LIVE REVIEW: Bring Me The Horizon Prove They Will Never Forget Their Roots on 'First Love' Australian Tour
The night kicked off with local legends, Trophy Eyes. To say they set a high standard for the night is an understatement. Performing some of their more popular songs such as 'You Can Count On Me' and 'Chlorine', Trophy Eyes warmed up the vocal chords of the crowd in preparation for the main event. It is clear to see this band is built for performing, from the effortless vocals and dancing of John Floreani, to the passionate instrumental work of members like Blake Caruso and Andrew Hallett. From the moment they stepped on the Qudos Bank Arena stage, they looked at home, and knew that they belonged there. The way Trophy Eyes opened the night was fantastic, and for all their talent, truly deserve a larger following. Their set was one of the most enjoyable moments of the night.
The departure of Trophy Eyes from the stage saw the second opening act take their place. Up next was English punk rock band, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes. From the moment the band stepped on the stage, they owned it, putting on a show that could make even the best bands intimidated. They brought a sense of chaos and pure punk ideologies, certainly creating a good mood for the night. In fact, lead singer Frank Carter threw himself off stage in order to join the whole mosh floor in one of the biggest circle pits I have ever seen. Putting themselves in danger in order to make sure the crowd "would be up to Oli's mosh standards" is true dedication. Despite all this energy, the band still found time to wind down and truly connect with the audience. Carter spoke of his battles with inner demons and how the members within that band are one of the main reasons he is still here today. His vulnerability received a roar from the crowd, and as an arena, we respected his journey and this moment of fragility by singing along to their song titled 'Anxiety'. Ending the set with 'I Hate You', Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes showed amazing crowd involvement, perfectly setting up the crowd for the arrival of Bring Me The Horizon!
The last opening act saw much anticipation and excitement from the crowd. As English rock band You Me At Six took the stage of Qudos Bank, there was not a still body around the arena. Performing a large majority of songs from their recently released album, 'VI', You Me At Six showcased their incredible new sound for the first time in Australia. The performance was nothing short of spectacular, and catered for the plethora of fans in the crowd who had been dying to see them live. Josh Franceschi is clearly a performer, balancing his vocals with some of the grooviest dancing ever done by a rock performer. This lightheartedness was contagious, setting a dancing phenomenon through the whole mosh pit. Alongside this, the instrumentals were done with ease, with members like Dan Flint and Chris Miller showcasing why their band and their sound is so renowned in the alternative scene. Their performance was a solidification of their legendary status within the scene, and truly showcased their talents as live performers.
Australian fans thought they got the treat of a lifetime with this incredible lineup of support acts. However, the gift did not stop there. Towards the end of You Me At Six's set, fans were treated with something quite rare and special. The opening instrumentals of 'Bite My Tongue' started, and so too did a roar from the crowd. A large portion of the first verse and chorus saw screams from fans, some even sobbing at the thought they would experience the next moment live, and then it happened. In all his glory, Oliver Sykes strutted on to the stage, performing his vocal duties before marching back off. Many were left speechless at this wonderful taste of what was to come, and left the wait for BMTH to come on even more dreadful than before. You Me At Six wrapped up their set, wonderfully showcasing their skills and certainly getting the crowd excited.
Finally, our anticipation was over as the lights dimmed. A shake-up in the set list saw the 'First Love' tour opening with 'MANTRA' and the incredible intro created for it. "Welcome to peace", "welcome to freedom", "welcome to spiritual enlightenment", "welcome to a new way of thinking"; a siri-like voice over muttered these words, sometimes overtaken with eerie voices and accompanied by some beautiful visuals. The intro really set the scene for the night; celebrating an album and band which questions social norms and creates a space for those with thoughts of individuality. One by one, each member took their rightful place on the stage and began the mesmerising show.
The set list offered a variety of songs, catering for every Bring Me The Horizon fan. Songs such as 'The House of Wolves', 'Happy Song' and 'Antivist' were clear crowd favourites. Most importantly, the performance of these songs proved that the band have not lost touch with their roots, and will always value the genre that made them who they are today. It is truly incredible to see the diversity within Oli's vocals- from singing to roars and growls. Moreover, this passion is too displayed within all members of the band. Members of the band situated on the second pedestal of the stage were the focal point, and rightfully so. During all songs, Matt Kean, Jordan Fish and Matt Nicholl's poured every speck of energy they had into their instruments, recreating the same spark which is found in the recorded version of the songs. For this reason, BMTH are beyond breath-taking to see live, and create shows that are close to perfect.
