I know. Bring Me the Horizon. A band who was once voted the UK’s best and worst band for the same set of awards. Back in my prime concert days in Montreal, when I frequented mostly metal shows every other week, they were popular with the scene girls because frontman Oli Sykes was an absolute tattooed English dreamboat. I’ve now seen them three times. But I’ll get to them at the end… By the way, pardon all the black and white photos. Metal shows never seem to have the best lighting for photography.
Openers Deez Nuts have been around since I Killed the Prom Queen disbanded. Frontman JJ Peters can definitely scream pretty well, and their current session bassist has some good energy. Not bad for an opening band, and a few people in the crowd seemed to know some words.
Architects (UK) – because there’s apparently a US band by the same name – is wild on stage. Sam Carter, vocalist, is simply fun to watch. Headbanging non-stop and flipping his hair all over, the guy just goes non-stop. Only problem with Architects is that even when I listen to their album, I can’t tell their songs apart. Same thing live. I looked to the photographer next to me and asked if they had played two or three songs yet. He wasn’t sure either. Nonetheless, solid performance.
Parkway Drive, all the way from down under, are favorites of mine. These guys have been higher on the charts in Australia than big American pop stars when their album debuts, and their live show is an awesome spectacle of what metalcore should be. Guitarists Jeff Ling and Luke Kilpatrick are absolutely amazing with their guitars, switching back and forth for solos. Winston McCall, who seemed to be tired, as he was sitting down in between songs, demanded pits and crowdsurfers. He sure as hell got them. Security could barely handle the amount of people coming over the barriers. If you love metalcore and haven’t heard any Parkway Drive, you’re interested in the wrong genre.
And so, we arrive at Bring Me the Horizon. And surprisingly, I don’t have anything bad to say about them. When I last saw them, their guitarist had dropped out of the band mid-tour, and left them stranded. They were unpolished, Oli couldn’t scream, and played six songs even while being the co-headliner. Disappointing, and I lost interest in the band after seeing that show. This time? Damn, they’ve really stepped up their game. Sharp, loud, exciting and a non-stop roller-coaster of fun metalcore. If you were ever a fan of them, I’d say give them another chance next time they come around. You may be surprised yourself! Jona Weinhofen has been a great addition on rhythm guitar, and I say that’s a large part of why they sound much better than a couple of years ago.
Overall, a pretty solid night of metalcore. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it remains as one of the biggest scenes in the Montreal area.
Full sets of Photos: Bring Me the Horizon, All Others
Setlist: Bring Me the Horizon in Montreal