The King Blues return from 2012 with a new energy and lease of life. Singer, Itch appears incredibly determined in his voice, mannerisms and facial expressions; ready to deliver the morals and the ethos of what the King Blues stand for. Stage gimmicks and lighting are essentially non existent for their set, but what they lack in this aspect of building an atmosphere, they make up for in raw messages.
The Wonder Years set is a constant emotional battle between feeling sadness and seeking positivity. This juxtaposition is unpredictable and unusual but ultimately intriguing and enjoyable. The sadness displayed through There There is universally relatable but the poppy power chords in Passing Through a Screen Door unleashes a whole new mindset and life to the crowd. They’ve beyond warmed up the audience, in fact, with another half an hour of playing, this could easily be an impressive headline set but seeing the philly pop punkers in arena UK shows is just something we’ll be keeping an eye out for.
Overshining the two opening acts is certainly a challenging task for Enter Shikari but in all honesty, when the lights dim and music begins, the King Blues and The Wonder Years existence is immediately forgotten about.
Enter Shikari make an explosive entrance with opening track Solidarity. The atmosphere is palpable. The bands movement is either deathly contagious or they’re sending out subliminal messages because the entire room is jumping, moshing or dancing. Destabilise and Sorry, You’re Not A Winner heightens this energy with their strident bass lines and unconventionally catchy hooks.
The production that Enter Shikari have chosen is eclectic. A large dominating screen displays clips in the background ranging from unrecognisable cartoons animations to nature-esque landscapes. The contrast in visuals against outspoken lyrical perspectives sung in Anaesthetist is jarring but still resonates with the audience.
Despite playing elaborate venues with elaborate set ups, Enter Shikari remain as humble as can be. Their ethos as a band is what they have and always will stand for and no amount of fame or fortune will change what they’re all about.