Stormzy – Birmingham – 11/04/2017 LIVE REVIEW

Following a few years of breakthrough success for not only himself but also for Grime as a genre, Stormzy has been making quite the name for himself through his performances and music alike. This year after the release of his debut album Gang Signs and Prayer, Stormzy has headed out on tour to showcase and celebrate the release of this album, which had Spotify crashing moments after its midnight release, and if the Brit performance with Ed Sheeran was anything to go by it will be a night bursting with energy.

Opening up this night full of high octane beats and energy is support act A2 whom came out to a packed crowd, something that doesn’t always happen for an opening act, but was good to see. As A2 began his set there was this sense that it took him a few moments to fully find his footing and get in to the swing of his set, be it nerves or otherwise. However, post his opening number which was strong in not only his ability to keep up his flow live, but also in the accompanying beat which powered through speakers and managed to get the crowd moving A2 seemed to get more comfortable.

As A2’s set progressed his set allowed him to showcase his ability to rap closely to the original beat that his music sits upon but it also allowed him to show his ability at keeping the crowd engaged through not only his energy, which although at times felt minimal still did what it needed, but also the vast array in tempos that his songs have, allowing for slower moments but also more upbeat moments as well. A2, powered through his extremely short set, which displayed his ability at keeping his flow in time with these fast or slow tempos. As he reached toward the end of his set it was clear the crowd were far more engaged with him then they had been st the beginning which was almost apparent in how much more A2 gave the more the crowd had been won over. A2’s final track was by far the highlight of his set as it gave a different flare that hadn’t yet been present at this point in his set. Overall A2’s performance was solid and opened up the evening well, however due to its short run time it feels like A2 almost held back in comparison to what may be present in his full set (6/10)

Following what almost seemed to be an abrupt end to A2’s set, two DJ’s took the stage to fill in the big gap left between sets, unfortunately the 90’s classics, grime classics and other well known anthems seemed to make A2’s set disappear in to the ether, which truly was a shame.

After a huge crowd reaction Stormzy took to the stage, beginning things with First Things First. This opener alone showed just what was in store for the rest of the night, with not a single person not being involved with Stormzy yelling back as he held himself confidently on stage not missing a chance to showcase just what has blown him up during the past few years.  Cold, followed quickly after which truly brought the room alive. Following this track, which had been packed to the brim with high octane energy Stormzy took a moment to address the crowd, talking about how we are all here for a good night, so no one should be ruining someone else’s evening.

Stormzy then showed his ability to control the crowd getting everyone ready for the vast array of dynamics the rest of his set would encompass from the big hits such as One Take Freestyle which showed the crowd come alive to slower cuts of his debut album like Velvet/Jenny Francis (Interlude) . Similarly to how the album commands Mr. Skeng made his way through to the speakers making the room come alive like many other times during the evening, a track which yet again showed how effortlessly Stormzy can rap upon the beat, almost moment for moment like it had been on Gang Signs and Prayer. This similarly to many moments during his set Stormzy showed his almost flawless merging with the recorded beat. After this vast array in dynamics tracks like Cigarettes and Kush, Return of The Rucksack  and Blinded By Your Grace pt.1 graced the crowd however, it was in these moments where it felt that the hype surrounding these tracks and Stormzy’s live shows felt lost as the energy wasn’t as consistent as it first seemed.
As Stormzy’s set continued, it was clear that his live performance was mainly pushed by his energy and his vocal and rapping ability, alongside this the synergy between him and his DJ seemed perfect with every moment seeming perfectly rehearsed and well coordinated. Stormzy then quickly pushed through a surprising rendition of Shape Of You, 100 Bags, 21 Gun Salute and Know Me From it was evident through all of these moments why Stormzy has blown up in such an exceptional way. Finally as Stormzy started to bring his set to a close the crowd finally picked up the energy from a small lull that had been evident a few moments, with Shut Up being the driving force behind this energy increase. Big For Your Boots and Blinded By Your Grace Pt.2 the came along to perfectly ending his set and the night which had been full of musical dynamics and explosive energy. (9/10)

 

Attila & Guests – Live @ Marble Factory, Bristol (5/4/17)

The crowd was coming in fierce to the Marble Factory as they were getting ready for an onslaught of metal riffs and a party attitude. With Attila on a pretty extensive UK and Europe tour, they have made a stop in Bristol and they’re looking to show off a lot of the positive party vibes that only they can with the army of metalcore behind them.

