Even though we were stuck in traffic an oddly specific 500m from Sydney’s beloved Hordern Pavilion, the atmosphere for the impending Bring Me The Horizon concert was starting to get thick. Crowds worth of misfits of all ages, head to toe in black were taking to the venue – an odd contract to the hordes of Sydney Swans supporters who, as it turns out, where the main source of this horrible traffic still – Up the Swannies! What a win.
By the time we traversed the aforementioned 500 meters, opening act ’68 were well and truly over. After spending about 5 seconds in the outside area, it became very, very clear we had missed something special. Judging by overhead conversation in the line for the bathroom, ’68’s performance was varying degrees of awesome. The bar seemed to have been set very high.
It didn’t take long for the crowd chatter to shift from ’68 to the upcoming Architects. Without a doubt the most anticipated performance of the night even more so than the headliner.
Only weeks earlier, Architects had suffered the tragic loss of guitarist Tom Searle, their own “genius”, as described by vocalist Sam Carter. But the band that took to the stage was not a broken band, nor were they even bent. This wasn’t a band who were suffering from a tragic loss, this was a band determined to overcome it.
Current album All Our Gods Have Abandoned us was well-serviced during the performance – which seemed to be perfectly fine with the swelling crowd before them. Phantom Fear, Downfall and co were all performed at album quality – note for note with even more grit. Lost Forever // Lost Together was also well treated via Naysayer and Grave Digger. Carter is the kind of performer you get short of breath just watching, and this night was no different. The man alone made me want a cigarette simply so I could calm down.
The set closed with a Gone With The Wind, now a touching tribute to their fallen comrade. Carter spoke very briefly of his departed brother-in-arms but what he did say – that the band will continue to live on with the spirit of Searle – was all that needed to be said. A tasteful and eloquent eulogy.
Long live Architects.
As Bring Me The Horizon took to the stage one by one, it became very clear who in the band is the most appreciated. When frontman Oli Sykes appeared it was like a jet engine powered by screaming fans was landing in the venue.
The stage production was brilliant. Screens and strobes everywhere. Then during the opener, Happy Song, an explosion of smoke and confetti stunned the massive crowd. It’s unsure whether the streamers were meant to stick to the roof for the entire set but how frigging sweet was that!
The band stayed close to their latest album That’s The Spirit, meandering back to older sibling Sempiternal. The furthest they dug into their back catalogue was Suicide Season MVP Chelsea Smile. Having seen this song performed many times in the past, the lacklustre (let’s be real here, guys) performance made it very clear that Bring Me have no more interest in what they’ve done, but rather what they’re doing. And hell – the thousands of people before them seemed more than OK with that.
Despite the titanic stage, fit with dino stairs, and the band member’s use of wireless tech, there was very little running and jumping and a lot more bopping up and down within a 2ft radius. Granted, this could simply be due to focusing on playing the damn songs, but with Sykes free roaming, dancing and pointing like a madman, at times it felt like we were watching Oli Sykes Feat. The Horizons.
At one point, all members bar Oli left the stage for a monologue where he discussed (among other things) the fallout of his former marriage. This only added to the Oli Sykes Feat. The Horizons vibes.
Sykes made some strange noses up and said some even stranger shit (a la “Fuck me right in the ass”) but despite all this it was objectively a screaming success. Fuck it – It was fun! Hit after hit after hit, the crowd did not stop moving. Throne was an absolute riot and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see the habitually brooding vocalist look like he was having fun.
The lights, the screens, the confetti – the beautiful hair – Bring Me The Horizon put on a grand spectacle worthy of a band of their stature. That said, if it was passion you were after, then you may have spent at least some of the set thinking about Architects phenomenal opening.
And no doubt you’ll still be thinking about it now.
Gallery: Bring Me The Horizon, Architects – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney – 17/09/16 / Photos By Annette Geneva