Last week really proved the difference between arena shows and club shows. On Monday, we saw Madonna and while it was a great show, it didn’t leave us sweaty and hoarse. Then Thursday rolled along, and we saw Bring Me the Horizon, which resulted in me having a crackly voice on Friday.
Lee, Matt Nicholls, Oli, Matt Kean, Jordan
I was also thrilled to meet BMTH at HMV before the show. I had received a wristband when I bought their stellar album, That’s The Spirit a few weeks ago (it’s probably going to be my album of the year, that’s how good it is), so I skipped out of work a little early, lined up, and got an autograph from the band. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take photos with the band because of time restrictions, but I was able to tell them all that I had seen them play Wembley last December, which earned me a couple of high fives (from Jordan and Oli). Yes, it was awesome. And yes, I fangirled.
We made it to the venue with time to spare, but thanks to slow-moving security, we missed the first two and a half PVRIS songs. Technically, we could hear the songs from our position in the line outside, but it was distorted and we couldn’t hear Lynn singing. We made it in in time to see/hear the rest of their set, but I was disappointed at missing the intro to “Mirrors”, which is my favourite PVRIS song.
Next up was Issues. I’ve tried many times to get into Issues (mostly because they constantly tour with BMTH, so I have no choice but to hear them), and I just can’t. I don’t know what it is about them, but they just don’t seem to work for me. This time was no exception, though I can now recognize some songs.
As soon as BMTH came on stage, I knew we were in for an amazing show. They opened with “Doomed” and segued seamlessly into “Happy Song”, just like on the album. After that it was just jam after jam.
The setlist was relatively short – about 13 songs in total – and most of the songs came from That’s The Spirit and 2013’s Sempiternal (which was fine by me since those are my preferred BMTH albums), with two older songs thrown in.
Oli Sykes is a frontman who can command his audience, no matter the size. When he says “jump”, you jump. No questions. Even if it means almost colliding with the guy nursing the broken arm beside you (sorry, dude). All five band members seem like they’re really enjoying themselves on stage, which adds to the overall experience: if they’re happy, their audience feeds off of it. Their light show was excellent as well, the giant screen behind them occasionally flashing out the words to the songs, encouraging us to shout along.
Not ones to end with a whimper, BMTH’s last song was their anthemic “Drown”, complete with dramatic puffs of smoke from onstage and one of the loudest sing-a-longs I’ve heard in Toronto. It was magnificent.
I don’t blame you if you’ve been scared off of BMTH in the past; their older albums are not for the faint of heart. But they’ve taken a more rock approach to their past two works, and I highly recommend giving them a chance if you haven’t already.