Bring Me The Horizon

support Adept + Her Bright Skies
author TL date 19/10/09 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

Being the relatively unashamed scenester that I am, my reaction when I heard that Bring Me The Horizon was bringing their tour to Denmark went along the lines of: "Yes! It's about fuckin' time!". However, that's nothing compared to my reaction when I learned that, instead of being supported by A Day To Remember and August Burns Red, both rather overrated bands in my opinion, the continental half of BMTH's tour would feature herbrightskies and Adept, two of the most promising up and coming Swedish screamo outfits. I believe I did cry "YES!YES!YES!YES!" and even praised the Gods a little on behalf of the Danish scene right there. Suffice to say, this made me look forward to the show quite a bit, and on the night in question I did my part to build up a good mood. So after a stop at Denmark's only Subway restaurant and a handful of cheap beers, me and my mates arrived at the venue, just in time to start abolishing a rumour that was going on about "herbrightskies being uncool and not worth seeing". So to pass the 10-15 minutes we had before their set would start, I grabbed a couple of t's from the merch stand, grabbed an extra pint from the bar and started to convince whomever I knew there to leave the taps and go see the band.

Her Bright Skies

Unfortunately however, Her Bright Skies had to go and make a fool out of me, by playing a less than inspiring show that left me wanting much from the last time I saw them, at the Panic & Action Tour this spring. The band entered the stage and were welcomed by a rather miserable portion of tonight's attendees, but also by the blurry sound that usually terrorizes the first band on most bills. Unsurprisingly, that didn't seem to help their confidence all too much, and hence there was some hesitance and cautiousness to detect in the beginning of their set, effectively preventing their performance from canceling out the negative sonic impression. As the set pressed on though, the band got warmer and started performing more freely, and this helped the general impression, but alas, the airing of new material did not, as this, at least on first listen, seemed very generic and void of the charm of the few songs they played from their debut album. So all in all I'm afraid the skeptics were right, and when hbs stepped down, they did so taking some of the faith I had in them with them.

Adept

Thankfully, I wasn't even remotely worried about Adept's set, because their set at the earlier mentioned Panic & Action tour was just that much more convincing, telling the story of a band that gives their fans hell on every occasion. Top that off with the fact that they're touring an entirely excellent album and you have a certified recipe for success, right? Pretty much. Sure the sound during Adept's set was only slightly improved, still far from impressive, but the level of attention payed to them was still notably more significant than the one hbs received, and living up to my expectations, Adept repaid them with their signature blast of furious screaming and soaring melody. The mosh pit, which had ranged from puny to non-existent during the previous set, now exploded with healthy energy during the start of each song, and from the faces of band and crowd members both, you could read that this was a good fuckin' time. Small complaints can be filed over frontman Robert's choice of screaming a lot of the lines that are actually sung cleanly on record (supposedly because of some excessive partying the day before?), and over not playing the band's best song ("Let's Celebrate Gorgeous..." durrh?) but these only detract little from a support set that was almost as solid as such can possibly be.

Bring Me The Horizon

If the crowd response strengthened when Adept came on, try and guess if it exploded when Bring Me The Horizon went on? Blasting into "Chelsea Smile", the entire weight of the Danish -core scene seemed to bear down on Vega's stage, as the crowd erupted in synchronous jumping and violent moshing. Pretty soon, it was clear that no matter how BMTH would be on stage, this was still going to be a good time. Their crowd was going to make sure of it. This was probably a good thing, because still, the sound didn't behave, and the weight of said "Chelsea Smile" and the following "Pray For Plagues" seemed even heavier due to a dirty wall of sound that was pumped out onto the wildly flailing masses. The majority did not mind, they were too busy taking part in the action, which these, a couple of the band's more relentless songs, provided the perfect background for. On stage, the band was playing confidently and proficiently, if not overly enthusiastically, that is the band minus Oli Sykes, who did everything in his power to live up to his madman reputation, prowling the stage and encouraging crowd madness whenever he could. Of course, this came at the cost of his breath, which he compensated for quite often by stretching the mic out for the audience to rescue the lines he didn't have the air to scream himself. A shame really, considering the variety of viciousness the guy is capable of on record.

This however, was not the chief of my concerns. No sir, that would still be the sound. During more aggressive pieces, like "The Comedown" and "Diamond's Aren't Forever", it didn't matter that much because both sound and crowd were still too busy for it to be of importance, but during the more nuanced (and in my opinion also better) of the band's tracks, "Suicide Season" and "The Sadness Will Never End", the melodic elements suffered greatly in the messy mix. It is mainly this, as well as the shortness of a set that sadly omitted such excellent songs as "It Was Written In Blood" and "For Stevie Wonder's Eyes Only", that left me with rather mixed feelings about BMTH's performance. If one was to judge entirely on crowd activity, then the band passed in a solid and respectable fashion, as the mosh and singing along was surely at its best compared to what we normally see in Copenhagen, and as Oli invited the crowd to join the band on stage (this pretty much NEVER happens/is allowed, in Store Vega) to then surf around on it while still screaming the words of encore "Football Season Is Over" into the mic, that was also quite a spectacle. However, while the singer and the audience should receive A's for effort, there were still too many drawbacks to dismiss. The show ended unnaturally early, with the headliner's playing what must have been 50 minutes at most, and apart from Sykes, the rest of the band was remarkably restrained in their on stage antiques, their minds seemingly already on their way home to England. Hence one is forced to conclude that BMTH have to give more to their audience for their live show to really live up to the quality of their recorded material. Yet I'm willing to give them that the show and evening was still enjoyable overall, thus not as far away from the promised upper grades, as some, in my opinion overly critical, gig-attendees, seemed to be tripping over one another to suggest afterwards.

Setlist:

01. Chelsea Smile

02. Pray for Plagues

03. No Need For Introductions...

04. Sleep With One Eye Open

05. The Comedown

06. (I Used to Make Out With) Medusa

07. Suicide Season

08. 15 Fathoms, Counting

09. The Sadness Will Never End

10. Diamonds Aren't Forever

--Encore--

11. Football Season Is Over

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