Enter Shikari is a band with a weird name, weird style of music, and weird song names. They are also one of the best live acts in Britain, with a command over the stage and the crowd that even the largest bands on the planet would struggle to replicate. The two dates at Rock City, and one in Middlesbrough, are the final three dates of their December tour, which had been originally postponed from spring of 2020. COVID-19 unfortunately caught up to the band once more, so they finished the tour five months late, with a short three night stint.
And what a stint it has been, supported by two excellent bands in the mighty Trash Boat and the fabulous As Everything Unfolds. The two bands were already touring together when asked by Enter Shikari to support them on these dates. I am lucky enough that I had a good few mates with me for the concert. We walked in shortly before As Everything Unfolds were due to open the show. My friend Kez and I went into the Beta Lounge, formerly the Basement, and chatted to Tobi Duncan of Trash Boat who had been selling merch before the gig! We then walked back upstairs, grabbed a drink, and prepared for what would be an utterly incredible show.
captivated everyone in the audience with her immensely powerful vocals
The proceedings were opened by As Everything Unfolds with their unique blend of post-hardcore, prog metal, and alt-rock. Lead Singer Charlie Rolfe captivated everyone in the audience with her immensely powerful vocals, and the band soon had everyone paying full attention. The crowd were already moving, heads were banging, and they provided a wonderful start to the gig. Trash Boat came on next bringing a slightly lighter style of music, mixing pop-punk with post-hardcore and nu-metal. They’re one of the bands I have seen the most, and I always enjoy it because to date they have never let me down. They began a great mosh-pit, and by their set’s end everyone started singing along to He’s So Good as they waved their goodbyes.
As Rock City has weird stage times because of club nights, Enter Shikari came on stage bright and early at about 8:15 after having a ten minute intro of sorts which they had mixed. This introduced them and set the scene as some sort of futuristic sci-fi journey through space and time in music. The first song, a rousing version of The Great Unknown, fitted particularly well. This is not to mention the band’s brilliant light show which accompanied them throughout. It filled the main room at Rock City with all sorts of colours, lasers, and waves. The confetti cannons were shown some fairly repeated use and to great cheers from the crowd.
The band showed off their wide range of music to the extreme, with their more conventional 5th and 6th releases being shown plenty of love, as well as the rave-centric sounds of their 3rd and 4th albums and even a good amount of the post-hardcore of albums 1 and 2! By far my favourite moments of the set were the songs Anaesthetist, Arguing With Thermometers, Gandhi Mate Gandhi, and the final two songs Dreamer’s Hotel and Live Outside. Anaesthetist is one of their more electronic songs, and they outro-ed the song with the Reso remix of the song, which caused the room to dissolve into a prime example of a DNB rave hall, with crazy lights, a massive tune, and a wild mosh-pit in the centre that I think must’ve been the single best moment of my entire night!
the entire room belting along at the tops of their lungs in ecstasy
Rou Reynolds, the lead singer, also came out at the beginning of the encore to play a beautiful acoustic rendition of Constellations that had the entire room belting along at the tops of their lungs in ecstasy, before the rest of the band came on to storm through T.I.N.A. and the aforementioned incredible finale of Dreamers Hotel into Live Outside, finishing the stacked setlist off with a bang and sending everybody home grinning, aching, and filled with a newfound pep in their step and enthusiasm for life.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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