Cardiff's University, 31st October 2007
Reviewed by Nadine Ballantyne
Last time Enter Shikari played Cardiff, they graced the Solus part of Cardiff University. Tonight, they’ve upgraded. There was no doubt in the fans minds that it wouldn’t sell out. We are pleased to have this gig fall on Halloween, and mentioned as one of the biggest venues Enter Shikari have played on this tour. Outside, it's a spectacle of fans; they're either doused in glowsticks, or staying faithful to the Halloween tradition in according ghoulish attire. Well, a few are outstanding. Ever seen a scary mime? In what seems like a scene you would exclusively find at a fairground, opportune salesmen and women traipse up and down. They attempt to sell glowticks, and flashing lights, to the very cold but eager queue.
Your Demise take to the stage in costume, and those costumes range from a bunny to an American footballer. They are nothing but a typical Metalcore act, and that's in terms of the fact that their riffs don’t seem to show any signs of individuality. Also, they utilize the classic “chug chug” during song breakdowns. Although they have shown some effort and dressed up, they don’t show that much more onstage. It feels as though they're playing with the thought that they're just an opening support act in their minds, and so will be onstage only ever so briefly. As opposed to Your Demise actually caring about their performance, they adopt this thought pattern instead. The only signs of movement are conveyed by vocalist George Noble (dressed as the American footballer), who strolls up and down the stage with some angst. The only other glimpse of movement or excitement during the set comes from one guitarist, and he casually jumps every now and again. There has been some crowd reception to this Metalcore group, but there can't be too much seen in them. The songs sound the same, and they're too comparable to other mainstream acts. All in all, it's a bit of a wasteful start.
Hundred Reasons barge straight onstage, and delve straight into their first song. With the full knowledge that their set duration is limited, they waste no time. The crowd show more affection towards Hundred Reasons, and give them a little extra love. They play known hits to keep the crowd within their reach, and this does indeed keep them within that distance - many can be seen screaming the lyrics back at them. Singer Colin Doran spurts into classic jumps across the stage, and shows much emotion while screaming down the microphone. From witnessing a Hundred Reasons gig previously in the year, they still somehow lack a certain unique quality in terms of their onstage act. They sound fairly typical, and have displayed no change in their stage show since that time. During the set, you can notice that the crowd enjoy the much heavier tracks more. Also, the much heavier tracks get the audience moving. At points though, they still find it hard to instigate much of a mosh pit. It takes Hundred Reasons' last most known hit to get three quarters of the venue jumping up and down, and this inspires the crowdsurfers. They devote their utmost energy into this final cause, and it pays off.
Many chants scatter across the University before the lights dim, and tonight’s special event is about to begin. A friend of theirs dressed in wolf attire appears onstage, and stands centre. That friend holds their arms up to the beaming light behind, and nothing but screams can be heard. An introduction occurs, and Enter Shikari pace onto the stage. They stroll around, and stare boldy into the eyes of the screaming audience. Enter Shikari then let loose, and begin playing the chords of a song christened after their name. “Shiiit” cries frontman Roughton “Rou” Reynolds, and the chaos has already begun. Their stage show raises the stakes somewhat with a projected screen behind the band - it features videos containing lyrics, rave patterns, and antics that match both their debut full length (2007's Take to the Skies) and musical style to a tee. This goes majestically with such songs as “Sorry, You’re Not a Winner”, and displayed via the board for their encore is an arcade game-esque screen. It says “Continue”, and the countdown timer slowly dwindles. The crowd only get more and more anxious for them to return to the stage as this happens, and the stage is a place they can most certainly call it their own. Whether you don’t quite get their music or absolutely hate this “scene” they're currently members of at the time of writing, you can still understand why so many fans flock to see Enter Shikari gigs time and time again. Rou's voice isn't warmed up at the beginning though, and is a sketchy start compared to that of his fellow counterparts onstage. Having said that, you can see no problems towards the gig's conclusion. By then, the crowd are too busy shouting the words back; they rave, and even the few blinded courtesy of broken glowsticks stay for the ensuing action. Each time they play, it seems they add a form of remix to introduce the respective songs. This turns the place into a genuine rave, and that is where an actual use for the glowsticks comes in handy. Enter Shikari made it a night to remember, and it won’t be long before they’ll be gracing magazine covers once again.