Live Review: Bring Me The Horizon – O2 Academy, Newcastle, November 20th 2009

Sheffield metallers Bring Me The Horizon are nearing the end of a sold out tour, and their biggest to date; in reality, it was always going to be a hit with the kids who can’t get enough of their pin-up image, and they bring two bands along for the ride that provide more of the same, August Burns Red and A Day To Remember – powerful, popular, predictable?

Starting off the night’s proceedings is predictably something tonight’s crowd would lap up even if it was covered in shit; Pennsylvania metallers August Burns Red charge out of the starting blocks serving up a heavy slab of vicious growls, screams, and riffage, and it takes nothing to open the floors and get the party started. The Truth of A Liar from old record Messengers proves to be a highlight, its notable lead guitar woven in and out of the intro send bodies flying left, right, and centre; someone has to have been hurt. They’re a tight live act, no denying, but there’s a lot to be desired from a band that, in all honesty, play seven songs that sound exactly the same as one another. An impressive introduction, but you can’t help but cry for a little extra variety.

Florida moshcore-pop-punkers A Day To Remember have taken the world by storm since new record Homesick hit shelves, and tonight it’s arguable that just as many are here to catch them as tonight’s headliners. The band throw themselves into the intro to said new record, The Downfall Of Us All, sparking an almighty rampage down on the floor. Frontman Jeremy McKinnon is surprisingly well-sung tonight, considering his usual off-key tones and failed growlings, and it shapes up to make the quintet sound all the more technically sound. Claiming to be the “World’s heaviest pop-punk band” according to merchandise, it’s a claim hard-pushed to beat, it’s as much metalcore as it is the pop-punk, and it’s a formula that keeps the kids happy with a dashing of chugga-chug, kick drum and all around noise. The slightly lighter My Life For Hire sounds fantastic, as does finisher The Plot To Bomb The Panhandle, but recently dropping A Shot In The Dark for the much more laid back Have Faith In Me proves a strange choice, diluting the set somewhat and killing “the mood”. The band are back in March for a tour that has almost sold out some rooms as big as tonight, and, after this performance, it’s clear to see why; and all without a Kelly Clarkson cover in sight!

Bring Me The Horizon, love them or hate them, have become more than an irritance to the haters now, they’ve established they’re here to stay, no questions asked. Whether any of their so called “fans” know any of the crudely chanted barks of songs, or take any notice of any member except posterboy frontman Oli Sykes is debatable; the band tear into Chelsea Smile, sending the front barrier fangirls absolutely bonkers with glee. Even though they may be the ‘in’ thing in the scene, they still play like a very tight, very good metal act. Old track Play For Plagues gets an airing, and with a more death-metallish sound and even hints of hardcore thrown in, it sounds precise and honestly brutal.

The Comedown
sticks out as a clear favourite of the night, enduring crowdsurfs, circle pits, and all matter of arm flailing, it’s fast-paced and aggressive, and delights the audience. The band stop to celebrate their frontman’s birthday mid-set which eats into valuble time whilst he smashes a cake over his head, before playing the only other “old” track of the night, Medusa.

It’s clear the Suicide Season tracks show maturity from the band since their debut, Count Your Blessings, but once an hour passes, and a cringe-worthily trendy dance mix of closer Football Season Is Over… it’s over, the band are gone as soon as they arrived. Eleven songs is nowhere near enough of a setlist for a band of this level to be playing on a headline show, but cementing the fact that the kids only want to hear the hits anyway, it’s not much of a bother for them, at least. A solid performance, but once you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen it a thousand times.

George Cannings.

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