Up first to showcase their talent are UK’s own Carter City (7) who were ready to throw everything they had at the crowd. With them highlighting a lot of their new release ‘Infinite // Unknown’ during the momentum of their set, the colours helped accentuate the songs and provide a really solid addition to the bands presence. The band’s vocalist knew where to provide elements of enjoyment with him sounding just as aggressive as he does on the record with the band weaving its metallic web with the technicality of the guitar patterns and drum accenting. Overall, the band made their mark solidly and it will be exciting to see where they go from here.

Taking the stage next were another crowd favourite next to the headliners, The Word Alive (9) were just as excited to be there as anyone else with the band throwing themselves around like rag dolls making the stage their new playground. With a big back catalogue it was interesting to see how they would fair with 45 minutes only, but they spanned their career ranging from tracks ‘2012’ to newer songs ‘Overdose’ with the fans responding to the set in kind with moshpits starting to rumble the venue. Telle Smith’s cleans have seem to be pushed through so much more, with him sounding incredible through the speakers and the bands instrumentation sounds as crisp as ever with them putting all their heart and soul into the live performance as well as being lighthearted at times. They’re pushing more walls down for metalcore and are a band to keep on your radar.

Finally, Attila (9) rose from the ashes with their heads held high and middle fingers raised as they came out swinging with all their bouncy rhythms and flavourful stage presence. Fronz’s mantra definitely applies during this set as ‘giving no fucks’ about how everything goes was a key component to making this band put a smile on your face and the kids in the pit. With ‘Hellraiser’ leading the opening charge of the audiences mosh participation, ‘Payback’ is when it all came to fruition as the band brought two people on stage to join them for another onslaught of the senses with more pounding guitars and bass. The electronics came through heavily with ‘Moshpit’ which showed a nice variation, but a more mature way of thinking that the band has been able to push through and truly find their sound, mixing heavy with a more dubstep/electronic twinge. You may hate them, but they put on such a fantastic live show that its hard not to laugh and smile.

LIVE: Creeper, Milk Teeth & more, Cardiff 02/04/17

Fresh off the back of their debut album release, Creeper are touring Eternity, In Your Arms around the UK and Europe. On Sunday evening, their Cardiff show marked the last of the UK leg of the tour with Milk TeethEnergy and Puppy as support.

Taking the stage first, Puppy began their set with My Tree, from their 2016 EP Vol. II. Filling the room with moody, atmospheric music, the trio held their own in one of the largest rooms on the tour. The band were static on stage, but made up for it by performing their music admirably close to record quality. Finishing their set with two of their best – Arabella and Entombed – Puppy pulled off every riff and groove section in style. [7/10]

All the way from Boston, Massachusetts, it was Energy‘s last night on tour with Creeper. Full of bravado and not lacking in, well, energy, the band did a commendable job but missed the mark slightly.  Playing songs mostly from their recent album Apparition Sound, there were a few in the crowd familiar with the material, but Energy did little to inspire newcomers. Witching Hour saw frontman Jason ‘Tank’ Tankerly prowling out the stage acting out the horror aesthetic of the track. Dead In Dreamland had the potential to be a strong song within the band’s set, but Tank spent much of the song offering the microphone to the crowd to little avail. Some nice moments, but slightly messy in all. [6/10]

