Every year metallians watch for the Belsonic line-up announcement in the hope that one or two rock/metal acts might make it onto the bill, along with whatever generic chart bubblegum music that is currently trendy. This year was no exception, with a change of venue to the much larger outdoor location in Belfast’s revitalized Titanic Quarter. The headline act tonight saw a return to Belsonic of Sheffield screamers Bring Me The Horizon.
First on the bill was Don Broco a band who were making their second trip to Belfast this year. On paper their brand of pop/rock seemed slightly mismatched with the headliners on the night. Surprisingly their upbeat repertoire of songs like “Automatic”, “Money, Power, Fame” and “You Wanna Know” were enough to get the crowd dancing and suited the summertime carnival feel amonsgst those who had made it down early to Belfast docks.
Also returning to Belsonic, local lads And So I Watch You from Afar, who seemed determined to enjoy playing on the big stage again.
As they opened into “BEAUTIFULUNIVERSEMASTERCHAMPION”, their intricate guitar work, and musical arrangement were lost on a large portion of the younger crowd, many of whom drifted off to the various beer tents or to relax in the that most rarest of Belfast commodities…. sunshine.
There were still plenty of people dancing, playing air guitar down at the front and enjoying the
general revelry of the evening. The highlight of ASIWYFA’s set had to be the stunning “Wasps” from their 2015 release “Heirs”. This is a hugely uplifting juggernaut of instrumental sound that just smacks you right in the chops, especially if you are not quite expecting it.
With the early curfew set at 10.30 to appease local residents in nearby apprtments, there was a quick stage turnaround, the crowds drifted back from the beer tents to try and find a vantage point to watch or be part the unfolding mayhem. As Bring Me the Horizon took to the stage and opened with the somewhat subdued “Doomed” which lead perfectly into the festival anthem “Happy Song”. It didn’t take long for a bit of a circle pit to open up, but of course in typical fashion by the end of the next tune it wasn’t big enough for messer’s Sykes and Co. as the shout to “Push Back!” rang out over the PA and the pit engulfed a sizable portion of the crowd as guitarist Lee Malia ripped into the opening riff of “House of Wolves” on his signature model Les Paul.
Except for a couple of older tracks the set was split almost 50/50 between songs from BMTH’s “Sempiternal” (2013) and “That’s the Spirit” (2015) albums, and while they sat seamlessly alongside each other, to my ears the “Sempiternal” songs “Antivist”, and the previously mentioned “House of Wolves” had that little bit of extra venom that translated extremely well in a live setting to the expectant crowd.
That being said, when they eventually closed their main set with “Throne” the crowd went a bit nuts, singing back every word, which in turn reinvigorated the antic of the brave souls still in pit.
After a short break, BMTH re-emerged for a three-song encore and the proceedings closed with the crowd sing-along “Drown”, possibly the perfect set closer for this band on the night.
So it was an evening of angst filled lyrics, heavy breakdowns, catchy hooks and big choruses, all completely as expected. While there is nothing new in this, Bring Me the Horizon have tapped into something that has spawned a whole new generation of kids listening to rock n’ roll, and that is definitely a good thing.
As the crowds made their way out of the concourse to catch buses and taxi’s, groups of friends stood singing back songs they’ve just heard, while others gestured and emulated their favorite band members rock star poses. There was such a great buzz in the air; no one seemed to really want to go home. Surely that is a sign of a great gig.
Set List: Doomed; Happy Song; Go To Hell, For Heaven’s Sake; House Of Wolves; Avalanche; Chelsea Smile; Shadow Moses; Sleepwalking; Follow You; Can you Feel My Heart; Antivist; Throne.
Encore: True Friends; Blessed With a Curse; Drown.
Click the link below for more information on Bring Me the Horizon
Click the linke below for mor information on And So I watch You From Afar
Click the linke below for mor information on Don Broco
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