Thursday, 11 April 2013

Gig week (part 1)

As the title suggests, gigs will be the topic. I am splitting the posts up into describing each individual gig because of the sheer length of the posts. I was aiming to put them as one long post in the first place, but I now realise that that would definitely be possible, by the fact that i've used up so much space already only describing one gig.

Last night (09.04.2013) I went to see the first out of two gigs that I am seeing this week. It was a local gig, in the town I live in. However the bands were not at all local though; the headliner was Enter Shikari, and the support acts were Hacktivist and Tu Amore. They are still UK based bands, but  Sadly, I didn't manage to get any photos of the gig, but I was a little too busy for most of it anyway.

I'll start describing the gig by talking about Tu Amore, the smallest (popularity wise) band.
They define themselves as an "alternate soul rock" band, but if i'm honest that means nothing to me, so I would simply describe them as an alternate rock band. On their facebook page, they have a grand total of 1879 likes..which is makes it so surprising that they made their way onto supporting a tour with such well known names playing.
They played extremely well, and the sound was well set up, so over all they were great, good stage presence, good sound quality and great vocals! They really did get the crowd going as well, which is great for an opening band, usually the audience don't get moving at all for an opener. I saved my energy however for the two other bands, which was probably a good idea considering how knackered I was at the end!
I haven't written as much about them as I have for the other bands, because I don't know them as well as the other two bands.

Here are youtube links to a couple of their songs that they played (music videos, not live performances):

The second band, Hacktvist were also pretty good.
They are also a fairly small band, however much more well known than Tu Amore. They are a djent-rap band (if you don't understand the term 'djent' basically listen to the band meshuggah, that will explain it). They have been together about 2 years, the same as Tu Amore and have managed to get a fairly large fanbase in that space of time.
The music drowned out the vocals a little at some points, which was a shame, however in the end, I think that the music rather than vocals was what got a lot of the crowd going. While I am talking about vocals, i should probably also mention about their clean vocals. I have a feeling that they used prerecorded samples for their cleans which was a bit of a disappointment, as from what i've seen on youtube, they are pretty good live.
Even though the crowd went fairly crazy for Tu Amore, I feel that when Hacktivist started playing the crowd in general began to get properly stuck in. This is probably because Tu Amore had been announced fairly late as support acts so not that many people knew about it, but still that does also make the reaction they got fairly impressive.
Soon, things really began to heat up in the mosh pits and from then, the crowd was constantly moving about. One of the crowd's favorite songs was their cover of Kanye West's 'Niggers in paris'. While it isn't their best song, and i'm not particularly into rap music, this was pretty good live. Partially because of the crowds reaction, people really seemed to get moving for this song, and in the end even if the music you're listening to isn't that great, a good ol' mosh is still enjoyable!
One of the coolest things I saw in the crowd during Hacktivist's set was a particular individual. They were a fairly a short adult, not to the extent that they were the same height as Warwick Davis, but still very short in comparison to everyone else at the gig. I saw them in the pits for most of the set and also for Enter Shikari's set so I feel they did pretty well in my eyes. The outstanding thing however, was when he, probably the most vulnerable person in the pit was splitting the crowd apart for the next pit to start and waiting in the middle for everyone to crash into the circle! Hats off to that man.
Considering how long they have been around, as far as I know they only have 7 songs recorded to date, so I found their set lasted a surprisingly long time! It may have been the fact that they had about a half an hour interval which was pushing it a bit...but it was due to technical difficulties so it's forgivable.
I managed to get a picture with one the lead singers (they have 2 lead vocalists) at the end of the gig which is pretty cool. I shall put the picture up later on in this post.

