Music brings us together in ways I find that nothing else can and it’s live music that solidifies that connection, putting us all on the same wavelength for that moment in time. For me tonight was a testimony to this fact, as I left the venue feeling free and in a complete state of awe as to what I felt I had just experienced with every single person in that room.
For the past 15 years Bring Me The Horizon have been one of the most criticized bands of the 21st century, constantly changing up their style to the dissatisfaction of a lot of people. From the early days of Count Your Blessings you see a band that brought nothing but thrashy breakdowns, death growls and straight up aggression. Fast-forward to 2019 and we see a band that’s gone through almost all the genres of music which includes the likes of Metalcore, hardcore, rock, pop and as seen with this year’s release of AMO, even electronica and hip hop.
But no matter what you may think of this British based band and their diversity, they have worked harder and persisted all the more over the last decade and a half to get to where they are now – playing to thousands in arena’s on the other side of the world, a long way from where they call home.
With the likes of Trophy Eye’s, You Me At Six and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes we were handed a line-up that gave us nothing but world class and one that quite frankly shocked a lot of people who missed out on early tickets.
Trophy Eyes started off the night with a little taste of home as the boys from Newcastle serenaded us with their Triple J hottest 100 hit “You Can Count On Me.” Their set had the usual power and class that it always does, however as band I have seen over 20 times I’m a stickler for their more intimate shows where they’re almost in the crowd themselves. Regardless they still showed why they deserved to be there and I’m so proud of how far they have come in just the last 12 months.
The 30 minute break between sets seemed to last a lifetime, however the moment You Me At Six hit the stage it was well worth the wait as the crowd were instantly on their feet and hooked on their vibe from the moment they started playing. What separates these guys from most generic rock bands is their connection with the crowd, from getting everyone down on the ground and jumping up for the break, to having people like me who hardly knew any of their songs, in there crowd surfing and all.
The best part of their set though would have to have been when Bring Me The Horizon’s front man Ollie Sykes came out on stage to scream his section of the song “Bite My Tongue.” The crowds response down near the front of stage was almost deafening, as he belted those powerful lines and they screamed the words back to him.
Now I think I speak for everyone when I say Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes are one of the most entertaining bands to watch perform live, Frank Carter with such a unique stage presence draws your attention to him at all times and the rest of the band just fits perfectly around him. From literally walking on the crowd to getting into the middle of a circle pit singing his lungs out, dodging fists and people flying past, Frank sure knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat.
With only one band left we all knew what was to come and after everything we’d already seen, we were more than ready. With an intro like no other and a stage that I could have only ever dreamed of, Bring Me Horizon came out with every single bit of energy that they could gather up, giving us a performance that money couldn’t ever truly buy. Playing songs off of their 2019 electronic/hard rock album AMO, we see them switch from the likes of techno based songs to straight up metalcore and no one was complaining. Vocalist Ollie Sykes was able to belt out some of the deepest growls I’ve ever heard, considering he can usually be quite a hit or miss on vocals, tonight he blew my freaking mind.
To say nothing of the visual display, I was blown away and I’m still actually lost for words. With huge screens not only covering the walls of the stage but the steps too, we saw constantly changing patterns and videos that could only be described as pure dream like art, leaving the band often in a silhouette blended into beautifully woven colours.
As we get towards the end of the night, the encore begins and half way through singing the song “Doomed” Ollie sees a guy holding a sign above the whole crowd which reads “Play the Deathcore Medley” so he responds mid song “oh fuck off!” to which he then grabs the sign and pretends to wipe his arse with it. As the next song begins, Ollie tells the band to cut the music and then begins to question the crowd as to if that’s what we really want. Obviously everyone went crazy and the rest was history, as they began playing a combination of their heaviest OG straight metalcore songs from the 2008 album “Suicide Season.” It was something no one saw coming as they didn’t do it at any other show on this tour, which just goes to show how special this night was for all of us. Thank you Andrea McEvoy for making the sign, you’re an absolute legend.
Ending the night (and essentially the tour of Australia) on one of their biggest hits “Throne” gave us one last chance to go crazy before it was all over, with people climbing over each other and more crowd surfers than ever before, it was the best way to go out on a night like this.
As Ollie screams the last line of the song and confetti fills the sky, he take a few steps back, runs down the ramp and dives towards me into the crowd as the music cuts and the lights go out.
Photography by Matt Allan – https://photos.heavymag.com.au/HEAVY-Photographers/Matt-Allan
You Me At Six
Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes