Bring Me The Horizon (The BIC, Bournemouth – 1/11/16) ★★★★★

By: editor

Buff dudes Don Broco are tasked with warming tonight’s crowd up for the band everyone is really here to see, and it’s a solid effort. Their enthusiasm is contagious on stage, bouncing and grooving to their upbeat bro-pop-rock (is that a thing?). They draw mainly from their latest album Automatic, but I can’t help but find myself pining for a bit of Thug Workout. These boys have made a lot of changes since they first hit the scene, they sound slicker and seem to have found an identity of their own while still sounding accessible enough to be inoffensive to the majority. It’s just that part of me misses that banter filled scattiness of old…it’s almost as if they’ve (gasp!)…grown up! Still, they manage to squeeze some life out of this initially stiff crowd. There’s even a mini mosh pit as they storm through Actors. It did feel as though their momentum peaked a couple of songs early though, it would have made more sense to end on the loud and catchy Automatic, to which the crowd were instructed to sit down and jump at the return of the riff (standard fare at a rock show these days, and not the only time it’ll happen tonight). It was this moment where the crowd were most in to it, whereas they had the full attention of a gaggle of fans in the front centre for most of the set, this call to arms got the whole room jumping, causing the vibrations to rock right through to the balcony! The perfect farewell!! Except the band then launch in to a couple more middle of the road Don Broco pieces, all fun and bouncy, but just not as much kick. So it’s a goodbye from the DB lads, leaving anticipations to slowly boil…

The lights go out, plunging The BIC in to total darkness. Through flickers of light you can just make out the silhouettes of each band member running on stage to take their places, the screaming is constant throughout. When the final familiar dark figure emerges, the crowd’s noise doubles as a hundred more girls (or boys, this is 2016) spot their future husband…that’ll be Oli Sykes then. An instantly recognisable throbbing of distortion fills the room, the stage coming alive with tv static broadcasted from the big screen and steps on which the drums and electronics perch. “S – P – I – R – I – T, spirit, let’s hear it….” And bang! The lights explode in to action, smoke and streamers are launched in to the crowd as the opening riff of Happy Song steamrollers over the crowd. As openings go, it doesn’t get much more exciting as this!

The stage set up creates an impressive atmosphere, fitting to how absolutely massive this band sounds these days. The aforementioned screen and steps host specially created videos to compliment each song on the set list, blending spectacular visuals with live shots of the band on stage.

As a whole, the band is noticeably tighter than ever, hitting every off beat pause and live-only nuances in perfect time. The guitars sound weightier than ever, making the chunkier riffs sound devastating. On the other hand, Oli doesn’t seem to be quite on full form for a lot of tonight’s set. Whether it’s down to a heavy Halloween last night, or a hard year in general, he obviously struggles to get out all of his lines. He’s still his usual ball of energy in terms of running around and bouncing along to the music, but after all that exercise there isn’t enough breath left for him to sing with. A lot of the vocal duties are handed over to the crowd tonight, and in small doses this can create a great interactive atmosphere…too often and it starts to look bad. Oli doesn’t quite push it that far, it’s possibly very fortunate that the last couple of albums lend themselves well to crowd singing, but we are dangerously close to losing a star for this alone. Maybe a bit of cardio would do you good, Oli.

As the night draws to a close and the momentum really hasn’t given way once, Oli offers high fives to anyone willing to surf the crowd all the way to the front during last song Drown. Needless to say, security has their work cut out for them! True to his word, Oli hovers at the front of the stage for a lot of the song, dishing out high fives and hand shakes to body after body pouring over the front row. It’s a great way to go out, and any small gripes about not singing enough are almost totally forgotten.

Overall a fantastic night!

★★★★★

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

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