Wait, how do you spell ‘epiphany’?
Returning to our shores for the first time since 2015, Sheffield punks Bring Me the Horizon rounded out their Australian leg of the First Love tour on a crisp Saturday night in Melbourne.
The first of four bands to play the packed-out arena were locals Trophy Eyes. On the back of a sold-out national tour and recent Splendour In The Grass announcement, the five-piece wasted no time in proving to the already swelling crowd that they are destined for arena shows, knocking out tracks from their much loved sophomore album The American Dream. British pop-punk favourites You Me at Six were out next, frontman Josh Franceschi full of beans as he bounced up and down the specially-installed runway at Rod Laver. Highlighting their ‘best of’ set was the appearance of Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon for crowd favourite Bite My Tongue.
I’m just going to say it: Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes damn near stole the show in their main support slot. Led by the former Gallows frontman, the band stormed the stage with Carter’s swagger and scowl warning the audience what they were in for. As well as spending more time airborne than on the ground, it wasn’t long before Carter found himself in the crowd performing headstands on audience members before opening a circle pit with himself smack-bang in the centre of it. Finally, the Rattlesnakes concluded their set with the vicious I Hate You, with band and audience coming together to scream their love (and hate) for each other in pure harmony. If Carter keeps his word, we will be seeing the Rattlesnakes back in the country in December – a possible Good Things Festival announcement impending, maybe?
As the impressive visual screening of Welcome to Mantra (via MANTRA, the hugely popular lead single from amo) began, the mosh pit bulged alarmingly, but that didn’t stop energetic frontman Sykes baiting the crowd: “You call that a pit? That’s embarrassing,” he crowed with a cheeky grin on his face, before launching into Avalanche and House of Wolves and jumping off stage to mix it with the die-hard fans on the barrier.
Accompanied by a stunning visuals and stage production, the band showcased tracks from all across amo and its predecessors Sempiternal and That’s the Spirit. An acoustic version of Drown rounded out the band’s 90-minute set, allowing the arena to enter full sing-along mode. “That was off its t-ts, Melbourne,” Sykes huffed as he left the stage.
As the rest of BMTH exited the stage, cheers of “Encore!” immediately rang throughout the Rod Laver sauna. One fan made his way to the barrier with a huge banner reading ‘Play the Deathcore Medley’. During Doomed, Sykes shooed said fan away, even telling him to “fook off” before snatching the banner and wiping his backside with it. As the song came to its end, Sykes halted the visuals for next track Medicine. “You know what? Where is the cheeky little bastard,” he asked. “You put some effort into the sign, so let’s do it.” The crowd erupted as the band launched into The Comedown, Medusa and Diamonds Aren’t Forever. Famously, the act never perform these songs any more given the damage they cause to Sykes’ vocal chords – but there was something special in the air as the stars aligned and the crowd reciprocated with aplomb.
The set was finalised with the aforementioned Medicine and lastly Throne. Confetti fired into the air alongside another round of smoke exploding on-stage, and thousands of sweaty fans walked out, all attesting “they’ve still got it” to their mates.
Amo is available now at JB Hi-Fi via Sony Music.
Check out our gallery from the night here.