It’s a dark and stormy Sunday night in London, but the masses have descended upon The O2, for the second of two Bring Me The Horizon headline shows, with support from Static Dress & Bad Omens. There is a very thick air of anticipation in the building tonight as one of the hottest tickets in rock finally here.
Static Dress are a band that has been gaining traction for quite some time now. Signed to Roadrunner Records and collecting high profile supporting slots like Pokemon, they seem like the next band to explode in alternative music. Tonight’s performance provides yet another compelling argument for that case. They hit the ground running with a force and fury that would make the ongoing storm outside jealous. Oli Appleyard and company are not here to mess around. Not a single moment of their criminally short set time is wasted. Songs like Courtney, Just Relax, Sweet & Clean all feel like future classics. They manage to engage the growing crowd, inciting several early evening pits and setting the bar for the rest of the bands to follow. Overall, another successful showing for the Leeds collective. (9)
It has become really easy to write off Bad Omens by giving them silly labels like Baddiecore or referring to them as “Horny Tik Tok music” to try and discredit them and downplay their rise in popularity as nothing more than a social media trend. But when they step out on stage tonight it’s very apparent not only how popular they are, but how seemingly genuine and palpable the adoration is for them. The entire arena loses its mind when they step on stage and they remain in the palm of their hands until the very end of their set. I’ll be honest, my personal interest in Bad Omens dissipated after their first album, but it’s incredibly impressive to see them take on an arena full of 20,000 people in a supporting role with ease. Tonight’s set is primarily focused on material from their latest album Death of Piece of Mind,but they do throw in some older material including a raucous rendition of Glass Houses which sets the place off nicely. Bad Omens are a band that have matured extremely well and are now finding their groove. On any other night this could well be them headlining the o2. An efficient, energetic and well paced set showing that no matter where they found their audience, they can more than live up to the hype currently surrounding them. (9)
As tasty as tonight’s appetisers have been, it’s time for the main course. As The O2 goes pitch black, a PS1 inspired loading screen flickers to life on the video walls and we’re ready for Bring Me The Horizon. The reception that greets them is nothing short of rapturous, as they launch head first into DArkSide it is well and truly on. For the next 2 hours Bring Me The Horizon take the audience on a thrilling ride, with a stage show that balances spectacle and sincerity. We get some theatrics, with the Post Human: NeX GEn storyline weaving its way in and out of the show, there are guests in the form of Oli Appleyard for Diamonds are Forever & Noah Sebastian for a jaw dropping Antivist. Sadly, there was no Yungblud this evening for Obey, as there was during night one. (You can read all about that over on our sister site Rock Sins).
Bring Me The Horizon are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band this year. This was my 12th time seeing them in that time, and frankly seeing where they started to where they are now is not only astonishing, but gives me a sense of pride, watching them support anyone and everyone to become the UK’s premier rock act. It’s a testament to not only how good they are, but also have much they have matured and honed their craft. Yes, there are moments where tonight plays out like Arena Rock Show 101, but are moments when you realise how palpable and genuine their connection with their audience is. Whether it’s during a spine tingling acoustic rendition of sTraNgeRs, with a fully lit up arena, or the moment Oli jumps into the crowd for Drown to sing with and hug people on the barrier, you can see how much this band means to people and how special these shows are for both the band and the crowd. Even tonight’s setlist is meticulously picked out and hits on most of the bands biggest career highlights, but it also speaks volumes about how good they are that they can leave songs like Sleepwalking, Ludens, Nihilist Blues, Happy Song and several others out of the set and not a single person feels short changed. But most importantly, if you take away all of the lasers, pyro, confetti and all the other trimmings, it cannot be denied that purely as a live act Bring Me The Horizon are operating on a completely different level to everyone else. They not only laid out the blue print that every band of their ilk have tried to copy in their wake, but they keep rewriting it as they go. Making it virtually impossible for anyone to catch up to them now. Bring Me The Horizon were once the butt of everyone’s jokes, but now they are the ones having the last laugh, as they take their place upon the throne as the kings of the rock Kingdom (10).