Enter Shikari - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Fresh from winning Best Live Act at the Kerrang! Awards, it seems like a natural transition for Enter Shikari to upgrade to arena shows. Since releasing The Mindsweep last year, these genre-hopping goliaths have been dominating the music scene, meaning it was only a matter of time to the bands biggest tour to date.
Kicking off the show was the recently reformed King Blues, who brought high pace, high energy and plenty of sweat. Delivering an eight song set list which included opener ‘Lets Hang the Landlord’, fan favourite ‘I Got Love’ and newest release ‘Off with their Heads’. Politically motivated and showcasing their hip-hop street poetry, it was easy to tell that they won over a range of new fans in Cardiff with this performance.
Next up was The Wonder Years who have rapidly risen through the ranks of pop-punk to reinforce themselves as one of the genre’s leading forces. Showcasing tracks from their latest album, ‘No Closer to Heaven’, this six-piece band put on a set that was simply gritty, frantic and thought provoking.
When the main event arrive, Enter Shikari open with ‘Solidarity’ which sends the crowd utterly insane and it only gets more manic as they follow it up with the nostalgic and crowd erupting ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’.
As the serenading ‘Dear Future Historians’ comes to life in this arena atmosphere, front man Rou Reynolds is nowhere to be seen. The crowd pivots round to see him playing piano at the back of the venue in in the mix desk. You might think the rowdy part of the set is over, until the song reaches its climax and he climbs on top of the piano with his guitar to lead the crowd in singing ‘Juggernauts’.
The most striking thing about this tour is the level of intimacy the band provide despite these intimidating venues and it’s not long before Reynolds is climbing into the crowd. The band are known for their hardcore passionate fan base, and it seems they know how to give back. They've effectively built hype with social media before the tour even began, teasing screenshots of the editing process for the quad programming and tour video production.
Finishing on old favourite ‘Mothership’ the crowd begin to chant "standing like statues, and still we will be here" (from self-titled release ‘Enter Shikari’) as the lights go down. Not just a statement in itself, but also shows the passion from the Motorpoint Arena crowd. The chanting clearly works, as the band return for an encore, including ‘Anaesthetist’ and show closer ‘Mindsweep II’ ending the night with the perfect bang.