To say that Bring Me The Horizon has taken a softer approach to their music is one thing, but to say their fanbase has mellowed would be a flat out lie. The rock band performed at the Revention Center on Saturday, Feb. 9th to a sold out venue. The crowd held an energy so great, security stayed on edge all through the night.
Fever 333 and Thrice warmed up the chilly crowd after some waited outside for over two hours in the 45 degree night. General Admission was pretty packed and hyped by the time the main act took the stage. Yet the second the lights went down, a huge surge of people pushed everyone forward, causing some people at barrier to gasp in pain while the rest were left to fight to stay upright. Unlike most acts, Oli Sykes cut the suspense out of the opening and came out first, singing the intro song off Amo to the audience before being joined by the rest of his band for the first single off the album, “Mantra.”
The band’s latest albums has seen a 75% drop in album sales when compared to their previous release, That’s The Spirit (2015); although the lead single reached number one on UK Rock and Alternative charts and many critics met the record with praise upon release. This could be due to a shift from their heavier roots, alienating many of their fans. The band has never been shy to reinvention, moving from metalcore to a fusion of heavy metal and alternative rock with elements of electronica. Instead of pushing the new album, however, they pack the setlist with older hits. The fans certainly didn’t seem to mind, growing livelier as the first notes of “Avalanche” began to play.
The energy between the band and audience was uncanny during “Sleepwalking” and “wonderful life,” getting particularly rowdy during “Shadow Moses.” The crowd rocked back and forth to the point that some pockets of people would fall over completely. Yet those around would always make a quick barrier for their fellow concertgoers until they could get back up, proving they weren’t about to let anyone get hurt.
“Nihilist Blues” provided a few minutes for the crowd and band alike to catch their breath, not many kids singing along. Although age and lifestyle have certainly lessened the power of Sykes’ voice, this is the only time a backing track is really used. It features pop singer Grimes as a guest vocalist, part of the band’s new direction. The lighter song allowed Sykes to give his vocal chords some much needed leeway. He noted during the show that he’d lost his voice recently, his doctor going as far as to urge him not to sing tonight. But he soldiered on, bouncing back into “Happy Song” with full force.
As much as Amo relies on electronic music and auto-tuned backing vocals, the performance certainly did not. Synth and effects can be heard during some songs, but small mistakes and variations from the studio tracks on behalf of the whole band confirm they shine brightest when live. Sykes got intimate during “Can You Feel My Heart,” utilizing the catwalk more than during any other song. He crouched down, urging the crowd to do the same during the reprise. As soon as Lee Malila’s guitar solo exploded through the speakers, everyone sprang up and moshed until “Antivisit” concluded the performance.
But the lights didn’t go up, and the crowd yelled for the encore they knew was to come. The band returned, but skipped straight to “Throne” instead of their usual three-track encore. The strain the night had on Sykes’ voice was more evident now, but they chose to put 100% into “Throne” regardless, parting ways with their Houston fans with one final blast of streamers and confetti before walking off stage.
Bring Me The Horizon refuses to become a fixture of yesterday, reinventing themselves to match the times. Although some fans may leave, new ones will come to replace them. The passion the band has for their craft shone through that night in their work ethic and commitment to completing the show, and it was much appreciated by their equally enthusiast Houston fans.