Date: May 23rd, 2017
Venue: The Academy, Dublin
Line-up: Enter Shikari + Crossfaith
“Abusing music’s worthless genre boundaries since 2003”, this is how Enter Shikari introduce themselves and I couldn’t think a more accurate description. The band catapulted themselves into the spotlight with their debut single ‘Sorry, You’re Not a Winner’, its blend of post-hardcore and trance was something almost unheard of at the time and it was just the start of the bands journey. Now more than 10 years and 4 albums later, Enter Shikari have decided to return where it all started with a tour dedicated to celebrating and performing their debut album Take to the Skies in its entirety to the fans that have kept them going through all these years.
Opening the show tonight are a band who share in Enter Shikari’s mentality of fusing musical genres, and having a good time while doing so, Japanese band Crossfaith. The band have earned themselves a reputation of being a “party band” when it comes to their live performances and it is a title they are certainly deserving of. Mere seconds after taking to the stage the band are encouraging the crowd to clap and move in the heat of the moment, igniting mosh pits as soon as the music starts. Cementing that “party” mood is the stomping track ‘Jägerbomb’ and the bands cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Omen’, which transformed the crowd into a swarm, constantly moving and squirming, it was fascinating to watch. Around the halfway mark of the show keyboardist Terufumi Tamano was left to his own devices on stage, inciting a full-on rave that took over the crowd. Vocalist Kenta Koie kept the crowd moving and on their toes, never letting them stop for a second’s rest, from directing walls and mosh pits to at one point getting the whole crowd on the floor to bounce up and down. With 40 minutes of non-stop, relentless energy Crossfaith were going to be a hard act to follow.
The lights went down and the music over the PA went silent which prompted the crowd to start chanting aloud “And still we will be here standing like statues” to let the band know they were ready and waiting for them. ‘Stand Your Ground; This is Ancient Land’ set the tone for the members of Enter Shikari to make their way to the stage with vocalist Rou Reynolds shout of “Shit!” introduced the bands self-titled track and primed the crowd to move.
The crowd, somehow, hadn’t tired themselves out from Crossfaith’s set, if anything that was simply a warm up. In what was almost the perfect beginning to the set, the band burst into the back-to-back pairing of ‘Mothership’ and ‘Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour’, the former prompting mosh pits with its heavier sound and breakdown screaming “Walk the plank” and the latter being more melodic with the crowd singing the instantly recognisable opening verse.
The instantly recognisable synths of ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Jonny Sniper’ elevated everyone’s mood, sticking a cheeky grin across their faces. With it being a quite warm evening Rou warned that if people weren’t already sweating they certainly would be by the time ‘No Sssweat’ was over, the crowd took this challenge to heart and briefly swallowed up Rou at the barrier. Still on a high, Rou climbed up the side of the stage and up onto the balcony to sing ‘Return to Energizer’, briefly restarting it since his initial vantage point wasn’t very good. He made his way around the back and to the other side, greeting fans along the way with one girl being lucky enough to cosy up to him and sing a line.
The band had been quite taken aback by the tragedy that struck Manchester on Monday night, the bombing at the arena after a concert by Ariana Grande, wanting to pay tribute to a city which is home to a lot of fans and an important place for them to play. The band played ‘Solidarity’ from their second album, noting the words “We will sing as one in solidarity, we will sing together” that they would not win a war against music. The band and crowd each raised their fists in the air for the closing refrain “And still we will be here standing like statues” sung aloud, it was truly a magical moment to witness. Another tribute of sorts came later when they placed a cover of Oasis’s ‘Half the World Away’.
Shifting away from the Take to the Skies tracks, this was also a tour in support of their recent live album Live at Alexandra Palace which featured a newer non-album single ‘Redshift’. Sounding more arena rock than the average Enter Shikari song, it still had the crowd eating out the hands with the anthemic “ohs’” and its explosive crescendo ending. The night ended with ‘The Appeal & the Mindsweep II’ which was just an excuse for the guys to go a little crazy on their instruments before finally bowing out.
Stand Your Ground; This Is Ancient Land
Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour…
Solidarity (Dedicated to the people of Manchester, England)
Sorry, You’re Not a Winner
Today Won’t Go Down in History
Return to Energiser
Half the World Away (Oasis cover)
OK, Time for Plan B
The Appeal & the Mindsweep II