David Jackson reviews Bring Me The Horizon at Arena Birmingham
Bring Me The Horizon kicked off their UK tour in stunning style at Arena Birmingham on Friday night with a show dominated by tracks from their past two albums, a glimpse of new material and a medley of hits from their early releases.
The monumental rise of the Sheffield five-piece has been an intriguing yet textbook example of how to fill arenas and take over rock in the process.
Not many bands have strayed as far from their early sound and look as much as BMTH.
Yet at Birmingham, at times they dared to mix vocal pop melodies more akin to Now compilation records (Follow You) only minutes after deathcore breakdowns (Diamonds Aren't Forever).
Joining BMTH were Yonaka and Fever 333 and while the former put in a solid opening set of dark alt-pop, it was impossible to take your eyes off the latter.
Despite having only an EP and few singles to their name and a few UK gigs under their belt, the US trio fronted by former letlive. man Jason Aalon Butler at times threatened to upstage the headliners.
As the band's intro kicked in, Butler was led on stage in a black jumpsuit and black sack over his head which he ripped off as they exploded into life.
Using every inch of the stage, Butler and guitarist Stevis Harrison barely stood still, running from side to side as they powered through their socially charged fusion of hardcore and rap.
Not content with the confines of the stage or its middle walkway, mid set Butler ran out and started scaling a side of the arena, climbing into the the front rows of seats while this microphone cable stretched over fans below.
Captivating to watch and with lyrics fuelled by the state of modern America, Fever 333 feel like one of the most necessary bands currently coming out of the country.
Any worry of BMTH being upstaged however was swept aside as they arrived on stage.
An explosion of colourful streamers bust into the air as their intro track gave way to recent comeback single Mantra.
A perfect example of modern BMTH, the track combined a huge guitar riff, synth refrains and sing-a-long chorus - and this tried and tested formula dominated their set.
While the lighting rig above above BMTH shifted angles and shapes all night, the stage itself was equally as impressive.
Clear and underlit, it pulsed with different colours - think naff retro '70s nightclub but done with significantly more care and sophistication.
Highlights of BMTH's set included past singles Shadow Moses and Sleepwalking while fans from the band's early days were treated to a four song melody of hits.
Frontman Oli Sykes spent a good proportion of the set on the short walkway and when not reaching out to fans was spinning in circles around the stage, around bandmates, arms stretched out - clearly relishing every minute of the show.
Sykes paused to speak to the Birmingham crowd on a number of occasions, at one stage to joke "back to s**t stuff" having raced through their early hits, then again to encourage circle pits to open up.
Admitting they had never seen this many people in the city before and explaining how excited they were for fans to hear their forthcoming album, Sykes exclaimed "it's going to blow your minds".
Happy Song saw Arena Birmingham explode into a moshing frenzy while set closer Drown was given the acoustic treatment.
The band returned for a two song encore, eventually leaving the stage to Throne which again saw fans burst into life.
The opening line of BMTH's set saw Sykes ask "Do you want to start a cult with me?"
Judging by the thousands packed inside Arena Birmingham the cult is already thriving.
There was nothing off 2010's There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret - the LP which almost acted as a gateway between their varying sounds - but both are relatively minor gripes to an otherwise cracking show by one of the UK's biggest bands.
* Bring Me The Horizon played:
The House of Wolves
Go to Hell, for Heaven's Sake
The Comedown / (I Used to Make Out With) Medusa / Diamonds Aren't Forever / Re: They Have No Reflections
Can You Feel My Heart
* The show took place on November 23. Visit www.bmthofficial.com for future tour dates.