Bring Me The Horizon + Mallory Knox (O2 Guildhall, Southampton – 31/10/15) ★★★★★

By: editor

Halloween. If there was ever a night of the year best suited to a night of face melting rock music, this is it. The perfect opportunity to create the loudest, angriest line-up of support for the constantly evolving and rapidly rising Bring Me The Horizon. Mallory Knox, not so much.

I must say though, I’m kind of surprised…ok, they’re not as heavy as the headliners, but surely they share a large portion of the same fans? If so, I assume most of them are out trick or treating. There is a small cluster of appreciative fans at the front for the Clockwork Orange attired five piece, but nowhere near enough to get the band excited. Maybe this is why they don’t seem to be trying that hard, or is the lacklustre crowd reaction a result of a lazy performance. Whatever the reason, I can’t help but feel they would be a lot more exciting to watch in front of their own crowd. They storm through their set of admittedly solid pop-rock, with a few short attempts to win the crowd with some sing alongs, though it doesn’t really change anything. Thanks for coming, but you’re just not what we’re looking for.

When it finally goes dark again (eventually!) to play Bring Me The Horizon’s introduction, that’s when the real screams start! By the sound of it, this must be a one off idea for Halloween, introducing the band as mutant bat/human hybrids thanks to a nuclear disaster. The band blast off, slamming the crowd in the face with a great wall of noise. This is the chaos that we expect from the scariest night of the year! Drawing from their last three (and in my opinion, best) albums, tonight is more about their epic, heavy post-hardcore than their scatty rage of old. It’s huge, with the lights and the smoke, it really is a spectacle to behold. The whole band is covered in fake blood, wearing deformed bat masks to ensure they stick to their opening story…a true Halloween special. There’s times when I can’t help but think that Oli becomes more of a hype man for the crowd than the lead singer of the band with the amount of choruses he leaves up to the paying customers to sing for him. But there are times when it’s definitely well warranted, as during the massive sounding Can You Feel My Heart where the crowd involvement perfectly replicates the recorded version’s atmosphere. Oli conducts the crowd through the “I’m scared to get close…” refrain in to a mighty crescendo that raises the hairs on your neck. Powerful stuff!

There’s no lull in tonight’s set, the intensity is held up throughout…so when the last song is announced and the band leave the stage nobody believes a word of it. There’s more to come and they know it, it’s standard practice by now. Free of the bat masks, the band return to say a proper two song long goodbye. Oli instructs the crowd to raise their middle fingers in the air before launching in to a seriously fired up version of Antivist. The moment the smoke cannons erupt and black paper confetti is fired in to the crowd in perfect sync with the mid-song declaration that “…I think you’re a c*nt” is just phenomenal! If anyone was worried that the tamer start to tonight was an indication of what was to come, Bring Me The Horizon have just thrown those doubts right out the window.

It’s amazing to think how far this band has come, and how much they’ve changed for the better. Songs like the epic Sleepwalking won’t sound out of place in a sprawling stadium, they blow the roof off this ‘intimate’ Guildhall show!

★★★★★

Also you can check out photos taken of the night right here! – enjoy.

 

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