With Bring Me The Horizon’s first-ever headline arena show just two days away, the Sheffield quintet chose their old stamping ground to road-test their setlist and throw in a few surprises too. Here’s what we learned in t’ pit…
THIS BAND HAVE LONG SINCE OUTGROWN THESE VENUES
Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. Maybe it’s because Bring Me The Horizon were honing their craft on stages this compact only a few years ago, but everything about their performance tonight points at superstardom. While guitarist Lee Malia’s guitar and drummer Matt Nicholls’ pummel is enough to make you feel like the roof could cave in at any time, the showmanship is spectacular and unforced. The likes of the set closer Can You Feel My Heart are just designed to fill rooms the size of a Yorkshire foundry, so it’s a good job they won’t have to wait long to test that theory.
THEIR FANS MAKE GOOD BACKING VOCALISTS
A full-throated screamalong to the rallying cry of ‘This is sempiternal!’ during opener Shadow Moses may’ve been enough to burst an eardrum, but this level of extreme reaction doesn’t let up for one minute. The stage show and the sense of occasion on Friday may hold greater significance, but for sheer white-hot interaction between band and audience, this is as passionate a display of mutual affection you could ever wish to be a part of.
THEY PLAYED PRAY FOR PLAGUES WITH CURTIS FUCKING WARD
Wow. As Oli Sykes hinted recently, Bring Me The Horizon were planning something of a surprise for tonight’s show. Reuniting with original guitarist Curtis Ward, the six rip through the rarely performed Count Your Blessings highlight, Pray For Plagues. It feels like a genuinely special moment, given the falling out between both parties following Ward’s departure during the Taste Of Chaos tour in 2009. But once again, it’s the crowd who scoop the glory by creating a space on the floor as if a meteorite had just landed and going off before a note had even been struck. It’s a sticking point for some fans that the setlist is a little too Sempiternal heavy, but this moment of madness more than compensates for that.
DROWN ISN’T A BIG A LEAP AS SOME SUGGEST
When Bring Me The Horizon released their new single Drown on an unsuspecting public roughly a month a go, it prompted up a whole host of questions like, “Is this Horizon’s new direction?” or, “Is Oli going to be able to sing this live?”. Drown, which makes its live debut this evening, answers those questions emphatically. Oli’s voice sounds mega but, most tellingly, the track is met with the same euphoria that greets older fan favourites It Never Ends and Sleepwalking. If Drown does indeed hint at a new direction, the people that matter the most are digging it. A lot of the chin-stroking seems to be bleating from naysayers who didn’t sanction Bring Me becoming one of the biggest bands in Britain anyways. When this one drops in front of 13,000 people, it’s going to be a moment.
WEMBLEY IS THE MAIN EVENT
Despite what you may’ve read on your timelines of people wanking themselves to oblivion about this show, the real event comes this Friday in front of a sold-out crowd at Wembley Arena. Tonight was a nice nostalgia trip in a venue where you can feel everyone around you going ballistic at close quarters, but when BMTH headline the world famous arena in less than 48 hours, we are in for the show of a lifetime.
BRING ME THE HORIZON SETLIST
Shadow Moses Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake The House Of Wolves Diamonds Aren’t Forever It Never Ends And The Snakes Start To Sing Alligator Blood Empire (Let Them Sing) Chelsea Smiles Pray For Plagues Blessed With A Curse Antivist Hospital For Souls Drown Can You Feel My Heart