Enter Shikari (Common Dreads Tour)
Venue: 02 Academy
Date: Oct 15 2009
Label: Ambush Reality
St Albans based Enter Shikari are receiving some of their best publicity since the beginning of their careers began back in 2003. The release of Common Dreads and its generally positive critical response has put the four-piece in a great situation, and as a result hundreds of people were queued outside the academy in anticipation for a band renouned to be one of Britain’s most energetic on-stage.
Support from dubstep outfit True Tiger and hardcore group The Devil Wears Prada clearly offered two very contrasting styles of music. At the time, placing such different bands on-stage seemed somewhat bizarre, however, in after-thought it is clear to recognise that Enter Shikari booked two groups that form the extreme genres of their own hybrid – an electronic/hardcore crossover. By appealing to two bands so dissimilar, it was unsurprising that both received mixed reactions. True Tiger played some of the UK’s biggest dubstep tracks of this year, however, the energy displayed on-stage by a man seemingly hired to do no more than dance and shout down a microphone failed to be reflected with the crowd. Dubstep might not be a fast-tempo music genre, but True Tiger didn’t receive half the recognition they would’ve in a club. The Devil Wears Prada displayed an extremely heavy hardcore set, packed with heavy riffs, throat churning screams and some good old synchronised head-banging. The peripheries of the room seemed to be somewhat amused by the on-stage synchronisation, however, towards the front of the stalls were plenty of dedicated fans causing chaos and tumult in preparation for Enter Shikari.
The set opened with, somewhat predictably, the Common Dreads self titled opening track. ‘Common Dreads’ was played out loud as the St Albans group prepared to get the crowd moving with the new album fan favourite, ‘Solidarity’. The opening two songs sent the atmosphere straight up, “and now the floodgates will open” was seemingly lead vocalist Rou’s code phrase to tell the crowd to go crazy, the crowd and band alike kicking into action. Playing a high proportion of tracks off the new album and the singles from debut album Take to the Skies offered a good variety of style, for a (it must be said) rather animalistic crowd. Dubstep interlude tracks, Havoc A and Havoc B offered a refreshing break from testosterone fuelled carnage, giving people a moment to remember their own sanity before smashing into each other again with the likes of debut album heavy tracks ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Mothership’.
The encore consisted of recent hit single ‘Juggernauts’, which went down well with the crowd, maintaining high energy levels right until the conclusion. Enter Shikari are a great band in the studio, and a good band on-stage; if an energy packed, intense crowd atmosphere appeals to gig-goers then wherever Enter Shikari are next is the place to be.
~ Article by James Murray