Of course, the night would not go on without a bit of a serve. There were many mixed reviews circling around the release of 'amo', most notably, older fans claiming the band had "gone soft". Oliver did not forget this, and scolded fans 'attempting' to do a circle pit; "You think we've gone soft? Look at this! Shut it down right now". Of course the pit did not shut down, with fans throwing themselves around harder and faster to meet Oli's standards. After this much needed improvement, the show moved on!
Incredibly, the band managed to sway my viewpoint on perhaps on of the most talked about songs from 'amo', 'Nihilist Blues'. Opening the song stating "people say that this is one of the worst songs we have have produced", Bring Me The Horizon knew they had a lot to do in order to make their fans enjoy this song... and they certainly ticked all these boxes. Delivering the song with a twist on the part originally performed by Grimes, adding heavier instrumental layers and incredible live execution, alongside incredible amounts of crowd involvement, this was truly one of the best songs on the night. For that reason, I have created a new opinion on this song, and as someone who did not like it prior to the concert , am amazed that I am now in love with it. This just goes to show the creative ability as well as the talent of Bring Me The Horizon, and truly shows why they remain so prominent within the scene. They can make anything a good song.
If there is anything that Australians are good at, it is convincing an international artist to do a 'shoey'. To those of you who don't know what this is, it is when you pour some sort of alcohol into your shoe and proceed to drink it. Faint cheers for a 'shoey' to occur grew louder and louder, with the band insisting they did not know what it meant. However one brave member, most likely Lee, informed the band of what had to be done. A colossal amount of shoes were thrown on stage, the one hitting Oli being an Everlast shoe (which he proceeded to mock for being around in this day and age). Reluctantly, Jordan and Oli downed a drink from the shoe, confessing that us Australians had some pretty dirty habits. However this celebration of culture came at a price, with Oli claiming that for this, Sydney would get no medley. At this time many thought this was a joke. However at the next night in Melbourne, they got a medley. There were many angry Sydney fans, but we paved our own downfall.
As a break from all the screaming and circle pits, the band decided to perform 'Drown' acoustically. This was a touching experience. Oliver would occasionally leave the sold out mosh and packed first tier to sing the chorus, and hearing so many people echo back the words "save me from myself, don't let me drown" and "the weight of the world's getting harder to hold up" was quite emotional. At the times Oliver did sing, it was beautiful. There was so much vulnerability and fragility in his voice, once again showcasing the many dimensions to this band.
Finalising the night was 'Throne'. No seats were left occupied as everyone stood up to jump, dance and head bang. Each member left everything they had on that stage, making even the final songs energy filled and perfectly performed. Daring to do what other bands would not dream of, Oli proceeded to throw himself into the crowd, performing the final verse at the clutches of some of the most die-hard fans in Sydney. The trust between artist and audience was phenomenal and really solidified the fact that fans are necessary to the band in more ways than one. With a downpour of confetti the show was over, and so too was a night I will never forget.
Bring Me the Horizon's Australian 'First Love' tour was a show like no other. The band was perfect, each member playing their part and boosting up one another's talents. The line-up before hand was nothing short of perfection, showcasing the best that punk rock music has to offer in this modern age. The carefully selected set list of BMTH was one of the key pillars for this amazing show. Performing a mix of older and newer songs ensured every fan would be happy, and depicted the importance that Bring Me the Horizon's past still holds. Additionally, the visuals were some of the best I have ever seen, and really summed up the spectacle that was this concert. The Bring Me The Horizon 'First Love' tour was breath-taking and solidified the presence of Bring Me the Horizon as not only live performers, but legends within the alternative scene. We highly recommend you see Bring Me the Horizon at your local date; it is an experience you will not regret or forget.
Written by Georgia Haskins
Have you seen Bring Me The Horizon at any of the tour dates celebrating the release of 'amo'? If so, tell us about your concert experience in the comments below: