It’s to the Birmingham Academy tonight, for the one the best line-ups I’ve seen this side of the ocean in a long time. Consisting of Bring Me The Horzion, Parkway Drive, Architects and The Devil Wears Prada, it’s worthy of a title at least but no, it’s just Bring Me’s own headline tour.
With the queues still reaching quite far around the venue, it’s a wonder many would happen to catch any of The Devil Wears Prada’s 6:45 set. For some amazing reason, it seems that most are able to get in and what a relief that’ll be. Hailing from Ohio, USA they are essentially a metalcore band, but it’s the vocals which help this band stand out to me. The power and depth to lead singer Mike Hranica is a sight to behold in itself, but coupled with Jeremy DePoyster’s clean vocals which just seem to soar tonight leads to a strong pairing. And it’s songs such as Danger: Wildman and Assistant to the Regional Manager, which help for this to happen. Technically the band is tight, getting the crowd moving at such an early stage.
Architects lead more towards the post-hardcore side of things in my opinion, but they don’t half pull it off! My favourite band before and after tonight, it’s the songs that really work. With the whole crowd singing in full voice, and the pits as vicious as ever it’s a compliment to such a technically good band. Opening with Day In Day Out from new album The Here and Now, with Delete, Rewind, Learn To Live and Heartburn played from this album also, leads Sam Carter to demonstrate the lack of need for two vocalists when you can simply scream and sing on your own accord.
Hailing from Australia is metalcore band Parkway Drive. Reading once in an interview that the only aim of Parkway Drive was to create music for their friends to mosh to, I was obviously very excited. And if there’s anything PD’s music makes people do, it’s go damn mental. Immense songs such as Carrion, Sleepwalker and Boneyards all lead to head banging, hardcore dancing madness and act as a great release to any pent up energy you still had remaining. Winston McCall’s vocals have a great sense of wonder and power, with the whole band behind him creating riffs that are worthy of any casual head banger. Fantastic.
Bring Me The Horizon are a band I haven’t paid too much attention to until recently, due to the fact that they’re heavily followed by a crowd to which I felt if you weren’t a hardcore fan then you couldn’t be welcomed. But after starting to get some worldwide success, I finally gave in and caught wind of what it was they’re trying to achieve.
With Oli Sykes’s accent, it’s pretty obvious that the band hail from Sheffield, but it’s a shame he mistakes us for Nottingham at one point. I sometimes question the reason for Oli’s popularity, but after seeing them live it’s obvious of the charisma and effort that he puts in, in terms of performance. Unfortunately tonight, drummer Matt Nicholls is out of action due to a broken hand so is replaced by Architects drummer Dan Searle who does a great job at learning the parts and keeping on top of them. Top job.
In terms of songs, I believe the set list maybe suffered a little through this in terms of song cuts, but there’s no way to know that and apart from the exclusion of Pray For Plagues it veers towards being a very good set. Fuck does it for me – a great tune portrayed with a lot of energy and sing-along moments. Getting joined onstage once again by Sam Carter enables The Sadness Will Never End to provide another highlight for sure. Chelsea Smile, Diamonds Aren’t Forever and Blessed With A Curse all go down well as predicted, with Oli Sykes and two other members taking to the balcony for the last song.
At this point, the smile on Oli’s face just sums it up. And maybe they did encounter technical difficulties, but the passion and effort that this band show just bring a sense of wonder and that upper sense of being that make a band all the better for seeing live.
Review – Dan Earl
Photos – Steve Gerrard