Live Review: Bring Me The Horizon (London O2, November 5th)

Bring Me The Horizon – the band that has shot up in much-deserved popularity this past year and went on to sell out the O2 for what was a truly magnificent show. Expectations were certainly high for this tour and they did not disappoint. Their fans on the other hand were…interesting. As were their support bands, Basement and Don Broco – but for very different reasons.

First band Basement came out to a curious crowd – it was clear that no one had taken the liberty of trying to find out who these guys were prior to seeing them. And what a waste of time it would’ve been if anyone had. With an overenthusiastic frontman that was clearly hearing something different to everyone else in arena, the band bounced around and headbanged to music that I couldn’t believe was actually being played in the O2 Arena. They did receive a few chuckles from those that weren’t completely bewildered (as I was), so at the very least they did entertain some of the crowd. I would’ve rather spent the time listening to more of the Paramore and Arctic Monkeys that was playing before their set, personally.

But all of the distaste that Basement left behind was soon forgotten in the lively atmosphere brought by Don Broco. A band that never fails to bring the party to any venue they play at, the O2 were soon jumping and dancing to fan favourites such as ‘Everybody’ and ‘Nerve’. That said, less of the crowd actually knew the band than expected, which meant it took a while for them to make a real impact. That plus Rob’s sore throat (bless him) equalled to a performance that certainly wasn’t their best, but was still a lot of fun. And I reckon a lot of those who didn’t listen to them before will be going home to search them up.

Interval #2 – full of decidedly terrible music – and then BMTH were up. Prior to this concert, it was a very difficult challenge to avoid videos and pictures of the staging; when first song ‘Happy Song’ blasted through the speakers, I understood why. The visuals of this concert were nothing short of incredible. The stage was pretty much entirely composed of screens, displaying a different terribly beautiful background for each song. The band themselves – particularly Oli – showed such energy and love towards the crowd from start to finish that if the staging wasn’t enough to mesmerise, he was. The entire production was simply stunning. And they had a setlist to match; a perfect balance between That’s The Spirit and Sempiternal, much to the delight of everyone that expected to be bombarded with mostly the former.

Oli’s claim that “this is gonna be the most fun you’ve ever had in your tiny fucking lives” might have been a bit of an overstatement though. While the band did exceed expectation in performance, their was certainly an air of angst and a general lack of energy from their largely young audience. An irritation at best, standing fairly close to the front wasn’t half as fulfilling as it should’ve been – particularly during final song ‘Drown’. Telling a bunch of 15-year-olds that all they’d have to do to touch him “is crowd surf – which is fun in itself – over this barrier” isn’t the most intelligent thing he’s ever done, and created what can only be best described as a stampede above our heads. I imagine my face mirrored that of the security at the front of the crowd as kid after kid flew across, leaving many injuries in their wake. There was a point where a small pile of bodies – looking not unlike corpses – started to build up as people got fed up of carrying. All of this chaos also meant that for many, including myself, the visuals for the end of the concert were an absolute mystery. So maybe next time don’t encourage first-time concert goers to crowd surf like that, eh Oli?

From the seats, I imagine the concert was outstanding, but there was definitely an unfortunate dampening on the mood from the stalls. That aside, the boys did an awesome job and certainly deserve to sell out a place like the O2 Arena. Their climb upwards will surely continue with bigger venues and festivals.

The full setlist for Bring Me The Horizon was as follows:
1. Happy Song
2. Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake
3. The House of Wolves
4. Avalanche
5. Shadow Moses
6. Chelsea Smile
7. Follow You
8. Sleepwalking
9. Doomed
10. Can You Feel My Heart
11. Antivist
12. Throne
Encore:
13. True Friends
14. Oh No
15. Drown

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