Kerrang! Relentless Tour
Cardiff's University, 17th January 2009
Reviewed by Nadine Ballantyne
Kerrang! certainly like to stir the mix, don't they? In 2009, the magazine's annual tour package boasts a strong Rock lineup that hail from differing parts of the group. Who ever thought that British Death Metal act Bring Me the Horizon would be lower upon the bill than nutty Electro act Mindless Self Indulgence? It's a brave decision. The fanatics will range from scene children, to Metal heads, Nu Ravers, Jimmy Urine lookalikes, and the parents, not to mention oddities lurking by the side of the stage. It'll be an interesting night.
In Case of Fire
Hailing from Portadown, Northen Ireland, In Case of Fire happen to be tonight's opening act. Initially, the chosen material sonically resembles typical Progressive Rock. Critiqued against similarly styled acts, nothing exactly ventures away from indistinct ingredients. The further into the set In Case of Fire delve however, the more evident their feelings towards their music become, and the group subsequently move onstage. Steven Robinson's vocals appropriately suit the outfit's material, and helps In Case of Fire's sound to deviate from typical Rock. The audience's focus is seized, with audience members clapping along. By the time that the set's conclusion arrives, the audience seem to be entertained. The last cut In Case of Fire perform is genuinely atmospheric, and is extremely epic, and could actually be the reason why the group figure amongst tonight's touring package. Furthermore, it could change your opinion regarding In Case of Fire.
Miami, Florida quartet Black Tide prove to be the lineup's sophomore act. Avidly, the group wait by the side of the stage. Seeming ever so cocky, onlookers can immediately pinpoint the outfit's choice of musical stylings. After several moments however, especially in light of vocalist / lead guitarist Gabriel Garcia's genial nature, such impressions are forgotten. Visually resembling Trivium cover artists, Black Tide nonetheless provide more joy than the previous act. Garcia and guitarist Austin Diaz launch into numerous Rock poses, and venture around the stage to solo alongside one another, as well as cutting facial gestures at photographers. Drummer Steven Spence poses even, ensuring that photographers snap several shots. Drumming topless, Spence earns a healthy number of screams from females situated in the front row. Black Tide employ a cliched amount of solos, but having said that, solos are part of the group's music genre - without solos, the material wouldn't suit Black Tide.
Dir En Grey
In light of the bizarrely massive drumkit onstage, the audience's respective members eagerly anticipate Dir En Grey forthcoming performance. The group don't utter a word of English, yet their vast fanbase is extremely evident. Dotted in many areas across the venue, shirts and hoodies boast the name Dir En Grey. When the outfit embark upon the stage, the masses scream. Judging by vocalist Kyo's demeanour alone even, the man means business. Tonight, the act will certainly accrue several more fans. Switching from room clenching, atmospheric beats to Death Metal screams to melodic chats, Dir En Grey possesses all the tools, even in terms of visual image. Donning a tracksuit, Kyo uses a microphone stand which seems to encourage, and intensify, his screams. The singer's dancing seems Rock 'N Roll even, and Kyo doesn't need to actually speak a word - all Dir En Grey have to do is perform. Throughout the set, the audience's reaction proves wild, and with great reason. A great reason lies behind why the name Dir En Grey is familiar.
Bring Me the Horizon
In light of the bill's mixture of groups, you would expect certain audience members to extremely dislike Bring Me the Horizon. Surprisingly, none seem to. The outfit blast through a thirty minute set courtesy of some recent hits, and seem to be better known amongst tonight's younger contingent. Each successive performance seems ever more striking, not to mention ever greater. During the set, singer Oliver Sykes vocally welcomes crowd surfers... From Bring Me the Horizon's perspective, this must be great fun. Security personnel doesn't share that sentiment however, as roughly every five seconds an audience member opts to crowd surf. Critiqued against past material, the cuts featured upon September 2008's Suicide Season feel much more mature. More in tune with their musical stylings, this causes Bring Me the Horizon to be much easier to watch. This is as opposed to dismissing the group's members as merely an assortment of scene kids, especially Sykes, who launches his body all across the stage. At every given opportunity, Sykes encourages the audience's involvement, letting audience members scream down the microphone, providing they can reach the microphone before the frontman runs away once more.
Mindless Self Indulgence
Guitarist Steven Montano ventures onto the stage, the mood both sombre and serious. Montano informs the audience that Mindless Self Indulgelnce had been scheduled to perform in Cardiff several years ago, but couldn't due to circumstances beyond their control - words which earn several boos.. Montano explains that the group is now in Cardiff to perform, and that the members should have taken a shower. How nice of him to inform us. Mindless Self Indulgence's fellow members saunter onto the stage, and the utter madness that is this group begins. If you weren't familiar with the act, you might hate their material but would nonetheless enjoy their live performance - vocalist Jimmy Urine is a frontman you'd just love to watch (if he was your friend, however, he would likely annoy you quite intensely). Mid song, Urine runs off the stage and follows a poor boy who's leaving, a boy who's too inebriated to even notice an excessively hyperactive Rock star is in pursuit. This just inspires laughter. Additionally, the frontman lifts spectators onto the stage, which likely raises the ire of security personnel. One such spectator Urine jokes had been ordered weeks earlier, but had taken an extremely long time to be delivered. Urine obliges the guy to sing along, but this isn't all that unfolds. Making a quick exit, this individual doesn't stand a chance; Montano runs offstage down to the audience, pulling the individual back onto the stage, and merely continuing. During one specific track, Urine performs countless moonies. Favouring neatly timed jumps and twirls, as well as ever entertaining discussion between tracks, this maintains your smile throughout the group's Electro Punk Rock stylings, albeit stylings which boast a slight Industrial flavour. Surprisingly, these stylings prove a great mix.. Sadly however, tonight's acts only perform brief sets, which is a shame.