Review: Bring Me The Horizon's homecoming show was spectacle of sheer rock theatre
"This negativity just makes me stronger, we will not retreat, this band is unstoppable," is a line uttered by Matt Dillon's musician character in the 1992 film Singles.
Sheffield band 65daysofstatic sampled it on their track Retreat! Retreat! in 2004, the same year this city and its surrounding towns spawned Bring Me the Horizon.Fast forward to Friday September 24, 2021, at a sold-out Utilita Arena and BMTH are the living, breathing, screaming proof that emerging from the most negative situation in a stronger position is perfectly possible.A pandemic that stopped the world did little to slow the momentum of the five-piece, four of whom hail from Sheffield, Stocksbridge, Maltby and Mexborough. They continued to produce music, remotely and relentlessly, with an EP and various collaborations with other artists before returning to tour as soon as it was safe to do so.The homecoming leg of the tour was always going to be special but from start to finish it's a triumph, as slick as it is fast paced.From the outset the dancers in hazmat suits along with the graphics accompanying the set - a backdrop of zombies, wolves and a giant robot along with a screen encases the band in a 3D cage - make it a spectacle of sheer rock theatre.Frontman Oliver Sykes is a puppet master, operating by his own admission entirely sober for one of the first times in his touring career, and the arena dances to his tune.They rip through new material that is familiar, having been released a year ago, yet still new, and it all sounds good. The stomping rave of Kingslayer is a steroid-fuelled version of the original and a highlight.Evolving their sound over 17 years has gifted BMTH a set-list that appeals to all on the floor and explains their expanding popularity.Synthy pop numbers like latest single DiE4u will keep them on the upward trajectory but they still have a firm grasp on their metal roots, shaking the arena with the furious chaos of Dear Diary.It ends, as it should, with one everyone knows.
'Can You Feel My Heart?' cries Sykes and Sheffield answers in the affirmative.