“Bring Me The Horizon look and sound like megastars”: The first show of the Nex Gen era was ludicrous, meticulous and surprisingly heavy

At their first concert since the release of new album Post Human: Nex Gen, pop-metal royalty Bring Me The Horizon hosted an extravaganza of pyro, video and once-in-a-lifetime moments

Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon onstage in 2023
(Image: © Mariano Regidor/Redferns)

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“Mystic Festival… are you ready for the greatest night of your lives?” a robotic voice asks the annual Polish heavy metal gathering. It’s a pretty ballsy question to begin the build-up for Bring Me The Horizon’s headline set, which is mere moments away. However, if there’s one thing this band have never lacked, it’s ambition.

During the 2010s, the Northerners shattered the barriers between metal and modern pop. Increasingly melodic and electrified albums like Sempiternal and Amo infuriated elitists, but simultaneously catapulted Bring Me into the rock ’n’ roll elite. Their anointment was only proven last week, when the surprise release of Post Human: Nex Gen pricked the ears of seemingly an entire generation of music listeners.

Still, though, if there are any doubters of Bring Me’s status at Gdansk’s otherwise no-nonsense metal festival (the other headliners this year were Machine Head and Megadeth), they’re about to be shown the scale of the juggernaut – and maybe even musically won over.

As Darkside kickstarts the evening, the band look and sound like megastars. In front of a church-like video backdrop, their congregation is overjoyed throughout the night. Their catchiness and digital edge hasn’t been dulled by the absence of keyboardist/producer Jordan Fish, while vocalist Oli Sykes’ cheeky calls for moshing (even if it’s just a “six out of 10” to get everyone limber) are gleefully met. A live sound that emphasises the force of these lads’ tracks only helps the whirlpools to open.

The remaining 90 minutes only grow more and more batshit. A narrative about the end of the world is threaded into the concert by video packages between songs, and it strikes an apex of zaniness when a massive bloody angel “smashes” through Bring Me’s “church” during Kool-Aid. The projected monstrosity even circles its fingers at the same time Sykes calls for another pit. Then, to introduce Shadow Moses, the singer brings a lit flare onstage, which “ignites” a symbol on the backdrop: such is tonight’s attention to detail amidst the madness. And, of course, pyro gets shot out like machine gun bullets throughout all of these spectacles.

The live debut of Top 10 Statues That Cried Blood reaffirms this evening as a special occasion, before, for one fan called Vicky, the show gets even more special during Antivist. The young woman is invited onstage by Sykes and gets an endearing turn at co-vocals. The frontman then doubles down with Drown, bringing a camera down to the barrier so everyone can see Bring Me’s most ardent followers screaming their lungs out.

Compared to other metal headliners of their level, Bring Me are new blood with plenty of people still needing to be convinced. Tonight, at their first set since the seismic drop of Nex Gen, the band reiterated their commitment to being a fresh, revolutionary force in this scene. Whether this has actually been the greatest night of your life is subjective, but it was definitely one of the most no-holds-barred festival extravaganzas of your life.

Bring Me The Horizon setlist – Mystic Festival: June 8, 2024

Darkside
Empire (Let Them Sing)
Mantra
Teardrops
Amen!
Kool-Aid
Shadow Moses
Obey
Itch For The Cure (When Will We Be Free?)
Kingslayer
Top 10 Statues That Cried Blood
(live debut)
Parasite Eve
Antivist
Drown
Can You Feel My Heart

Encore:
Doomed
Lost
Throne

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.