By Matt Doria
Three unbearable years have passed since Enter Shikari’s meteoric domination of Soundwave 2012, but with a new album under their belts, the overwhelming post-hardcore-dubstep-punk-rap-electronicore warriors are back in the country once more to sweep our minds (pun intended) with their uncontrollable brand of consequential mayhem. The ‘Mindsweep Tour’ has already decimated Fremantle and Adelaide, before reigning its terror on Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
As dedicated fans will remember, Enter Shikari’s SW12 sets were unforgettable with their catastrophic energy. For those worried the quartet may be dialing it down for their intimately stationed return, fear not. “We’re still the same four chaps who put every ounce of energy we have into our music,” says frontman Rou Reynolds. Enter Shikari still live and die by their art, and it’s still certain to set your scalp alight come that first gritty bass drop. “It’s music that means a lot to us, and we hope it translates well to the live arena. Hopefully, the audiences are just as passionate as we are,” the angsty vocalist continues.
When you listen to an Enter Shikari song, you’re bombarded with layers upon layers of destructive, albeit heavily produced sound. When it comes to making all of that ‘work’ when the band jump into concert mode, Reynolds explains that it isn’t as easy as hitting the play button on a backing track or plugging in a Launchpad rig. “After recording, there’s always like a month or two where we have to sit down with our touring crew and work out how the hell we’re going to translate [that energy] to the live environment,” he says. “Once we’ve got the various programming done and worked out who’s playing what, it’s just a case of making sure the passion and energy is there.”
At least on the horizon, Enter Shikari’s enthusiastically committed army of fans are all encompassing of the passion and energy that Reynolds is seeking. As the Anaesthetist himself praises, the English rockers have a special bond with those that endure their punishing craziness. “We’re extremely lucky to have a connection with our audiences wherever we go,” says Reynolds.
For their five-city Australian takeover, Enter Shikari are sharing the stage with Canberra experimental rock outfit Hands Like Houses, and Sydney hardcore punk unit Hellions. This scribe can personally vouch for both bands’ deservedness to stand alongside the Shikari Sound System – especially Hellions with their outright intense passion – but Reynolds’ authoritative approval says it all. “We really dig both of them,” he exclaims. “We feel lucky that we can travel all the way around the world and meet dudes who have come from similar backgrounds and similar scenes, and play passionate music. I’m looking forward to seeing them tonight!” (for reference, I’m talking to Rou as their Freemantle soundcheck is taking place – their guitar tech is shredding faces off in the background).
When it comes to their setlist, it’s expected that we’ll see a list of tunes derived mainly from their latest body of work, The Mindsweep. When Reynolds is asked what his favourite stuff to jam out to is, he admits; “I’d probably have to say the new stuff, just because it’s so fresh. We’re still playing it with 100% vigour and honesty; it just doesn’t feel like we’re going through the motions [when we play the new material].”
If you’re up to have your face melted off this week, Enter Shikari are still yet to unload their unpredictable explosiveness in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Monday, 18th May 2015 – Metropolis, Fremantle 18+
Wednesday, 20th May 2015 – HQ, Adelaide 18+
Friday, 22nd May 2015 – The Forum, Melbourne 18+
Saturday, 23rd May 2015 – Roundhouse, Sydney 18+
Sunday, 24th May 2015 – Tivoli, Brisbane 18+