LIVE: Parkway Drive / Asking Alexandria / Stick to Your Guns @ Brixton Academy, London

By Jess

Over the past year, Parkway Drive have truly gone from strength to strength off the back of their newest album ‘Ire’. During a rocky time when the band weren’t sure what to do, they created ‘Ire’ and breathed life back into the band. They translate this incredibly well into their live setting and every gig of theirs essentially becomes one huge party.

Orange County quintet Stick to Your Guns kick off tonight with a set that’s full of vitriol and anger, fuelling their stomping tracks. They thickly layer on beautiful riff after beautiful riff, offset by Jesse Barnett’s ferocious growls and vocals. It’s a short set, but one that allows Stick to Your Guns to get the crowd warmed up for the rest of the evening.

Asking Alexandria are truly like Marmite – you either love them or hate them, and the room is split clean in two over this band. From the beginning, the set feels like an absolute sham. Danny Worsnop is no better than a strutting, flashy peacock: he’s all walk, no talk. The backing track is grating and, with vocals that suggest Danny’s been castrated in the last 24 hours without the use of anaesthetic, it comes across as a dull, formulaic show with no spark or substance.

From the start, Parkway Drive are simply on another level. With stadium-sized production, they get no less than three circle pits going at any one time and create such a euphoric feeling that people are more than willing to part with their £3+ pints to fling them across the crowd.  From ‘Wild Eyes’ to ‘Destroyer’, they crush speed and aggression to create charged, earth-shattering tracks. The riffs are well-oiled but simmer with visceral power, exploding during the likes of ‘Boneyards’.

Parkway Drive only have one setting and that’s ‘Go’. At no point do they slow down, and frontman Winston McCall calls for more circle pits, for more people to get off the ground and jump. The likes of ‘Carrion’ sees the crowd untie and sing the lyrics for the band; it’s a song that’s just about contained within the venue walls. Their cover of Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Bulls On Parade’ goes down an absolute storm, while ‘Bottom Feeder’ sees their rotating drum kit kick into life.

Put simply, tonight’s been a celebration of what Parkway Drive have achieved over the years and what a celebration it’s been! Full of pyrotechnics and an incredible light show, they show just how utterly fantastic they are – and, hopefully, always will be.