Concert Review

Architects of Anarchy, Enter Shikari sell out Edinburgh’s O2 Academy

The O2 Academy was bursting at the seams for the visit of Enter Shikari, Fever 333 and Noah Finnce. The rest of their tour will feature Arena shows but Edinburgh was something special.

25 years ago, these young men had a vision. That vision is being realised across the planet to thousands of hungry fans who need to feed their addiction. Yes, Enter Shikari shows are addictive. No sooner has it finished, and I need more. My senses were wired to the moon on a miserable Monday night in Scotland’s capital city. The atrocious weather couldn’t deter the hoards as they defied weather and roadworks to get to the academy where they were packed in like sardines. I’ve seen many mosh pits, but Enter Shikari ones are legendary! Fair play to the band for choosing to sell out the O2 Academy in favour of doing an OVO Hydro show.

Noahfinnce (Noah Finn Adams) had the pleasure of opening the nights entertainment and to an already packed venue. The stage time was slightly delayed so probably meant there were increased numbers in the building. This made it beneficial to all parties as often the support slots are overlooked. The back of the merch T shirt reads “I am what I am, and I won’t be ashamed” and that says it all, no apologies and none needed. What you see is what you get, spirited emo pop punk rock from the youngster. Singer / songwriter / Youtuber, Noah and his band ripped through their short set. The self-professing “Growing up on the internet” gave the unsuspecting crowd some idea of what would transpire for the next 30 mins, and it flew by. Being spread across the stage, this gave Noah room to bounce around and inject some energy into the crowd. Noahfinnce is more than just a warmup act though and with a huge USA tour looming, it’s great exposure.

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There’s a whole different vibe with FEVER 333, hard-core industrial feel to the electronic drum ‘n’ bass metal influenced punk. Jason Butler’s recent collaboration with Enter Shikari has blurred the lines between the two bands and FEVER 333 are an incredible addition to the tour. Right from the off “Burn It” bust the airwaves and pulverised the PA system. There was nowhere to hide as every decibel punished the punters. The energy from the band was permeated through the barrier and into the crowd. The mosh pit intensified throughout the set. After the first two nights of the tour, the O2 Academy felt more intimate, more connected. Jason maintained the connection by telling the audience about his Scottish heritage. Jason, Brandon Davis on Guitar and Bassist April Kae never stood still for a second. With drummer Thomas Pridgen planted behind his kit, the rest of the band were rampant. The rock/rap vocal delivery not dissimilar to Zak De La Rocha of Rage Against The Machine, Jason Butler mesmerised the audience. The vitriol being vented from Bulter was ramped up during “One of Us.” The band members may have been refreshed but the message was the same. Butler launched into the mosh pit from a ladder he brought on stage. He remained the last few songs and although it was impossible to make him out, he still belted out the bangers. As the band played out “Hunting Season,” Butler was carried from the barrier to back of the room and back again. The crowd were now suitably warmed up for Enter Shikari.

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With nothing left to chance, every detail carefully catered for, Enter Shikari’s stage set-up was immaculate. From the electronic screens at the back, to the myriad of lights, hanging above the stage and all around them, Roy Reynolds was the first to appear. He stood alone in the darkness, a solitary spotlight on him as he began the spoken word version of “System” before it morphed into “Meltdown.” The baton had been well and truly passed from Bulter as the opening salvo from Enter Shikari was every bit as urgent as FEVER 333. The music gives Enter Shikari the platform to educate and inspire their audience with their insightful lyrics. Its hard to believe the bands last album “A Kiss for the Whole World” was released over 10 months ago. The album would feature heavily in the set with “Giant Pacific Octopus” up first, but it was the impressive medley of “Jailbreak” and “Bloodshot” that shook the building. The clever use of the vertical front of stage projected lights which shot up to the ceiling giving the impression of prison bars that brought “Jailbreak” to life. Rou broke down the light bars one by one until the band was freed. Set favourite “Sssnakepit” shows what the band are possible of and what they are all about. For the majority, the set was relentless and no more so than when Jason Butler jumped on stage to perform the latest collaboration “Losing My Grip.” His appearance was the icing on the cake. The intensity finally relented when Rou stood solo on stage and strapped on his guitar to play “The Pressure’s On” and “Juggernauts.” Rou’s band mates would re-join him and play through to the end of main set ending with “{Dreamer’s Hotel}.”

The encore would feature old and new songs. “Sorry You’re Not the Winner” and the title track of the latest album  “A Kiss for the Whole World” closed out the evening to the crowd chorus of “Here we, here we fuckin go.” Scotland never disappoints.

Chris Batten (Bass), Rob Rolfe (Drums), Rory Clewlow (Guitar) and Rou Reynolds show no signs of slowing down and the band keep things fresh with their musical collaborations. Their shows are simply mind blowing. Don’t take my word for it, just go to one and immerse yourself in the aural and visual assault, it will not only blow your mind but re-build your consciousness at the same time!

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About The Author

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Raymond Thomson - Deputy Editor

I am a photographer/musician/engineer living in Scotland. My passion is music and motocross and I share my work on facebook/punk4RT and facebook/madmaxmedia. I do like a bit of throw back to the heydays of the 60’s/70’s/80’s when it comes to taking shots of bands. I grew up on the music papers (NME/Sounds/Melody Maker) and drew influence from Pennie Smith/Jill Furmanovsky/Anton Corbijn/Bob Gruen/Adrian Boot/Charles Peterson.
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