Mid last year it was announced that Bring Me the Horizon would do a tour of Australia. This would be their first headline show here since 2013, as Bring Me the Horizon sadly had to reschedule their Adelaide and Melbourne shows due to health issues. As 2017 rolled around, hype grew and furthered the big expectations for this show.
First, let me just state my love and hate for the venue. The venue has probably the best sound and set designs I’ve ever seen for an all-ages show ‒ the lighting crew did a spectacular job and apart from a few technical difficulties on the While She Sleeps set, it sounded spectacular. However, the merchandising prices were ridiculous: $45 for a simple shirt, $60 for an alright looking long sleeve shirt, and $90 for a jumper. Seeing as how this gig was on the more expensive side ‒ around $100 ‒ and was a near sold out show with only a few empty back row seats, I had some issues. Band merch is amazing, and I make a habit of buying some for every gig I go to, but when even the albums are more expensive (upwards of $25 which is more expensive than places like JB Hi-Fi), it starts being a problem financially!
The first band playing was the local phenomenon of Hands Like Houses, a band born in Australia and who have been blowing up as of late. They are also on tour, and as I’m writing this nearly all there shows are sold out. They had a strong set list consisting of nearly all the tracks off their recent album ‘ Dissonants’, and they did great for the most part. They pulled off every one of their songs flawlessly, however against their best efforts they were unable to get the crowd moving due to a lack of aggression and the crowds disrespectful disinterest in them. Overall the worst part about their performance was the crowd’s zombie-like sluggishness, which was dreadfully discourteous as they were playing their hearts out and trying hard to get us all involved.
Their set ended and we had a small break until While She Sleeps started. As the band came on, the lead singer screamed “Wake the fuck up Melbourne!”, certainly stirring the audience. I’ve heard a bit about While She Sleeps, and I must say it’s rather refreshing to see a British metalcore group in a market that seems to be dominated by groups formed out of the States. I’ve heard good things about While She Sleeps and their live performances, but I was rather surprised by just how much raw energy they brought along with them, even with the hostile crowd. They managed to get several people in the middle moshing, which was a very happy sight to see. Sadly, though, they suffered from quite a few technical errors ‒ one of the guitars broke, the main vocals were set two loud whilst the backups were too low, and there were a few errors made by the vocalist when he was talking to the crowd (man I, really do like Hands vs Hurricanes). But overall, this performance stole the show and they really killed it out there. They brought a raw energy that even Bring Me the Horizon’s front man found it difficult to match.
Bring Me the Horizon ‒ I’m sure all my readers are expecting me to go on about how amazing their set was. Well yes, it was amazing, but first I want to put into
words something that bothered me throughout their set.
Oliver Skyes is fantastic ‒ he brings so much energy and so much passion to his craft that you can’t help but want to rock out with him, but its only when you take a step back and look that you see him struggling. The set was made up mostly of songs off his current album ‒ ‘That’s The Spirit’ ‒ and he wasn’t actually performing most of it. He missed entire bars, using audience participation as a cover, and near the end seemed like he was suffering a little. My thoughts are that he is losing his voice a bit now, and this has been rumored for some time. It seemed almost like the reality of this loomed over me for the entire set, and it hit hard.
Now the actual set itself was brilliant ‒ they had a projector over the stage which looked fantastic and made the band members stand out as they all played their hearts out. Phil Fish was especially amazing as he absolutely killed it vocally, bounced around and just seemed like a ball of energy. Oliver also took the stage, and during songs got the entire crowd moving. Even those people up in seating took to bouncing about or headbanging, though not all that tastefully. It would have been nice for the band to talk to us in-between tracks, but they interacted enough during to just make it a minor flaw in an otherwise very strong performance.
written by Jake La Ponder edited by Ari Smith