Hailing from Southampton just like CreeperMilk Teeth were full of passion for their craft. Their 2016 album Vile Child provided the bombastic Brickwork and other highlights like Crows Feet. Facing a remarkably static crowd, Milk Teeth did their best to stir the room into action, and were rewarded with some of the first mosh pits of the evening. Mixing up the pace somewhat, the band slowed it down to play Kabuki followed by Swear Jar. Full of authentic punk atmosphere fused with the grit of old school grunge, Milk Teeth did an excellent job of displaying what they do best to newcomers, giving a performance which was both stirring and entertaining. [8/10]

It had become obvious throughout the night that for better or for worse, the vast majority of the crowd were here for Creeper. Entering a stage full of purple-lit crosses and a cathedral scrim background, it was an echo of the iconic video for Black Rain. True enough, the voice sample from the music video played before the band launched into a larger than life performance of the track itself. It was a solid choice to begin, both being a new track but one that the vast majority would recognise. From Black Rain to Eternity, In Your Arms track two, Poison Pens saw the circle pit expand larger than ever for Creeper‘s newfangled trash punk tune.

Creeper played some of the biggest tracks from the new album but also the full range of EPs. From The Honeymoon Suite back to We Had A Pact, virtually nothing was missed, giving the audience a dynamic and thrilling display. The first song that saw the band slowing down was the awe-inspiring Crickets. Main vocalist Will Gould stood back to let keyboardist Hannah Greenwood perform her song in a stunningly powerful demonstration. With only Hannah and Ian Miles on stage, all the focus was on the pair and they did not fail to impress.

Astral Projection once again saw the crowd descend into a fervour of joyous mosh pits. Following this, Will Gould explained the meaning behind the Callous Heart patches the band and their fans wear, a promise to one another : I Choose To Live; and the band played it strikingly well. After a brief encore, Creeper introduced VCR. A brilliant celebration of how far they’d come in playing one of their oldest tracks, it was a chance for some of the oldest fans in the room to do their thing. Finally, Creeper finished the evening with Misery. In some senses a strange choice, but despite being a heartbreaking ballad, it’s special to witness so many fans come together to sing every word as the band smile, still incredulous at the reaction. [9/10]

LIVE: Ghost with Zombi, Cardiff 25/3/17

On the second day of the Popestar World Tour, Ghost rocked into Cardiff with supporting band Zombi in tow.

Perhaps not your usual support act, Zombi are a progressive space rock duo. The pair did well to fill the room with atmospheric, in places eerie music. Despite a vocal minority continuing to talk through the set, the band received a positive response from the crowd, seeing cheers and applause after each track.

The band played the majority of their set from their 2015 album Shape Shift, opening with the entrancing Pillars of the Dawn. The musicianship of the two artists was truly impressive, with Steve Moore occasionally plucking the bass whilst simultaneously playing synthesisers on the keyboard. Anthony Panterra kept the set rolling with stellar drumming performance, barely stopping through the band’s 45-minute span. [7/10]

It’s clear that the vast majority of the crowd were eagerly awaiting headliners Ghost. Throughout the crowd there were audience members dressed up as Papa Emeritus III, nuns, or other similarly occult outfits. Before appearing on stage, Ghost had several hymns playing out hauntingly over the speakers to build suspense.

First, several Nameless Ghouls came on stage playing the iconic introduction to Square Hammer, before Papa Emeritus III burst on scene as the vocals began. The performance was electrifying, Ghost incredibly close to the quality of their recorded material. The crowd belted back every word. A euphoric start to their set.

The band followed Square Hammer with another favourite, From The Pinnacle To The Pit, providing another atmospheric performance. From then on, the set was in gear and Ghost moved through their material with style.

The similitude of the Nameless Ghouls’ outfits drew most of the attention to Emeritus himself, who moved about the stage conducting both audience and music, drawing attention to a Ghoul playing an impressive solo or drum flair. That said, the Ghouls were a display of themselves, leaning forward to glare out at the crowd.

Introducing Cirice, both of the band’s guitarists had a humorous play-off of the opening riff before launching into the song fully. Emeritus provided amusing discourse between songs, laughing off the morbid themes of Ghost’s songs. His eminence also had a swift costume change halfway, from papal vestments to slick velvet suit.

