LIVE: August Burns Red/ The Devil Wears Prada at O2 Academy, Bristol [22/10/12]

By Lais

Tonight sees two of the metal world’s biggest players, The Devil Wears Prada and August Burns Red, descend on Bristol Academy and tear it into shreds. The venue is sadly far from sold out, but the turn out is good and The Devil Wears Prada come onstage to rapturous applause from a crowd who saw them play a successful show at this venue with Bring Me The Horizon last year.

The Devil Wears Prada hail from Ohio, but they’ve hit the UK fairly hard in the last couple of years. Every time they come back they are recognised by more and more people and it’s clear to see their hard work is starting to pay off. With huge anthems like ‘Born To Lose’ off their utterly fantastic album ‘Dead Throne’ at their disposal, The Devil Wears Prada are sure to gain several hundred more fans tonight.

Frontman Mike Hranica commands the stage like an absolute pro and even his declaration of “We are The Devil Wears Prada and we believe in Jesus Christ” goes down a storm, which is proof of a strong frontman. Next time they’re in the UK, all of these people will be there, and that is the sign of a good show.

Tonight’s headliners are Pennsylvania’s August Burns Red, who, despite being famous for their metalcore music, come onstage to an electronic dance song. It’s completely unexpected and the crowd respond in the best way possible – mixing up a night of relentless metal by bringing the fun and pumping up the crowd from the off.

They launch into a set full of hits, while displaying a bucketload of charisma as they do it. Frontman Jake Luhrs is great fun to watch, along with the rest of the band who keep the crowd pumped up with their collective energy. There’s a hell of a lot of synchronised headbanging and it is bloody fantastic. Bassist Dustin Davidson deserves a mention for sheer enthusiasm and talent alone, but the same goes for the rest of the band.

Due to strict venue rules and regulations, crowd members are forbidden from crowd surfing or doing any of the usual things seen at rock shows, and August Burns Red acknowledge that when they list all the things the crowd are not allowed to do, but nevertheless, “we can have fun”. Jake Luhrs gives a shout out to the security, keeping them sweet, and the crowd respond to him wonderfully. If there’s anyone who can do the job of frontman successfully, it’s him.

The band go offstage to rapturous applause, leaving bassist Dustin Davidson and drummer Matt Greiner to have a drum off which causes shivers all around. It’s a fantastically memorable way to end a set, but that’s not all. The full band come back on to end proceedings in style with an encore. ‘Empire’ and ‘White Washed’ are a cracking end to an absolutely brilliant set. August Burns Red are surprisingly great live. You would do well to check them out if you haven’t already.