LIVE REVIEW: Enter Shikari at The Academy

Enter Shikari Tour Poster

Date: December 18th, 2015
Venue: The Academy, Dublin
Line-up: Enter Shikari

St Albans’s post-hardcore/electronic rockers Enter Shikari are no stranger to our shores, coming over fairly regularly since their inception. This time the band have decided to treat us to something special in the form of ‘A Mindsweep Christmas’, named after their latest album The Mindsweep, which was released at the beginning of the year.

Right from the opening line of ‘The Appeal & the Mindsweep I”, vocalist Rou Reynolds had the crowd screaming back every word. Enter Shikari’s broad musical appeal had attracted all sorts of fans here tonight, being equal parts a rock show and a rave. The energy never stopped all night with the band moving swiftly onto some of their biggest hits. The crowd screamed along to ‘Destabilise’ with Rou running around, experimenting with his mixing desk like a mad scientist.

With a guitar in tow, Rou came down from the stage and towards the back of the crowd for an intimate closer to ‘Radiate’, fans in his every direction singing along with him and trying to get a video memento of their up close encounter. In the heat of the moment Rou tried his hand at a little sing-along of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ but was caught off guard by the opening synths of ‘Sorry, You’re Not a Winner’. Quickly ditching the guitar and mic stand, he immediately hopped up on the railing before taking his chance to run back on stage.

The band was keen to show off their new material amid the tried and true hits. The Prodigy-meets-System of a Down styled ‘There’s a Price on Your Head’ got the crowd moving their feet, even drummer Rob Rolfe couldn’t help but jump up for a spot of Egyptian-styled dancing for the songs outro. Rou and guitarist Rory Clewlow attempted to get the crowd to give their best ‘war cry’ to kick off ‘The Last Garrison’ but it was ‘Torn Apart’ that really got their attention, building up over the song to a huge chorus.

Rou felt that that despite the fact that this was a Christmas show there wasn’t enough joy and cheer. A couple of the most “Christmassy” looking crowd members were brought up on stage to act as backup singers for a cover of Shakin’ Stevens’ ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ alongside a dancing  snowman. Afterwards Rou declared that now everything was too joyful, eager to move on he says ‘that one was about Christmas, this one is about hanging a man’ before starting ‘The Paddington Frisk’.

Going right back to their first album, ‘Mothership’ sent the crowd into a real frenzy, screaming the opening lyrics ‘Go tell all your friends that this is the end’ and later on engaging in a huge round of crowd surfing for the breakdown of ‘walk the plank’. Following up an old favourite with what is set to be a future favourite, The Mindsweep’s lead single ‘Anaesthetist’ got a similarly huge reaction.

Foregoing the usual chants of ‘one more song’, Enter Shikari fans used something a little more familiar to them, singing the lines ‘And still we will be here standing like statues’ taken from the bands self-titled song. After a hugely energetic main set the band slowed things down for ‘Constellations’, a slower ballad-esque showing off the diversity in their music. This calm didn’t last for long with them closing their set with the high-octane tracks ‘Slipshod’ and ‘Zzzonked’.

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