Victoria Warehouse, 25th February 2016
With a quadrophonic sound system and enough lighting to illuminate the 5000 fans singing along to songs from a catalogue of over 10 years as well as the stage, Enter Shikari cemented themselves as one of the best British rock bands around, on their biggest tour yet.
It has never been more important as now to have bands & artists who are willing to talk about difficult political subjects, and the four piece from St Albans have never shirked this responsibility, upfront with their passionate fanbase with the privatization of the NHS (Anaesthetist) and greed over nature (Arguing with Thermometers), just two of the subjects tonight. It is also via the huge screens the bands mix of Punk Rock, Drum & Bass and Techno, collide with liberal uses of the likes of Thatcher, David Cameron & Donald Trump behind them. Acknowledging their music is at best divisive, they are not ones for subtlety!
Opening the evening was newly reformed Ska-Punk band, The King Blues, who’s politically charged lyrics has seen them join protests across the country & Pennsylvania’s six piece, The Wonder Years. The night however was all about Enter Shikari who dealt out fan favourite ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’ very early on in the set, if almost to get it out of the way.
With the majority of the setlist taken from 2015’s top ten album The Mindsweep, the crowd was suitably revved up from the off and in a brutal mood for more, judging from the most pits and human pyramids forming at the front, the headliners raced through over 20 songs in just under two hours. What sets the band apart from many is that while they excel in pounding rock anthems that justify the large arenas they have played over during this tour, it is moments like ‘Dear Future Historians’, where frontman Rou Reynolds disappeared, only to reappear, sat solo at the piano atop the sound desk which leave a lasting impression.
It didn’t even matter that one of the best reactions of the night came for ‘Slipshod’ which isn’t even on any of the bands albums. Where are all the bands with something to say? Tonight in the huge warehouse area, we find three who will not be silenced, and feverent fans who embraced every minute of it.
– Enter Shikari will headline Hevy Fest 19th/20th August