Bring Me The Horizon Bring Intensity to the First Direct Arena, 24.11.18

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“Do you wanna start a cult with me?” were the first words frontman, Oliver Sykes, sang to the crowd, as new single ‘Mantra’ opened Bring Me The Horizon’s set at Leeds First Direct Arena. Fitting then, as it almost seems like the Yorkshire-based rock band have inspired a cult-like following among their fans, fans who are so devoted to the band that every lyric was sung back with confidence and love.

Naturally, this is to be expected at a gig so close to their home, Sheffield. In fact, it was their only Yorkshire gig of the tour. As a result, fans who have supported the band since their early Deathcore roots, playing in tiny Sheffield venues, turned out to support them and were not left empty-handed. Bring Me The Horizon decided to treat the OGs, by playing a medley made up of some of their older, heavier songs. These songs have not been played for several years before this tour and included fan favourites such as ‘The Comedown’, ‘Diamonds Aren’t Forever’ and ‘(I Used To Make Out With) Medusa’.

Despite the change in the band’s music direction, Oli’s unclean vocals were on point. It is the best he has sounded live in years, proving the critics, who argue he is losing his touch, wrong. Interestingly, Oli seemed to have added in several screams compared to the recordings, possibly indicating the direction of the new album. The rest of the band also sounded great, providing the intensity and energy that is now expected at a Bring Me The Horizon gig.

The rest of the set was comprised of songs from 2013’s Sempiternal and 2015’s That’s The Spirit, both critically-acclaimed albums which helped to cement Bring Me The Horizon as the band they are today. On top of ‘Mantra’, the band also played ‘Wonderful Life’, the second single from the forthcoming album, Amo, set to be released in January. The crowd did not seem to be as enthusiastic, but that is usually the case with brand new songs played live. The set ended with the whole band leaving the stage, apart from Lee Malia and Oli Sykes, who performed a clean guitar-only version of ‘Drown’, allowing the crowd to join in, before an explosive full band encore, compromising of ‘Throne’. It became quite clear that the Sheffield lads had no filler songs, with arguably several songs that could have been used as an encore.

It is worth mentioning the main support, The Fever 333, who got the crowd moving and nodding their heads as soon as they walked on stage. The frontman, Jason Aalon Butler, gave a masterclass in crowd interaction, even going as far as inviting a crowd surfer on the stage to have a boogie with him, before picking him up and jumping around with him on stage.

Henry Taylor

Header image via Kerrang!