It takes a brave band to appear second from top at Reading Festival with two weeks to go before their new album release. It takes an even braver band to try and play second fiddle to Metallica. Truthfully, not many acts could give it a go and pull it off but then again, not many bands are Bring Me The Horizon.
A slot that’s been billed as an integral one for both band and festival since its announcement, their appearance on the Main Stage this evening was always going to be a gamble; by the time their hour on stage is over, there’s no doubting that it’s paid off. From the opening hugeness of ‘Happy Song’ through to the urgency of their back-catalogue, they feel like a truly vital group from start to finish.
There’s a terrifying velocity that rips through the likes of ‘Shadow Moses’ and ‘Chelsea Smile’, while the crowd is enveloped by a sense of stadium-sized hugeness as new track ‘Throne’ spreads like wildfire across the site. With a blood red sun setting across the sky and a downpour of rain drenching those deciding to brave it, it all just adds to the epicness of the occasion, while frontman Oli Sykes stands as an unmistakable figure amidst the chaos. By the time they tear into “middle fingers up” anthem ‘Antivist’ – a circle pit rippling through to the edges of the audience in front of them - it feels almost apocalyptic.
Tonight, the Sheffield five-piece prove themselves as more than just another rock band breaking down the boundaries of metal and the mainstream, they’re destined for huge things. Their slot may have been a gamble for some, but it’s time to put money on the table: a Number 1 album in two weeks, a future headline slot in two years. Don’t act surprised when they’re top of the pack.
Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett
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