Night starts to fall in Bristol this evening, and amidst the crisp air are a select number of music fans that are still clutching onto 2007s alternative fashion. Big hair, skinny jeans and high top shoes aplenty – if you’re wondering where the scene kids in your city disappeared to, you’ll probably find them at a blessthefall gig.
Bearpit open the stage with fresh energy and insurmountable head bangs and riffs. They’ve brought along a set with them which screams (literally) heavy. They’re as engaging as possible to a bare crowd, which is something worth commending when there’s no reciprocating energy to feed off of.
Blood Youth similarly attempt the same. The received cheer as they take the stage is less than pitiful and a head shake of disappointment from singer, Kaya Tarsus, is the biggest signal that there’s no hope for tonight’s crowd. That is, until the riff of Making Waves kicks in. The united gang vocals and dynamic instrumentation is a call for Blood Youth fans to miraculously appear, and throughout the entirety of their set they violently (but harmlessly) throw themselves and each other against the poles of the venue. The band undeniably drew and maintained attention, and won over the ear’s of Bristol.
The aforementioned bare crowd doesn’t increase in size. Is this indicative of blessthefall’s relevance? Or the general state of the screamo/pop/metal genre that was once at the forefront of alternative? Well, the opposite, in fact.
Blessthefall are unconventionally conventional. Sure, musically, it’s not ground-breaking or exceptionally distinctive, but live, they possess a stage presence that is simultaneously captivating and humbling. The double bass kicks in Hollow Bodies and energising breakdowns in Oathbreather send an addictive vibration through the bodies of fans. It’s a contagious non-stop energy that suddenly makes the empty crowd unnoticeable from the sheer movement that fills the room.
Every member has their merits; intricate guitar playing, recognisable standalone bass lines and rapid drum beats, but singer, Beau Bokan is particularly noteworthy. Not a single word out of tune or time, he effortlessly encourages epic ‘woah’ singalongs and willingly gets up close and personal with his fans; accepting every high 5 request and pointing out the recognisable faces. A lot of front men do this, but not with the sincerity that Bokan portrays.
Fans aren’t clutching on to 2009. Believe it or not, the community that the audience and band identify with is still prominent and thriving, and based on blessthefall’s performance and the reception they’ve received in the now humid indoor air, their transient sound will actually remain an alternative favourite for years to come.