Ghost are masters of their craft, and demonstrate it with excellent on stage. Aesthetically pleasing and musically inspiring, they controlled the room with a passion second to none. [8/10]

Suicide Silence & Guests – Live @ Marble Factory, Bristol (23/3/17)

A night of deathcore with a little spice in-between was brought to Bristol as we are given many different flavours of the genre that brings the room together. Whilst the controversy still surrounds Suicide Silence, and you could somewhat tell it had affected with the small crowd in attendance, its going to be interesting to see how everything fairs out.

Bringing the local fire to the stage were Roads To Nowhere (6) who came to the stage in a fury. The crowd were focused on the bands powerful low toned sound, but it was hard to distinguish certain parts due to the fact that the band came through the speakers like a busy construction site. The instrumentation became clouded and the certain electronic elements that came through pierced through, especially during the breakdowns. The vocals, when they started to cut through, sounded meaty during the lower tones and heightened more of the below average experience. The band shows off the great things about Bristol, it just became the sound that unfortunately put a dampener on their 30 minutes of fame.

Changing the whole vibe to a death metal extravaganza, Venom Prison (8) are another showcase for the UK for the entire tour and with such an eclectic music flavour in their sound, it’ll be interesting to see how they fair. The sound comes across as more balanced and refined than the local act and and the crowd seemed more receptive towards them. There was a bit of hit and miss points during their set, but for the majority of the time on stage the band nailed you with song after song full of vibrance and variety. Showcasing their newer material from their latest album ‘Animus’, the band pushed themselves further and being in a venue like this supporting a band as universally known as Suicide Silence are, it’s a massive step in the right direction for them.

Deez Nuts (8) might seem like a band who you would question being on a lineup around this particular genre, but it just means that the band have to step up and make themselves more know and boy did they do that. Breaking out with tracks ‘Word’ and ‘Popular Demand’, the band threw themselves into their hardcore niche perfectly and the crowd started to warm up a lot more. JJ Peters comes across as a strong frontman for his band and it brings the life of the band and whilst the technical issues of the guitars threw a bit of a wrench in an otherwise really solid set, the band gave everyone a nice change up and a chance to boogie along to something else.

It has definitely been an interesting few weeks with Suicide Silence (9), but now it comes to crunch time within their headline set. Opening with the ever swaying ‘Doris’, the new album makes so much more sense when hearing the new record in a live setting as the sounds flow much more than it does on their album. They don’t shy away from their older discography as tracks like ‘Unanswered’ and ’No Pity For A Coward’ immediately brought the crowd to life and whilst there were points where the crowd almost got physical, it was overshadowed by the bands overall performance. The bands attitude now of not giving a hoot about what everyone thinks of them transcending to their live set brings out so much more out of them and no matter what you think of their latest status in the world of deathcore, their live show still hasn’t changed, giving you everything they have and then some.

Gojira & Guests – Live @ O2 Academy Bristol (18/3/17)

The metalheads are out in full force tonight as the French powerhouses Gojira took over the Academy venue alongside another technical mathcore veteran and one of the heaviest upcoming bands of this decade. With this being their last date of their UK part of the EU tour, its time to see how they send themselves off in this part of the world.

Opening up first were mathcore/technica metal juggernauts Car Bomb (8) who, with the room already near enough at full capacity, were here to confuse and blow away the crowd right out of the gate. Coming right out of the gate with ‘Best Intentions’ which showcases the bands older material which is full of destructive and mechanical sounds that have quite a few people in the crowd looking in disbelief and perplexed in some parts of their set. As they proceed to current album material such as ‘Black Blood’ and ‘Gratitude’ which show off the crazy versatility that the band has on offer with them, as well as their closer ‘Secrets Within’ which only heightens the intrigue that surrounded them in the first place. They made plenty of new fans at by the end of the set, had won a lot of critics over.

