Enter Shikari burst onto the scene over a decade ago and since then, the band have had a steady rise in alternative music that is unprecedented. They mixed genres in a way that truly made them stand out in a time when a lot of bands sounded the same and that was what gave them their popularity. Now, in 2017, they’re back on tour with that signature sound and a brand new album ‘The Spark’.
As main support for the night, Lower Than Atlantis storm to the stage with promise. Though promises are made to be broken. For the most part the band are a little stagnant behind their mics, which is a shame because they sound pretty great live otherwise. Though, as a band to hype up a crowd for the main act, they lack a little. One song bleeds into another until the end of the set and eventually, we see a little more energy from the band as vocalist Mike Duce jumps down into the pit to run around and interact with those on barrier. It bodes well to rip a few cheers from the audience who reach out in hopes for a high five.
Eventually, though, it’s time for Enter Shikari. Their intro is a ten minute long spoken word piece linked to their new album, a countdown leading to their inevitable appearance on stage. There’s an initial interest but it does grow a little tedious, perhaps it’s just a little too long and there’s a small issue with sound that makes it hard to understand where we’re at with the countdown until we’re just a minute away. Enter Shikari’s performace however more than makes up for it. Their set up is elaborate and definitely worthy of their standing in an arena. It’s choreographed to each song, perfectly linking visuals to the track they’re performing and offering something for fans to marvel at between songs when the other lights are low.
There’s a technical issue during Undercover Agents when a track with the electronic elements of the song starts over, the band laugh about it and start over. Drummer Rob Rolfe and vocalist Rou Reynolds disappear a few songs later and re-appear at the back of the room, on a smaller stage, to perform a couple of songs. They’re stripped back and beautiful renditions of Airfield and Adieu, though when it ends fans don’t let the room fall into silence. As the two members make their way back to the stage, the room erupts in a chorus of Adieu letting the lyrics echo through the room and giving the band a warm welcome back onto the stage.
Reynolds announces that they need optimum energy for the next 8 minutes as they attempt to perform four songs in a short eight minutes. Suddenly, like something out of a zombie movie, bodies are clambering over one another to crowd surf their way to the front, though there is a pause long enough for everyone to enjoy the signature clap that comes with ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’. The other tracks include; ‘Sssnakepit’, ‘…Meltdown’ and ‘Antwerpen’, all suited for optimal carnage and security can barely keep up with the sheer volume of people coming over the barrier throughout.
Before long the set has to draw to a close, though there is of course that age old routine of the band leaving and coming back for the encore. However, fans at Newcastle’s arena aren’t begging Enter Shikari for one more song, instead they all begin singing the bands songs loudly, like they’re the encore. It does enough to bring the band back to the stage, who are almost surprised by the way fans had coaxed them back on stage by singing back to them.
Enter Shikari have lasted so long because they are incredible at what they do, whether you enjoy their music or not, their live show is unparalleled. The band perform with the upmost energy and it’s truly no surprise why they are still rocking and able to perform in arenas after over a decade of longevity.