LIVE: Bring Me The Horizon / Neck Deep / PVRIS @ Alexandra Palace, London

By Ben Tipple

Tonight is a big night. The capital’s climax in Bring Me The Horizon’s upward trajectory that has seen them battle for the top-spot on next year’s festival billings. One that has seen them pick up a throng of new fans, and push the boundaries of their early music to breaking point. Wrapped inside Alexandra Palace’s iconic walls, tonight is destined to be special.

Openers PVRIS continue to prove themselves a powerhouse in the alternative market, although allow for plenty of discussion over their genre pigeonhole. Really most agree they make some damn good pop music that leaves the spine tingling for some time after they leave the stage.

Main support Neck Deep have spent 2015 cementing themselves as pop-punk superstars following a particularly bolstering stint on the US Warped Tour. Inviting Architects’ vocalist Sam Carter onto the stage in song one packs an instant punch, and from here in the crowd are with the Deep for every move and every chorus. As with PVRIS, they battle with the venue’s vast expanse that swallows sound almost as much as it impresses in grandeur, but that doesn’t do anything to stop the pop-punk party.

Bring Me The Horizon

Before announcing tonight as the best show of their “fucking lives”, Bring Me The Horizon launch into a mesmerising spectacle. Streamers explode from the stage, LED lights create a monstrous backdrop that flashes the lyrics in perfect time to the band’s thunderous performance. The sound issues have all but dissipated. Sykes commands the crowd with a seemingly instinctive ease, but one that he has been honing for years.

The showmanship is infallible. Stunning. Almost perfect. Dominated by new material, the rare outing of ‘Chelsea Smile’ and ‘Bleed With A Curse’, now deemed old, satisfies the long-term fans. Newer material stands against it with ease. Divisive in some senses on record, it is brilliant on stage. ‘Doomed’ allows for a suitably eerie and foreboding start, before the anthemic chant of ‘Happy Song’ echoes around the room. What the band began at Reading in cementing their headline criteria continues and develops in front of our eyes.

The increase in showmanship sees a subtle shift in focus. The alternative now pushes into spectator territory more familiar with pop audiences, as the backing track is amped up to the max. The flashy production pushes to the forefront. Yet for most it doesn’t matter. It’s an evolution; a shift echoed in their stylistic change.

Tonight is not one night, but two; one of brilliance that further sets Bring Me up as the next festival headliner, and one that waves a permanent goodbye to the Bring Me of old. It’s been a slow process, and one that has yielded spectacular results. It’s by no means a surprise. With their Royal Albert Hall show on the horizon, Sykes will be able to prove his vocal ability once and for all. Whether he needs to is questionable. Nobody is leaving Alexandra Palace unsatisfied, and as far as we are concerned, that’s the spirit.