When you saw that Code Orange (10) were going to be support, it was hard to see how well received a band more known for hardcore/beatdown shows would be at a more metal showing, but the band absolutely showed the world why they are one of the most talked about groups of recent years. Coming straight into destruction mode with ‘Forever’, the band throw themselves about like rag dolls and the crowd follow suit with the moshpits coming into fruition. The band then proceed to give you an onslaught of sound with tracks like ‘I Am King’, ‘My World’ and ‘Kill The Creator’ just bringing the best out of everyone in the room. The whole planning of their set gave you areas of breath with the more slower pacing of tracks such as ‘Bleeding In The Blur’ showing off Reba Meyers powerful clean vocals and accentuating the bands versatility. This 10 song set proved to Bristol that these guys are one of the best bands at what they do and that it doesn’t matter what genre you are, you always have the power to transfix the crowd, and that is what they did for the entirety of their set.

It was hard to see how Gojira (9) were going to be able to follow that, but they pulled it out of the bag with full force. With their latest album ‘Magma’ being the forefront of this bands tour, it was safe to say that a majority of the set was going to be songs from this record. Opening with ‘Only Pain’, the band pounded through the song and set the wheels in motion for the rest of their set. The back screen helped provide a nice discography pleasing set and showed a off a great live experience that the band provided on all their aspects. Tracks such as ‘L’Enfant Sauvage’ and ‘Toxic Garbage Island’ gave you other showing of the band that they were able to bring with the projector adding a certain mood towards each track, heightening its experience. The band came on for a 2 song encore, which was proceeded by a guitar solo, that helped solidify them as one of the more enjoyable and unique bands in their field and will only just push them further into the stratosphere due to their craft and ability to capture the fans attention.

Hellions & Guests – Live @ Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff (28/2/17)

Giving you a mixture of genres but a massive amount of energy, Cardiff is looking to bring a lot of excitement for Hellions final stop on their headline tour. With Acres holding the middle and a local support looking to make a name for themselves, its time to see how everyone shaped up.

Frown Upon (7) took the night off with something aggressive and powerful with their blend of alternative rock mixed with a melodic hardcore/punk element that definitely showed off what they can do really well. With the band feeling a bit rusty at times, it luckily didn’t take away from their sound as the raw emotion running through the vocals in tracks like ‘Impolitic’ had a positive desired effect with the rest of the band being heightened around it. Having an nostalgic vibe of Lower Than Atlantis from back in their ‘Far Q’ era as well as having a bit more of a modernised style in its melodies, they’re definitely pushing forward a bit more and are a group to keep an eye out for.

Up next were Acres (9) who were giving you something a lot more melodically charged and adding a softer approach. With their latest EP ‘In Sickness & Health’ having just been released for a few days, they had a lot to be excited for and the post hardcore/rock inspirations from the band came through in spades. Their whole sound seems to be based on the atmosphere and whilst their music doesn’t really bring any moshing to the table, just taking in what they are able to offer with you tracks like ‘Gloom’ that do have the main touches of anger, the band create such a breathtaking sound that it just encapsulates everything that you enjoy about the band, with the screams and cleans powering through. If you ever get a chance to see this band, you definitely wont regret it.

Finally on the final night for the final time this tour, Hellions (9) took to the stage and planned to make this another night to remember. Having just giving everyone a teaser in the UK with their stint on the Deez Nuts/Comeback Kid tour, it was going to be exciting to see how they planned to change things up. Whilst most of the set stays the same, which was expected, they do throw in a nice few additions to the night that make it feel a lot more unique and take the night into its own favourable element. As well as their latest full length ‘Opera Oblivia’ being made the main attraction of their show, it came through with a lot of exuberance and the crowd were able to feed off that energy during tracks like ‘Quality Of Life’ and their set closer ‘Hellions’. Overall, this band know how to bring everything to a special peak and they were able to create something that was what they wanted to do, and boy are they doing it right!

Chelsea Grin & Guests – Live @ O2 Institute3, Birmingham (7/2/17)

What may be one of the heaviest gigs for the younger audience to see all year, Chelsea Grin make their anticipated return to the UK in small venues in light of their recent release ‘Self Inflicted‘. Bringing Betraying The MartyrsMake Them Suffer and Void Of Vision along with them, it’s time to show off what everyone can bring.

