There presumably isn’t much left on Bring Me The Horizon’s bucket list. From their roots as befringed Sheffield noiseniks through to the festival-headlining, mainstream chart-bothering behemoth that the group are today, their journey has been a staggering one. Never does that ring truer than on this current UK arena run.
Kicking off the first night of two at London’s O2 Arena, this is a room the band have come to know quite well over the more recent half of their career, but - despite having played here on two tours previous to this NX_GN WRLD run - nothing can quite prepare for the enormity of their performance this evening.
Much like all brilliant arena shows, tonight’s comes with the kind of conceptual thread that is more expected of pop greats, but here, their sinister story arc adds a whole new dimension to what’s normally considered a rock show. Granted, there’s fire and pyro galore, but against the towering high-definition backdrop - which switches from a gothic church to a fiery hellscape via snow-drenched ruins throughout - the story of the band’s AI companion EVE and her fellow troops (collectively undertaking the “greatest mission of all time: the salvation of mankind”) adds a frenetic energy to proceedings, and helps to tie together the fury of their early metalcore discography with the dizzying heights of their more recent hits.
What’s more, even against such a colossal backdrop, there are still moments that cut through the slickness of the show with the kind of irreverent chaos they first built their name on: midway through their rendition of ‘Obey’, Yungblud bounds on-stage only to be warned by Oli Sykes to avoid stepping near the pyro so he doesn’t “burn those lovely eyebrows.” They readily stop the set before ‘Die4u’ to ensure someone’s safe exit from the crowd after an injury; when Oli himself climbs down to the barrier during the goose-pimply ‘Drown’ he throws himself into the arms of fans with a genuine sense of abandon. Even their nod to their still-unreleased new album ‘Post Human: NeX GEn’ - complete with song snippets and crowd participation - works seamlessly, with Oli referencing “internal issues” (presumably connected to last month’s departure of Jordan Fish) to justify its delay with a wink.
An intense but fulfilling ride through their life as a band so far, it almost feels apt that the show’s encore opens with a video montage of their 20 year career; a reality that few - perhaps band included - thought possible when they first emerged as scrappy deathcore-loving teens in 2004. But, as confetti rains down on the crowd during their explosive final track ‘Throne’ and their show comes to a triumphant close, the impact they’ve made on modern rock music is impossible to ignore. Bring Me The Horizon are truly at the peak of their powers.