“We’re very scared about playing this weekend,” bellows Oli Sykes in the middle of Bring Me The Horizon’s steamy warm-up show at Oxford’s O2 Academy. That being said, by the look on the frontman’s face, fear is the last thing on his mind. When you’ve got a sold out show at Wembley under your belt, a highly anticipated album due to drop early next month and a hefty stint opening up for Metallica on the main stage of Reading and Leeds Festival, it’s a piece of cake, right? Either way, the Sheffield mob makes it look effortless.
As the band storm through material from their back catalogue, they waste no time in making the crowd their own. Sykes is up to his usually gimmicks with fans hurling themselves around the sound desk for ‘Shadow Moses’ and coming together in a tangled mess tonight. “Lets open up this fucking room left to right,” he snarls, demanding more and more. Frenzied, chaotic unapologetic and greedy, it’s exactly the type of behaviour you’d expect from a band who’ve continued to demand more from themselves.
They treat tonight’s playground as if it’s an arena. Songs from the imminent ‘That’s The Spirit’, ‘Happy Song’, ‘Thrones’ and ‘Drown’ only add to the scale of tonight. Eerie gang vocals hint at a sense of mystery and topped off with dark lighting attacked by intense strobes, there’s a playful nod to the looming future. A trailblaze of C02 continues the trajectory but confinded to the intimate academy venue, there’s a sense of impatience about the evening. The hunger shines through though as Bring Me The Horizon continue to expand, bigger, louder and more divisive than ever.
Tonight is only the dress rehersal for this weekends arrival and it’s painfully clear the band have nothing to fear.