Opening up the night were first time travellers to the UK Void Of Vision (8), who burst straight onto the area with ‘//‘ and showed what they were capable of right out of the gate with a booming guitar sound and the band looking to make a statement. With part of the crowd fully behind the newcomers on this soil, the band brought an aggressive sound with their older material such as ‘Nightmare‘ and their closer ‘Purge‘, which will get the newer fans a chance to go back to their older material. It’s safe to say that Void of Vision have made a lasting impression on the crowd, as they should.

Up next, making their return since November for Never Say Die, Make Them Suffer (9) came out swinging and knew they had to show off their versatility to play all kinds of venues, whether big or small. Opening with ‘Widower‘, the piano part comes through and the crowd are pumped up as the group pounce right on this energy and ride it throughout. With the melodic side of the band being shown in ‘Ether‘, their newest song, and then going back into their pounding low end with ‘Blood Moon‘, the band are making themselves known much more and will definitely be one to keep an eye out when their new album drops.

Being probably the closest to home that the vocalist Aaron Matts will be on this tour, Betraying The Martyrs (9) had an amazing time on stage with it mostly being in the dark due to the influx of flashing lights on stage, but it didn’t take away from their stride at all. With now three albums in, their setlist went into as much heavy as they could with tracks such as ‘Unregistered‘ off the new release and older track ‘Man Made Disaster‘, the band make the entire night one to remember and with the crowd fully behind them it didn’t show any signs of slowing down the entire night. It’s a band that you should go and see whenever you get the chance this year because you will definitely not be disappointed.

Coming now was the main attraction and the band and Chelsea Grin (9) were ready to smash the boundaries that their selective genre has them in and boy did they do it. Opening with ‘Skin Deep‘, they were ready to show off their newer material to the fresh faces with a whole barrage of crushing production in their wake. Amongst this, they did a discography spanning set of their albums and not letting up with their older material also getting some time in the sun with ‘My Damnation‘ parting out a wall of death and a pick up of what was a quiet night for moshing. With the whole set being an amazing time to see the band in their current state, the encores of the ‘Desolation of Eden‘ material gave the crowd the anticipated end with songs such as ‘Recreant‘ bringing the night to a comfortable and very worn out end.

Galactic Empire & Guests – Live @ The Fleece, Bristol (6/2/17)

After taking a long haul flight from the galaxy to come to the UK, Galactic Empire have come around to a few venues with the plans of gaining more rebels for their army, with their strong following support of Sithu Aye and local support BOE in tow to make the night that much more memorable.

Bringing the night to a pretty enjoyable opening, Bristol boys in BOE (6) are here to show off what they are able to do well and that is to bring the groove into full effect. With the drummer hidden out of plain sight, the rest of the band brought something that got a few people banging their heads in enjoyment from the openers set. Whilst a few of the songs did tend to drag a little bit, they held their own and didn’t leave much room to drift off somewhere else as there was something there for everyone to listen to.

Up next came Scottish based prog guitar sensation Sithu Aye (10) who’s amazing technical display of beautiful melodies and low toned bounce combined with gripping solos made for one of the most enjoyable 45 minutes that people will experience this year. With the whole set being all intrinsically linked by the songs being played, being lost in a whole progressive nature with newer tracks like ‘Transient Transistors’ adding an aggressive touch to the tone whereas the 2014 song ‘Messengers’ provided a much more melodically energetic and clean approach to his writing style that a lot of people might not have known about. Overall, the experience was breathtaking and the closing on ‘And Here’s To Many More’ gives a lovely glimmer of hope that this wont be the last you’ll see of them.

