Bring Me The Horizon have been in arena-headline mode since the climax of their Sempiternal tour, but this is the first time they’ve stepped up to London’s biggest indoor venue. It’s a daunting task, but one the Sheffield band have been waiting for since their mainstream-baiting That’s The Spirit took the world by storm.
Promising a hefty dollop of production, the stage is walled by giant screens projecting myriad visuals throughout the 90-minute set including wolves, fascist rallies, and snow (for a moving rendition of newie Avalanche). The spectacle of the show really is the star, opening on confetti explosions, a sprinkling of CO2 cannons, and beaming a lightshow that would make the Chemical Brothers blush, this has all the hallmarks of a band looking to follow in the footsteps of Muse rather than Slayer. Of course that doesn’t stop the crowd from going radio rental, with pits spiralling around the arena as Oli Sykes barks the immortal line “Pull the tampon out!”. Weighted heavily toward BMTH’s later material, with half of the set coming from the new album, there is the welcome addition of the raging Chelsea Smile and even a surprise knockout blow from Crucify Me.
Much has been said about Oli’s vocal abilities since the release of That’s The Spirit, with accusations of miming and backing tracks being tossed around the internet, but tonight it sounds like he’s going all in, roaring through Antivist like he’s trying to summon Beelzebub. Sure, he misses the mark sometimes, but it doesn’t lessen the size or impact, especially when you consider the audience Bring Me are now aiming at. Long gone are the days of turn-up-and-plug-in at some dive bar; the band have transformed into a highly focused movement, with crosshairs aimed at global domination. They have the anthems, they have the orchestrated multimedia stageshow, and – despite the undersold venue – they have the fans.
The closing one-two of Oh No – complete with Charli XCX-esque stage lighting – but no live saxophone, and a euphoric Drown solidify that BMTH are no longer ‘our’ band, but with the world at their feet, it’s pretty clear that no one in the arena cares.