Bring Me The Horizon – Rod Laver Arena

Bring Me The Horizon – Rod Laver Arena

Support from Sleep Token, Make Them Suffer and Daine

Written by Mitch Lowe

Photos by Zennieshia Butts

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Another rainy Melbourne evening and honestly it felt no more fitting. As someone in their 30s, I could sit back at this wet tram stop waiting for another delayed arrival and reminisce on my high school years echoed by the sounds of BMTH and how so many others would have that same nostalgic feeling with PTSD flashbacks of their MySpace Top 8. This has no doubt created an undeniable drive that will forever bring us all together on every single Australian visit this band has.

One thing that makes this band more interesting is that youth inspiring heavy sound you think back to has obviously morphed as the band have grown over the last couple decades. It isn’t the classic BMTH show you saw at an all ages club show at 2pm in the city but it still brings the young and “old” together as their sound may have changed but their impact, relevance, performance and talent have never strayed.

The night kicked off at Rod Laver Arena with Daine and Make Them Suffer. I regrettably missed their sets though conversation was buzzed amongst the sea of early concert goers across the venue.

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By the time Sleep Token had hit the stage the venue looked like a sold out Sleep Token arena show. They have absolutely taken the world by storm since I last witnessed their presence on support for Northlane back in 2022. Continuously discussed at the top of the best heavy albums of 2023, there was no doubt they were going to fill this arena.

Known for their enigmatic masked presence and atmospheric melodies, the band didn’t lack this identity. Kicking off in pure darkness as pulsing bass steals the room. The feeling reminiscent of your heartbeat at that exact moment as we watched Vessel and the band hit the stage.

Opening with “The Offering,” the strobing white lights synchronised with the rhythm, the crowd found themselves clapping along and well enchanted by the euphoric hum of the Espera backing trio. “The Summoning” had Vessel lurking the stage like The Grinch during Christmas nights before soothing us on the keyboard. “Vore” and “Alkaline had the crowd involved singing every work and “Granite” had the impressive ability to build such a sense of beauty with people in the seats infant of me standing and swaying arms cuddled around each other before all hell broke loose and the crowd turned into a riot. Beauty and Beast all in one. The set culminated in “Take Me Back to Eden,” where the sounds of nature fused with euphoric blue beams of light, inviting the crowd to unite in a final, euphoric mosh.

BMTH_Rod Laver_VIC-70One thing Bring Me The Horizon didn’t lack on whatsoever was their production. The whole night told a story from their checkered tiled flooring surrounded by red curtain drapes as well as their LED screens taking us on a ride through fire and snow and everything in-between.

Grabbing everyone’s attention after a 30 minute intermission was the game title of “Post Human” a video game themed around the classic Metal Gear Solid. All gamers were to much delight with this nostalgic flashback. After 5 minutes sitting at the load screen we are introduced to E.V.E who would take us on a journey throughout the night. She scanned the room and couldn’t detect any mosh pits before warning us that we will not survive to see another show. Safe to say the whole arena was willing to risk their life for this show. She didn’t scare anyone away.

A moment later and there is an explosive entrance onstage, drowning the crowd in confetti to the raw energy of “Darkside” before heading into the anthemic chants of “Empire (Let Them Sing),” It was safe to say that E.V.E would of detected multiple mosh pits if she dared to rescan.

Ollie threatened everyone ‘Don’t make me sing this’ in the last chorus of “MANTRA” which ended up with an arena full of people screaming back with all that they had. “Teardrops,” inciting the entire room to jump in unison and “AmEN!” had the stage covered in flames as circle pits popped up throughout the floor.

The stage became a canvas for visual storytelling as the curtains dropped revealing large LED screens, with “Kool-Aid” featuring a dramatic performance as a pale angel met its demise after thrashing the stage the band were performing on. The ambiance shifted during “Shadow Moses,” with snow falling from the roof of the arena covering the front rows while mist enveloped the stage as Sykes emerged with a smoking torch. “DiE4U” had everyones hands swaying together while red confetti fell from above and Kingslayer kicked into a Prodigy like UK rave with green lasers.

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A beautiful moment during the set was “sTraNgeRs”. The band grouped together on the platform and spoiled us with an acoustic rendition of the song, looking out to a sea of phone torch lights glowing across the arena. It was one of those moments you will never forget when thinking back on this night.

The energy peaked during “Parasite Eve,” hailed as the best sing-along song by Sykes, while “Antivist” saw the lucky fan Sam brought onstage. He had the time of his life before ending his once in a lifetime performance demanding a venue-wide wall of death. ‘SPLIT THIS SHIT!’

There is a moment of darkness as the crowd leave the band before revealing Sykes down in the security pit with handycam streaming to the large screens onstage. The lucky front row got to experience the most genuine moment of the set as Sykes ran up and down the pit singing along with the crowd while filming themselves. It was as authentic as live music can ever get if you ask me. It surely made the night for the hardcore fans at the front who had been waiting hours just to be meters from their heroes, let alone have their arms wrapped around him.

As the concert reached its climax, “Can You Feel My Heart,” driving the crowd into a jumping chaos as heart confetti showered across the arena. This song is honestly one of the best songs performed live I have seen in a long long time.

The encore, featuring “Doomed” and “LosT,” provided a fittingly epic conclusion, leading to the grand finale of “Throne,” a monumental production that left the audience in awe of the band’s almighty presence.

Bring Me The Horizon’s night in Melbourne was as large as the arena it was held in, yet felt as authentic, intimate and nostalgic as the club shows we used to attend all those decades ago. BMTH fan or not, their live show is a must.

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