On a reigning tour of sell outs at some of the biggest shows they’ve headlined tonight sees Every Time I Die play one of Bristol’s somewhat swankiest venues and one that’s not the standard night out here either.
As Knocked Loose set up the hardcore fans loom in and stretch up. Security watch in wonder as high flying kicks, fists and hats go flying. For once the dance floor doesn’t feel too dominated by men, a few women hold their ground. Knocked Loose feel like they’re playing for their future in this game and it’s no wonder there’s a buzz around the American hardcore band right now. The might they throw into their set is intimidating, they feel true to what they’re doing and it’s causing the right reaction.
Comeback Kid are just as much veterans as Every Time I Die are in this scene and their lust for playing isn’t going away anytime soon. Song by song the crowd get more and more frantic and although the set feels compact it’s a hell of a performance – a 100mph sprint that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Their music sways from dirty breakdowns to punk rock choruses to sing along to. Last song Somewhere, Somehow grabs the most attention and sees bodies fly forward like it’s their last night on earth. A fitting end and pleasurable warm up for the main act.
Having witnessed the enduring force that is Every Time I Die live for ten years it’s honestly hard to recall a bad show. They a band all the other bands want to watch. Every night feels like it’s a challenge to the band to make it the best night in town, to make it memorable for the old and new fans, and to be left lusting for more. What feels like their most accomplished tour yet with sold out shows from start to end, larger venues, barriers and yet, somehow, it still feels like an intimate affair. Throwing around the setlist sees Floater, often a fitting near end of set piece churned out second, and what early chaos it creates. Bodies fly over the barrier as security barely cope. A band whose always been so welcoming to fans on stage are still welcoming fans despite the distance. Keith is often caught telling the crowd the stage is theirs to share and follows on to shake the hand of anyone who tries their luck.
Despite Jordan’s broken foot he still manages plunge into the crowd various times throughout, stand atop monitors and give out some outlandish high kicks (we can only imagine the horror on any doctors face watching). Every member manages to intertwine their own personality on stage – there’s so much to see and so much to miss. Andy, now a part-time professional wrestler, could stare out the devil himself as he focusses deep into the crazed crowd. Their grooves shake hips whilst their technical frenzied riffs are a head-banging paradise.
The setlist is relentless with little time to catch your breath. Keith’s vocals sound rougher and gruelling than before as they vary from old classics Romeo A Go-Go to the softer It Remembers. We get the party hits and then we get poignant tracks from Low Teens, Petal and Map Change hit hard. With the angst released and everyone around you suddenly your new friend they end on Fear and Loathing. One last blast of energy before Jordan’s request to surf to the merch table is underway and by god people move to make sure he gets there safely, and in like a gentlemen stays put to greet fans on the way out.
It’s been quite the journey for Every Time I Die and after 20 years of hard work there’s not another band more deserving of the recent success they’ve had than them.
Every Time I DieSWX Bristol - 26th November, 2017
Photographer: Nadine Ballantyne - www.nadineballantyne.com