Don’t let me drown

If I may brag/reminisce for a moment:

Two years ago – December 8, 2012 – I flew to London to see You Me At Six play a sold out Wembley Arena (the smaller neighbour to Wembley Stadium, which is the big thing they use for the Olympics and football games, etc). It was the best weekend of my life and pretty much everything I do, I compare to that night (aka the Final Night of Sin).

The trailer for the FNOS DVD. This is basically my happy place.

I never imagined I would go back for another show at Wembley.

Last Friday, I did just that.

Bring Me the Horizon (who I last saw at Riot Fest and before that in February) announced their biggest show ever at Wembley Arena back in January. It sold out within weeks (I think the floor tickets sold out in a couple of days). I was unbelievably stoked when I found out Ro had scored seats for us.

I’ve actually seen all three opening bands before, so I don’t really have anything new to say about them. Sleepwave was first – they opened for Taking Back Sunday in April. Basically it’s a bunch of long-haired screamy dudes thrashing around on stage (lead singer Spencer Chamberlain was previously in Underoath, if that makes a difference to you).

Next was Issues, who, oddly enough, I first saw open for Bring Me the Horizon (at the show in February). If I actually bothered to listen to Issues, I’d probably like them – Ro pointed out that they have an early Breathe Carolina vibe to them, which is something I can easily get behind. But when they play live, the music (drums, guitars, synths, etc) all seem to move at one pace while the vocals move at a different pace resulting in a discordant sound that confuses my brain. Maybe I have to listen to a recording?

I quite like Young Guns, who were the final opening band. I saw them open for You Me At Six in October, and, before that show, I had compared them to a cross between Mallory Knox and Deaf Havana (this is a very good thing). They continued to be enjoyable as they played to a crowd of people who haven’t seen them in about a year.

Then the lights dimmed and the screams got so loud, they were practically corporeal, and Bring Me the Horizon stormed on stage to the opening strands of “Shadow Moses”, and it was incredible. There was something so spine-tingly about hearing 12,000+ people screaming “THIS. IS. SEMPITERNAL.” together.

I lost my voice two songs in, if that’s any indication of how good the show was.

We were seated side-stage, towards the top, which gave us an excellent vantage point. I could see every band member and watched them as they played to the biggest crowd in their nearly ten year existence. I also felt safer up there: from where we were, we could see the roiling crowd, the multiple circle pits, and the massive wall of death that basically looked like that time when the Red Sea split in half and then crashed together. I mean, sure, they were just doing what Oli was telling them to do (one of my favourite things is when he starts whispering instructions, then steadily builds it up until he’s screaming “JUMP” and the crowd loses their minds. Fun to watch, but not fun to get stuck in if you’re not the moshing type).

Sidenote: did you see how I ironically used a religious comparison there? I never realized quite how anti-religion “The House of Wolves” was until the giant screen behind them showed a church on fire (I mean, the lyrics are pretty obvious now that I think about it, but sometimes I literally can’t understand what they’re saying).

Speaking of the screen: the lights/pyrotechnics/basic stage effects were amazing. The crew in charge of designing/synchronising that kind of stuff did a fantastic job. They really added another level to an already phenomenal performance.

BMTH did not hold back during this show. They were beyond energetic and threw themselves into playing the songs as perfectly as possible. Lead singer Oli Sykes careened around the stage, at one point leaning over the barrier into the crowd, and later cartwheeling (it’s possible he was singing at the same time, I just remember being impressed that someone so tall could cartwheel so elegantly). Long time BMTH fans were also treated to a mini on-stage reunion when Oli called out the original guitarist, Curtis Ward, to play “Pray for Plagues”, one of their first singles.

I talk a lot about the bass in songs, and Wembley Arena probably has the best acoustics if you’re a bass-lover like me. I don’t know the technical terms, but whatever setting the instruments are on (I like throwing the word “reverb” around, to sound like I know what I’m talking about, but that’s probably not right), you could feel them pulsing and pounding through the soles of your feet and out the top of your head. It was even better than when you can feel the bass pumping in your chest.

And, like I said before, it’s amazing to hear so many thousands of people screaming the words together, especially the songs that are chock-full of any emotion like “Antivist” (12,000+ people with their middle fingers in the air – no fucks were given that night) or – one of my personal favourites – “Can You Feel My Heart”, which was – literally – show-stopping (it being the last song of the night).

Middle fingers up, if you don’t give a fuck.

I’m scared to get close, and I hate being alone…

Of course, one of the highlights of the show was when they pulled out their latest single, “Drown” (officially released today) – it’s an awesome song in general, and hearing it live made it even better.

I took a couple of photos, but it’s hard to take pictures when you’re busy dancing/screaming/headbanging, so I don’t have anything great to show off. RockSound, however, has a cool gallery on their website that’s worth a look.

If you’re a BMTH fan and you have not yet seen them live…get on that. They’ll blow your mind.

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