You can’t fault Bring Me The Horizon’s persistence to always up their game, to go bolder and follow their ambitions. Their latest album That’s The Spirit saw them take a more lighter approach that didn’t fail to plague Radio 1 and give their youngest fans one of their favourite albums of the year. It’s caused a ruckus between fans but the band power on regardless.
They don’t hesitate to promote their newest singles and kick off with Doomed leading into arguable fans favourite off the album, Happy Song, which creeps in with the S P I R I T voice over in the background. As song as the guitar ruptures confetti ribbons drop from the ceiling, most of which gets stuck and dangles there like an old worn out AC unit with the ribbon happily blowing in the wind.
The audience is a mix of mostly teenagers, the odd parents and older fans but that doesn’t stop the craziness. Even before they started there was an open pit ready, waiting for it to kick off.
BMTH are packed with experience and having witnessed shows at Wembley and Underworld (and even Clwb Ifor Bach) I know they can pack a punch when it comes to live shows but what seemed to be disappointing was the borders they created themselves onstage. Tiered with 3 on the bottom and 3 on top, it didn’t quite pack as much punch as it would have if they were all together. But they’re a massive evolving band these days and arena shows call for bigger measures. If there was a checklist for arena gigs of what to include then BMTH checked them all. Live screens, confetti and Co2 canisters, ribbon from the ceiling, gigantic screens behind the band with explosive visuals, sparks, oh and lasers. It’s a little overwhelming at times but doesn’t phase the crowd who still sing at the top of their lungs and at many times drown out the band. Only Oli really ventured out and run a muck. As professional as they’d all like to look it felt like they let the production take over and make up for effort.
Peaks of the night come from tracks off Sempiternal, quite literally, nearly making the whole floor explode as a giant pit engulfs everyone. Part of the night sees Oli ask everyone to wave their phones side to side, which from the front must look visually stunning but not quite so much for anyone who’s short or lost their phone in the manic pits tonight.
Throughout the set the crowd continually sing along, continually jump around and continually support each other. Being down on the floor was a great way to see such a mixed crowd share moments together as some held their hands to their hearts and sang along to every word. Any split there may have been in the audience has been left outside this venue. There are no differences here, just fans admiring a band they love together.
Towards the end Oli sounds emotional and tells the arena how he thinks this is one of the best shows they’ve ever played and going by the crowd reaction it could be. The comments only vary in greatness – how it’s the best show they’ve ever seen, how it’s their first gig or how they’ll never forget this night with friends.
It’s been emotional and it suddenly reminds me of my first ever concert at the same arena and how you were buzzing off the night for days after and how it inspired me to go to more concerts and to that I say well done to BMTH. They may grate your nerves or you may be on the fence but they’re inspiring a younger generation to care about music, to care about live shows and to not be afraid in the process.
They end with another new track Drown and Oli tells fans to get up here and high five him and many do try. Despite somewhat of a short set for an arena band it’s an enormous end and as many young ones leave to a horde of parents waiting outside the venue it makes you realise how influential and how loved BMTH are despite peoples hate towards them in the early days. They’ve kept fighting and kept their hopes high.
Even for older fans like myself who may have been naive when they released their most radio friendly songs to date (when you look back at their EP it’s quite the leap away), you have to take a step back and see how much this band means to the modern youth. They’re more than just some metal band. Their spirit is embedded within the fans and they can’t get enough. How many modern young bands can compare to BMTH at this level?
Who knows where their ambitions will take them next but one thing is for certain – their live shows will be the best thing these youths will see. All we can say is look out veteran bands, they’re going to show you up.