The Gig: Bring Me The Horizon w/ Parkway Drive and Architects
When: 16 September
Where: The Phoenix, Toronto
In One Word: Intense
Lessson #1: don’t invite the classy folk singer girl to a metal-core show.
Lesson #2: Parkway Drive deliver a great live show. With a name that should belong to some bratty LA screamo band, I feared the worst but credit where credit is due: Australia’s Parkway Drive kicked the ass right out of the Phoenix. They had the entire venue jumping like I have never seen happen here before. It was intense; and a great spectacle to watch from up above in the balcony as a young crowd threw their bodies around with abandon and a few onlooking parents had their blood pressures raised. It wasn’t so much about crowd surfing, but crowd catapulting, as girls and guys were launched by each other into the air in varying degrees of hilarity. The crowd involvement in the performance was absolute: the highlight being when vocalist Winston McCall split the crowd into two colliding parts for a ‘Wall Of Death’. And okay, I’ll admit it, as a twenty-something whose interest in heavy music lies in 80s metal and hardcore, this whole metalcore thing isn’t exactly my cup of tea but as metalcore bands go, Parkway Drive have got to be one of the heaviest and legit. The breakdowns are gritty, the sound is immediate, and in places there are shades of old school metal, especially in moments where the guitarists delivered some Iron Maiden-esque riffs. Respect.
Parkway Drive gave the headliners Bring Me The Horizon a tough act to follow, but after a long wait the Sheffield, UK band emerged and delivered a performance spearheaded by frontman Oliver Sykes. Sykes was reaching out to the crowd from the outset and after just a few minutes into BMTH’s set he was climbing up the walls, and then down into the crowd. It was his crowd and he knew it, “I want to high-five every single one of you”. The pinnacle moment came when BMTH played “Anthem” and Sykes encouraged the crowd to surge forward and come on stage; “Come on Toronto, are you all a bunch of f**cking pussies?! Get up here, this is your Anthem!” Only one person actually made it on stage – somersaulting oh-so close to the barrier as he exited – but many more made it into the security pit, after dozens of bodies had wriggled across the top of the crowd like salmon swimming up stream, only to be caught at the barrier by the security guards standing in the trenches.
Fun night; but don’t forget lesson #1. Pictures of BMTH below.
© Brian Banks, Editor, Music Vice
Photo gallery: BMTH at The Phoenix, Toronto: