Metalheads just wanna have fun. With their entire UK tour sold out since early this summer and a massive turnout for their set in the Avalanche tent at Download Festival, it's fair to say Electric Callboy are more than living up to the hype of their viral hits Hypa Hypa, We Got The Moves and Pump It, fusing eurodance and metalcore to become one of the most ludicrous breakout sensations in modern metal.
The 3000 capacity O2 Academy in Birmingham is positively heaving, massive sing-alongs to the likes of Queen's Don't Stop Me Now ensuring there's a heavy party mood even before the show starts. The room erupts as the hard club beat of Tekkno Train signals Electric Callboy's arrival, a blast of confetti eliciting ecstatic shrieks.
Even when they're not in dress-up - which is most of the show - there's something that marks Electric Callboy out as special. The combination of hyperactive EDM beats and metalcore beatdowns whips the crowd into a frenzy as vocalists Kevin Ratajczak and Nico Sallach toe the line between comedians and ringmasters.
"This is the biggest show of our UK tour, it is also the hottest," says Kevin, the packed nature of the show turning the Academy into a furnace. Naturally, that poses a few issues. At one point Kevin delays the start of the next song to ensure members of the audience are getting water and someone in distress is able to seek help ("I love the party, but please make sure you’re looking after each other”), but otherwise the overall vibe is of sheer exhilaration as the band play almost every song from 2022's Tekkno - only Neon not making the cut.
With Callboy already playing arena-sized venues at home in Germany and hosting their own festival, it feels like the UK is on a crash course to catching up, eager to roar along to nigh-on every song in the set. The likes of Hypa Hypa, Hurrikan and Fuckboi already feel like well-worn metal favourites even in spite of their relative infancy, while the band's inclusion of covers seems to work on a system of "the more ludicrous, the better" as they belt out Cascada's Every Time We Touch and wheel out a penis-shaped piano to offer hilariously schmaltzy covers of Frozen hit Let It Go and Backstreet Boys' I Want It That Way, even chucking a bit of Darude's Sandstorm at one point.
Bizarre as it is, 3000 metalheads are more than eager to join in on the joke. By the time they're gearing up for the encore - literally, donning costumes for a hyperactive Pump It and We Got The Moves - it feels like we've just witnessed the most deliriously fun show in metal, earning massive smiles all around as the band are joined on-stage by supports Monuments and As Everything Unfolds for one last almighty dance.
Sugary, fizzy and daft in the very best way, Electric Callboy have effectively rebooted themselves with Tekkno and shot for the stratosphere in the process (to wit, when the band last played Birmingham in 2018 it was a venue a fifth of the Academy's size). Alongside the likes of Ghost, Lord Of The Lost, Ice Nine Kills and Sleep Token, they're a breed of modern band eager to cast the net further than traditional metal whilst bringing new fans in by their thousands. And when it's this fun, who are we to argue?