstage to meet Megadeth and a group of young boys from Sheffield London stuck their heads around the corner to sign autographs for some squealing fans. That was my first sighting of Bring Me The Horizon, and ten years later they are selling out multiple nights at Margaret Court Arena, a real credit to them in what can be a very tough industry to break into. Bring Me The Horizon has gone from strength to strength and amassed a huge fan base along the way. After canceling tours in September last year due to illness to boys were back and they weren’t just in fine form, they blew it out of the park, leaving no stone unturned in what was to be a killer night for all.
Opening with Happy Song off their latest album That’s The Spirit, I was thankful for my trusty ear plugs as the crowd went crazy. An amazing spectacle of smoke cannons, shooting streamers and screens lit up like Times Square were quite amazing and really showed that Bring Me The Horizon are living up to the huge expectations placed on their shoulders. A set list of 15 covered everything the screaming fans wanted, including Avalanche, Chelsea Smile, Shadow Moses and the much awaited Doomed.
A mass of circle pits, walls of death and crowd surfing matched the wicked sounds and thumping bass lines that shook through everyone in the arena. Flashing strobes mixed with awesome lighting and digital backdrops heated up Margaret Court to boiling point, when mixed with the thousands of hot sweaty bodies only needed a stray spark to start one hell of a fire. I really enjoyed the combination of percussionist and drummer, they played well off each other and added another layer to what was a polished performance by all band members.
Oliver Sykes delivers what a great front man should, the fans love him and are happy to oblige when he screamed, ‘push it back’ or ‘make a wall’, they did it with passion no matter what injuries they may suffer in the clash of the masses. Announcing he was happy to high five fans if they made the surf across the top, lead to a ‘surfin safari’ like no other, Oliver slapping sweaty hands as they were delivered above the hoards by the many hard working security guards.
Throne was the twelfth song but we all knew they had a few more in reserve, saving some of the best for last. A short break for a minute of two before they were back at it again, smoke cannons on steroids and fans in a frenzy as True Friends rang out. We all know that ‘true friends stab you in the front’ and there were hundreds of t-shirts telling you so in case you missed that memo. This was followed with Oh No and of course the one everyone was waiting for Drown. Smoke and confetti rained down on the fans, many shirtless, many shoeless and many in need of a shower. It was done for night one, but Bring Me The Horizon will be back to do it all again Monday tonight and I’m sure many fans will be returning again to get another fix. It was clear as an outsider that Bring Me The Horizon didn’t just bring the horizon to the fans they brought them the world.