Then it was time for the rebels to be exterminated and the riffs to be enjoyed by many. Galactic Empire (10) brought the room to an amazing peak with their atmospheric entrance before blasting right into ‘Main Theme’ for everyone to cheer loudly and raise their horns into the air to kick off their set. Filling in the gaps of their songs with some great dubbed over humour and even a force choke during the set, the band pounded through their set with ‘Imperial March’ and ‘Cantina Band’, with the latter being the most enjoyed track by the venue with dancing and bouncy balls being batted around all over the place to bring the party mood up. After a powerful set and what felt like an amazing time, the band boosted it even further with the encore of ‘Duel Of The Fates’ giving the venue that final hurrah and pleasant ending everyone wanted and the raucous applause gave the evening that final pièce de résistance that makes this gig one to remember for the rest of the year.

The Dillinger Escape Plan – Manchester Academy 2 – 20th January 2017

Coming into a gig like this, of a last show and a band that means so much to the world of a Hardcore fan, it seems stupid that any support could amass to this. Thankfully Primitive Weapons (7), took this opportunity perfectly and delivered an intense Hardcore delivery. Though this band might not have been known to the British audience due to coming from America and only being on their debut record, the group impressed amazingly and certainly gave fans enough to talk about coming from their set. For starters the band’s infectious frontman busted out great moves flailing his arms to the intensity caused from the rest of the band, causing the mood of an already intense gig to seem uncontrolled from the start. The best moment however came from a track from their debut album The Future Of Death, entitled Panopticon Blues, with lyrics such as “we’re locked, we’re trapped, we’re never alone” dedicated to new American President Donald Trump. If this band carry on releases like this and touring in the UK, we could see the next big hardcore band to take the reigns from the retiring Dillinger Escape Plan and this can only be good for the scene.

Coming up next was Ho99o9 (pronounced “Horror”) (8) with an intense sense of Punk, Rap and Dub within their musical sensibilities, made obvious with frontman Eaddy‘s choice of a Bad Brains T-Shirt which the group were hugely similar too. Placid and static would not be the right words for this group as with the band only having 3 members they caused intensity right from the off. In truth the way they acted on stage made Dillinger reserved, which for most is no easy feat to pull off. After throwing popcorn, cornflakes and Eaddy climbing on the shoulders of one of the crowd members to add chaos to the moshpit, this was a band security had to be there to deal with. The other frontman and DJ theODG  had a one man mosh-pit controlling the soundboard that accompanied Ho99o9‘s intense sound. With tracks such as No Regrets taking an intense electronic and rap spin through to the intense hardcore shouts of Twisted Metal, this is a true underground band that needs to be pushed to more people.

Finally the main event of the evening came from The Dillinger Escape Plan (10) who gave a set that few others could even try to compete with. What was good to note was that out of the 16 songs they played, 9 came off their last two albums. This shows that the band are hugely proud of their most recent material and rightly so. Playing tracks such as One Of Us Is The Killer, set opener Limerent Death and Symptoms Of A Terminal Illness, all sounded perfect live and up to the quality of the rest of their material. This is a band that it is sad to see go, but to know they did it on their terms in a set choice that screams out for modern material this is only the best way to summarise a quality band that is Dillinger.

For the rest of their time on stage however, hits such as Milk Lizard, Black Bubblegum and Prancer made the crowd go ballistic. From front to back the arena screamed out every lyric to every song, and the room came alive for what was considerably the best band to have come out of Hardcore/Metal in the past 20 years. From what was seen on pictures from this tour (of the band jumping from balconies) and their history from shitting in a bag at Leeds 2002 or climbing the rungs of the tent at Download 2014, this was a more reserved and more focused Dillinger we saw tonight. Not too dissimilar from your average metal band they seemed on point, focused and in touch with the music. What was different was their technical proficient ability and the crowd’s reaction to this insane band. As Dillinger have always been shrouded in controversy their last Manchester gig was no different as their encore was stopped halfway through Sunshine The Werewolf and just before 43% Burnt (as seen from the sets on the rest of the UK tour) due to an injury in the crowd. With this talking point however, this gives a great memory to this show, and puts them out there as a band whose existence has been a controversial talking point, right until their very last tour. It’s a shame that The Dillinger Escape Plan are choosing to retire, but what an amazing way to do so.