The biggest metalcore tour of 2011 kicked off on Friday at the Manchester Apollo as Bring Me the Horizon brought Australian metallers Parkway Drive, Brighton based Architects and US Christian metalcore six piece The Devil Wears Prada with them to tour the UK.
The Devil Wears Prada kicked off the evening’s events with a short and sharp set. Taking in songs mostly from their 2009 album With Roots Above And Branches Below along with last year’s Zombie EP. The Ohio act played popular songs such as “Dez Moines” and Escape and shaped the crowd early for the acts to follow. They looked tight and finished their set to make way for Architects.
Architects looked lively but failed to build on their predecessors. Choosing to tour their new album The Here And Now with a support tour was a brave move and will enable them to attract a wider audience. It could be said the band played one too many songs from the new album (which on the whole has divided opinion) for a band second on the bill. The new songs incorporate a lighter, rockier sound, and it was the heavier songs from the album, such as Day In Day Out that sat well with the crowd especially the older, hardcore Architects fans. The set did however take in favourites “Hollow Crown” and “Follow The Water” and finished on a high note with “Early Grave”.
Next band on the bill was Parkway Drive. The band took to the stage and immediately raised the game. It appeared as though the band made a conscious to play their heaviest song for most of the set, and opener “Unrest” set the level for the set. Their time on stage consisted of songs from their latest album Deep Blue, and second album Horizons, the only exception being “Romance Is Dead“. Lead vocalist Winston McCall has a way of controlling the crowd and the roof seemed set to come off during “Dead Man’s Chest“. The crowd demanded favourite “Carrion” to finish, and the band delivered, one of their more melodic and transparent songs rounding off their set as they left the stage to make way for their Sheffield based headliners.
Everything about the set seemed bigger than anything Bring Me The Horizon has done before. The elaborate stage setup, the length of the set (around 1hr 20mins) the size of the venue. But the band did their best to step up to the plate and pulled it off. The first UK tour of new album There Is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Secret was always going to be a challenge as the band takes on a more thoughtful, electronic sound, but the first notes of “It Never Ends” seemed to calm any early worries. Some of the less heavy songs split opinion, such as “Blessed With A Curse” but other new songs such as Anthem saw as much excitement as favourites like “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” from arguably UK fans’ favourite album Suicide Season. It was always going to happen, but “The Sadness Will Never End” featuring Architects vocalist Sam Carter still impressed, possibly the highlight of the set.
The band found time to play the crowd’s choice of song from debut album Count Your Blessings, and seemed pleased to play “For Stevie Wonder’s Eyes Only”. Rounding off the set with old favourite Chelsea Smile left the crowd impressed and satisfied. A good start to a huge UK metalcore tour.