LIVE: Bring Me The Horizon / Enter Shikari / Don Broco @ The O2, London

By Christopher Lee

Once upon a time Bring Me The Horizon were a band that a lot of people loved to hate, I remember them opening the main stage at Reading Festival back in 2008 to a constant stream of bottles raining down. Fast-forward 8 years and 4 albums later the Sheffield rockers are embarking on their biggest tour to date playing arenas up and down the country to an army of adoring fans who, as its Halloween are dressed up as anything from Bananas to American Football Zombies tonight. Bring Me are a band who have managed to step up perfectly each and every time delivering blistering performances and incredible spectacles but before we get to experience what Oli and co have in store for us this evening though there’s a couple of pretty big support acts to get the crowd in the mood.

The first of these are Bedford boys Don Broco who keeping with the Halloween theme adorn the stage the stage with some fine zombie cowboy make up and front man Rob Damiani riding a two person fancy dress horse they open their set with newest single ‘Everybody’ and their infectious tones have the arena bouncing in no time. Tracks such as ‘You Wanna Know’ and ‘Automatic’ seem to be the perfect choices in a fairly short but sweet set that gets this eager crowd dancing right from the get go with the band instructing the crowd to bounce at every given opportunity. They close on the heaviest track they have for us this evening ‘Money Power Fame’ leaving the arena eager for more.

Luckily they don’t have to wait too long as for tonight only we have St Albans experimentalists Enter Shikari. Kicking off with ‘Enter Shikari’ from 2007’s debut album ‘Take To The Skies’ and an immediate barrage of crazy strobe lighting as you’d expect. It’s a set heavy with Trance and Drum & Bass tones including tracks ‘Destabilise’ and even the Reso Remix of ‘Anesthetist’ from their team up with Hospital records. Whilst the band don’t quite have the presence I remember from back in the Astoria days the highlight of the show though is undoubtedly a rendition of ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’ as Rou Reynolds proclaims “This one is for the Enter Shikari connoisseurs and it certainly takes the crowd back to 2007, well those that remember it anyway! Rou then explains that the band intend on “Disappearing for the next 6 months to write the best album we’ve ever made” before the set ends with ‘The Appeal & The MIndsweep II’ with Rou attacking the bands equipment before departing the stage.

Now for the reason we’re all here tonight, Bring Me The Horizon’s biggest ever headline show. Even before the band take to the stage you can tell it’s going to be a big one from the stage set up that the view are currently putting the finishing touches to. And if their last headline show in London at Alexandra Palace is anything to go by it’s going to be special. The house lights black out plunging the arena into darkness before an almighty video backdrop kicks in with the band on stage dressed head to toe in black and the familiar intro of S-P-I-R-I-T for ‘Happy Song’ before the band kick into gear and streamers/smoke streams explode into the air. Oli then orchestrates the crowd demanding that “everybody in this room f**king jump” before launching into ‘Go to Hell, for Heaven’s sake’ to a backdrop of huge stained glass windows. They follow this up with ‘House of Wolves’ as Oli instructs the crowd to open the pit bigger, bigger and even bigger during the intro before it erupts into chaos as the riffs kick in. There’s even a few of those bananas mentioned earlier bouncing around in the pit.

After a ferocious opening salvo the crowd get a brief respite as the band go into ‘Avalanche’ and then the intro to ‘Shadow Moses’ prompts the crowd to hold up camera flash lights and the odd lighter before erupting as the riffs kick in. Up next is ‘Chelsea Smile’ a song that feels like a distant memory for a band that have evolved so much, for me Oli seems to be more comfortable with the screaming than with singing but both are great it’s just that the former seems to come more naturally. It’s to their credit that this song is followed by the newer almost ballad like ‘Follow You’ and that both are welcomed with equal enthusiasm by the crowd. They hit the crowd with another brutal track in the shape of ‘Crucify Me’ a track that the band hasn’t played live in over 5 years and the crowd lose their collective minds.

The next three tracks come and go to epic backdrops across the huge screens in place that cover almost every inch of the stage and then some. ‘Sleepwalking’, ‘Doomed’ and finally ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ which ends with sparks raining down on the stage causing an epic spectacle all the while the bands performance is faultless, providing the crowd who are singing back every word of every song at the top of their lungs with a show worthy of the occasion. Coming towards the end of the set and an incredible rendition of ‘Antivist’ from 2013’s ‘Sempiternal’ it almost comes as a surprise when Oli explains that they’ve only got one song left which in his own words ‘This one’s for the haters’ as they end the set with ‘Throne’ which sums up the evening perfectly. Of course there’s an Encore consisting of ‘True Friends’ the almost pop like ‘Oh No’ and the just huge sounding ‘Drown’ bringing and incredible evening to an end. For me though it’s ‘Throne’ that sticks in the mind because that’s where Bring Me the Horizon currently find themselves, on the throne of British rock bands.

I don’t know what the future holds for the Sheffield band but having come from small beginnings they’ve now taken their place amongst the top echelon of current rock bands with this huge arena show and having just announced a US tour for next year and with upcoming dates across Europe, Asia and Australia could Bring Me The Horizon be on course to become one of the biggest bands on the planet? Only time will tell.