Here are some links to a couple of the songs they played (again, recordings, not live):

I shall now talk about the headliners, Enter Shikari!
They are very well known band by now, much more so than either Tu Amore or Hacktivist. They first started as a band back in 2003. The genre of music they produce is very much debatable, as they cross over the boundaries of various genres. I mean on their facebook page the first thing on their info page is this statement "abusing music's worthless genre boundaries since 2003" describe them fairly simply and inaccurately, I would say their music is a mix of hardcore and rave style music.
They performed exceedingly well, better than I expected. I was thinking they would be far from bad, however from some of the live videos i've seen on youtube, the lead singer Rou has sometimes doesn't do such a great job. This was definitely not the case last night though, they were great, and had such a great stage presence! On the subject, at one point, when their bassist threw his bass in the air as a stage landed square on his forehead and caused a slight break in the music due to getting the cut cleaned up! But they soon began playing again which was good.
Obviously, as they were the headliners, everyone went crazy for them because that was who they came to see. One of my favorite things during their set was the crowd interaction during the song 'sorry you're not a winner'. It's only a couple of well timed claps..but when almost everyone in a 800+ crowd, it sounds amazing. Another great moment was a break they did before going into the song 'mothership'. They played the first few notes of it, but then mixed it up and it sounded brilliant. Then they went straight into the song and everyone loved it! Other great thing that they did was when they played one of their older songs live for the first time, called 'all eyes on the saint'. This was great to hear live, it was a nice surprise!
At points I was a little disappointed in myself, as some of the older songs I didn't know very well at all, which I think is a shame considering that they were the headlining band..I still knew most of the songs they played, even if I was too busy moshing most of the time to sing!

Here are some of the songs they played, and some videos that people took during their set!

                                 This is them playing 'Sorry you're not a winner' last night

                                  This is a video of them performing live a back in 2012. It has 'motherstep' in it, the break that they did before playing mothership. It starts at 4.15 and the song before it is Destabilise, which they also played live. I think they did better live last night than they did in this video.

                                 These were the two songs they opened with

Over all, this was one of the best gigs i've been to so far! (I know, that's one of those lines you'll repeat many times to the point where it has no meaning). However it definitely does not beat the one I went to see last November, when I saw Structures, The Word Alive, Emmure and Parkway Drive, which I would say is the best gig so far.
One of the great things about it was that it was a local gig. This meant that I didn't have to spend a amount of money on travel and also because of the people I knew that were ridiculous going. A simple way of describing this would be to there were about 30 or so faces that I recognised there, and probably about a few more than 20 that i'm friends with. This made the pits quite fun to be in, occasionally sighting friends to compete with. I also love the fact that I have so many people that I can discuss it with.
The atmosphere there was also surprisingly good, considering it was a fairly local gig, with most people coming from my town and the surrounding areas. People seemed quite kind and considerate, which wasn't expected; I expected it to a be a 'no mercy' gig. One great thing I liked was the female interaction that I witnessed. From what I saw, many girls got stuck into the mosh pits which was great! The pits were still male dominant, but that is a common thing. In terms of females and mosh pits, I was glad that they got stuck in mainly because it meant that there weren't really any fangirls that had come to a gig that was too much for them to handle.

         This is a picture of me with J Hurley, the vocalist from Hacktivist. It is an appallingly bad photo of me, but it just illustrates how mental the pits were. If your thinking that my hair looks so bad because I poured water over myself to wash or cool down, you're wrong; It's pure sweat!
I didn't receive too many bruises or other injuries, mostly just a load of marks on my chest, back and arms, which in a sense I find a little disappointing, considering most of my friends were saying how sore they felt the next day. This is probably a good thing as I have an even crazier gig soon!
It may help as it showed me how much energy I need to conserve as to not be too tired for the headliners at the next gig. Mainly because i've seen them live before and I know that the crowds will be beyond crazy. A simple way of explaining it would be to describe their set as a constant mosh pit.

At the end of the show I decided to buy an Enter Shikari t-shirt. Over the past few gigs i've been to I usually brought a tee, but only if I actually liked the top, not just for the sake of getting a gig top. This is a the shirt I decided to buy:

Hacktivist setlist:
Hacktivist/Blades/Elevate/Unlike Us/Niggas In Paris/Cold Shoulders

Enter Shikari setlist:
System.../...Meltdown/Sssnakepit/Sorry You're Not a Winner/Gandhi Mate, Gandhi/The Feast/Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour/The Paddington Frisk/Destabilise/Havoc B/All Eyes on the Saint/Arguing With Thermometers/Unite/Mothership

Return to Energiser/Zzzonked

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