Bring Me The Horizon (w/ Parkway Drive, Architects, The Devil Wears Prada)

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1 May 2011, 18:00

Thu 28 Apr – Bring Me The Horizon, The Devil Wears Prada, Parkway Drive, Architects

Forget your Iron Maidens, Judas Priests and Black Sabbaths, this was a night about the future of heavy music. A combination of the synth-tinged metalcore of The Devil Wears Prada, the melodic hardcore with a mathcore edge from Architects, the punishing Australian hardcore of Parkway Drive and of course, the headliners that divide opinion like no other, Bring Me The Horizon, may not have been to everyone's taste, but for the sold out Academy crowd, it was an incredible bill.

The Devil Wears Prada
Having never listened to The Devil Wears Prada before the gig (with the exception of Danger: Wildman), I had no real excitement for them, and there was a nagging concern in my head that due to the prominence of autotune on their records, they would be a poor live band. I was fully converted by the end of their set though, as they barely let up from beginning to end, playing a great opening set to crowd appreciation that some headliners would envy. The breakdown in Escape still sticks in my head as sounding monstrous, and the clean singer had no autotune (from what I could tell) and still sounded good, which begs the question, why use it on your albums? Before the last song, the lead singer had a short speech about the band's Christian beliefs, which was met by strong boos from the Birmingham crowd, something I thought was in really bad taste, he wasn't trying to convert anyone, simply honouring his faith. A slightly sour end to an otherwise solid set. 7/10

Setlist:
Danger: Wildman
Escape
Hey John, What's Your Name Again?
Dez Moines
Anatomy
Outnumbered
Assistant to the Regional Manager

Architects
I first saw Architects last year with A Day To Remember and wasn't really a fan at the time (I never got into Hollow Crown), but I loved their latest album and was looking forward to hearing tracks from it live. I wasn't disappointed, as their short set was comprised entirely of songs from The Here And Now and Hollow Crown, which may have annoyed older fans who swear by the old material, but their set went down great from where I was standing. Opening with Day In Day Out, lead singer Sam Carter looked almost blown away by the volume of the crowd singing the first line back at him. The singalong of Follow The Water was every bit as loud and impressive as I expected, but including two ballads in their short set (Heartburn and Hollow Crown) wasn't a great idea in my opinion, one of them could have been swapped out for an older song from Ruin or Nightmares to appease the old school fans. Regardless, it was a great set from Sam and the rest of the Architects guys, would have been nice for slightly more, but with two more bands to come, it was understandable they didn't play for long. I also think Early Grave is a better set opener than closer, but that's just nitpicking. 7/10

Setlist:
Day In Day Out
Delete, Rewind
Follow The Water
Heartburn
Learn To Live
Hollow Crown
Early Grave

Parkway Drive
God damn. There was a lot of talk before the gig from disgruntled Parkway Drive fans who were unhappy they were only support whilst BMTH headlined, but if it were judged on performance, Parkway definitely would have been worthy headliners. Opening with the intro track from their latest album, the incredible Deep Blue, I couldn't believe how powerful Winston McCall's voice is live as he burst onto the stage with the ferocious call of RESISTANCE IS SUFFERING and didn't let up until the final strains of Carrion rang out across the Academy. With a setlist encompassing all three albums, anthems like Boneyards and Romance Is Dead slotted in perfectly alongside newer cuts such as Unrest and Sleepwalker. Whilst the breakdown of Boneyards (THERE'S BLOOD... IN THE WAAAAAATEEEEEEEERRRR) was an insane moment, the highlight of their set was definitely Idols And Anchors, and you could tell the band loved it as well; Winston had a huge grin across his face as the crowd chanted along to the main riff. A technically sound, crushing performance from Parkway and easily the best band of the night. 9/10

Setlist (not quite sure about the order, I swear Karma was later in the set, but this was what setlist.fm had for me):
Samsara
Unrest
Boneyards
Sleepwalker
Karma
Idols and Anchors
Romance Is Dead
Dead Man's Chest
Deliver Me
Carrion

Bring Me the Horizon
I don't want to say Bring Me The Horizon were bad, because they weren't, not by any stretch of the imagination. They started brilliantly with It Never Ends and Fuck, with the clean vocals on the latter being handled fine by the crowd without any need for the talents of Josh Franchesci. This was one of my gripes with BMTH's set though: the amount of times Oli used the phrase 'now you sing it!'. I'm fine with letting the audience sing the occasional line or even chorus, but when you're handing the microphone over for half the freaking song, things get a little bit stupid. Bring Me were also hit with some pretty fierce technical difficulties from the looks of things, with the wait between songs sometimes reaching close to five minutes, killing any momentum they could build with the crowd. Although obviously, this wasn't the band's fault, it was slightly aggravating, especially considering there was around a half hour wait between them and Parkway. When they did play, they pulled it off well, and Sam Carter performing his vocal duties on The Sadness Will Never End was no surprise, but was a great thing to see live. Sam wasn't the only Architects member on stage though, as their drummer is pulling double duty for the remaining portion of the tour, after Bring Me's drummer broke his arm in an inter-band football match, which helped to explain the shorter setlist, and it was an impressive feat for him to learn the majority of the set and play with his own band earlier in the night, so my respect goes out to him. Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed with Bring Me's set choices either, a rare performance of Suicide Season may have been a surprise, but I'm not a fan of it on record, and felt like it dragged along a little live. The omission of anything from Count Your Blessings was glaring as well, especially with the crowd chanting for Pray For Plagues after every song. Still, I don't want to be too negative, as it was an enjoyable set, and Anthem and Blessed With A Curse built up to Chelsea Smile well, with the majority of the band taking to the balcony to finish in impressive style. Overall, a somewhat disappointing headline performance, but most of which was due to circumstances beyond the control. 6/10

Setlist:
It Never Ends
Fuck
The Comedown
The Sadness Will Never End
Diamonds Aren't Forever
Football Season Is Over
Alligator Blood
Suicide Season
Anthem
Blessed With A Curse
Chelsea Smile

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