Enter Shikari take to the stage of Birmingham’s O2 Academy last night on one hell of a mission from the off and with strobe lights and pounding basslines, they launch into an unforgiving performance of Destabilise getting the already fired up crowd sweating and moshing harder than ever.
Frontman Rou Reynolds thrashed around the stage, throwing himself in and out of the throughout their 90 minute all killer set. The band who’ve been no stranger to festival main stages for the last few years packed as much energy into their show this evening as if they were headlining in front of 70,000 people.
The crowd at the sold out Academy may not have been as great in quantity as Shikari have become accustomed to of late but the predominately underage, largely wasted, adoring fanbase certainly made up for it in enthusiasm and energy.
Crowd surfers soaked to the bone in their own sweat were flying overhead long before the main act took to the stage, causing our photographer to get evicted from the photopit after the first song by a bunch of already battle-wounded and weary security guards.
Tracks like Zzonked, No Sleep Tonight and The Jester get among the biggest roars and by the time the lads from St Albans start their encore with Juggernauts the crowd is almost rapturous and the place is pandemonium.
Complete kudos to Enter Shikari too for not being afraid to have some insanely good support acts leading into their main set. LA post-hardcore rockers Letlive opened the night and showed Birmingham exactly why they deserve all the hype they are getting from the rock press at the moment.
Although the devoted Shikari fans will likely never agree it’s very possible that Letlive completely stole the night for many there.
Singer Jason Butler is a frontman and a force to be reckoned with, not content with hurling himself from the stage into the crowd, he climbs balconies and lighting rigs and flings himself onto a sea of fired up teenage arms before returning to the stage and lying on the floor, writhing and clutching his microphone as he sings into it for a few minutes, before throwing himself back into the same crowd once again… and so it continues.
No question about it Letlive are unforgettable live and are bringing something special and something needed, back to the modern rock scene. They were followed by Your Demise who did a good job keeping the energy high and went down well with the crowd but following Letlive was always going to be an impossible challenge.
Pictures by Gobinder Jhitta
Words by Lara Cullen