It’s Friday night and I am heading down to the Oh Yeah Centre to see The Devil Wears Prada on their 8:18 album tour, featuring Napoleon and Dead Harts for support acts.
I am looking forward to this show because it has such a great line up AND it’s a 14+ show. I just love the energy from the kids who have probably never taken part in a circle pit before: reminds me of when I first started going to gigs! Sappy stuff aside, let’s get started…
Up first is Exeter’s own Napoleon, starting things off with an instrumental intro filled with breakdowns that bursts into an incredible set offering you straight up melodic hardcore from start to finish. Although the Oh Yeah Centre is about the size if a primary school assembly hall, it was still not even half full, which was disappointing as I think these guys deserved a bigger audience. This set did have one funny moment, when a female audience member asking bassist Ryan McEntee if she could have his beard, to which he replied “No it’s stuck!”
Up next is Dead Harts, providing some downright dirty grindcore. Frontman Matthew Baxendale demands the crowd’s full attention from the very moment they hit the stage, with him asking for the crowd to raise up the devil horns or to open the floor up with a circle pit – to which the crowd happily oblige. After a set filled with ten brutally heavy songs it’s safe to say that these guys had the crowd in the palm of their hands from the beginning. The highlight of this set was when Matt came down to the floor and got the crowd to run a circle pit around him while he continued to spit out some vocals!
Wrapping things up are headliners The Devil Wears Prada. The room is still not full, but all six members of the band hit the stage like sardines in a tin and begin their set with brand new song ‘Gloom’. They continue to rip through their set featuring both old and new tracks. Frontman Mike Hranica and the rest of the band look awkward (probably due to the small stage) but they also look extremely happy and blessed to be playing to this Belfast crowd. They draw to a close with one of my favourite tracks from their discography, ‘Danger: Wildmen’, before returning with a two track encore. The band takes the time to throw some plectrums, drumsticks and even shake hands with some of the crowd that where lucky enough to be close to the stage.
All you can see outside the Oh Yeah Centre afterwards are smiles from the fans talking about how much they loved the show. Some of the members of the support acts are surrounded by people being told how they “killed it” and that they were “awesome” proving that tonight three bands came to Belfast for the first time and left a great impression. Hopefully, we will be seeing any of these bands returning to our little island in the future!
Written by Chris Curlett