Who says Halloween has to just be an October event? Certainly not MOTIONLESS IN WHITE; the goth rockers from Pennsylvania have been keeping things spooky and sinister across their entire careers and they land in Bristol four dates into an extensive UK and Ireland tour that is comfortably the biggest they’ve done on these shores, with sold out shows in London and Glasgow still to come and off the back of a very assured main stage performance at Download Festival last year; for all their attempts at keeping things dark and gloomy, the sun is very much shining on them right now.
Before they arrive though, ICE NINE KILLS from Massachusetts roll up for half an hour of metalcore that couldn’t have gone down better. It’s not the biggest audience in front of them but an impressive number know every single world and lap up the likes of Bloodbath & Beyond and Hell in the Hallways with sheer delirium. It helps the band too; they feed off the energy in front of them and up their game accordingly, singer Spencer Chamas on particularly good form as a result. Finishing off with a rousing Me, Myself and Hyde to a huge sing-a-long, ICE NINE KILLS have shown just how much potential they have and made a bunch of new friends in the process.
CANE HILL are chomping at the bit. Having been forced to cancel last night’s show in Southampton after their guitars didn’t turn up, they’ve had an extra day to rest and not only channel that renewed energy into their show but also the frustration from yesterday’s debacle. Add to this that it’s release day for sophomore album Too Far Gone and it’s unsurprising they’re firing on all cylinders. There is a serious amount of stomp and bounce to their revitalised nu-metal and judging by the continuous pit that’s now opened up on the floor, most of the punters are in agreement. The sound is a little muddy here and there but the sheer force of songs like Lord of Flies and the huge True Love scorch their way through the venue with venom and it’s a wicked performance from a band who are most definitely still in the ascendancy. There’s confidence flowing through CANE HILL in spades and on the back of this, it won’t peter out any time soon.
Talking of confidence, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE are full of it as well and understandably so. Their relationship with the UK is growing from strength to strength and they’ve finally been able to bring a production that matches the ilk they’re able to showcase in America. Even better, they’re not using it to compensate either because they have tunes, and serious ones at that. The screams that greet the opening overtures of Rats near biblical levels and incite a huge sing-a-long during the chorus whilst Reincarnate goes off like an atom bomb and all hell breaks looks. ICE NINE KILLS’ Spencer joins the superb Chris Motionless for a bombastic Abigail and there’s even a live debut for Hourglass, one of the deeper cuts from latest record Graveyard Shift that naturally lends most of its material to the set tonight. Oh, and they also crank out a surprisingly faithful and impressive cover of SYSTEM OF A DOWN‘s smash hit Chop Suey! as well, just for good measure. In terms of their production, Bristol Academy is not built for major pyrotechnics but the band’s backing dancers produce angle grinders during Necessary Evil and water pistols for A-M-E-R-I-C-A (or ‘Fuck Trump!’ as it’s christened tonight) which are lovingly discharged over the audience and the light show is equally stunning, particularly during Immaculate Misconception. The energy tapers off slightly towards the end and there’s only one encore song in Eternally Yours, but as far as Friday night entertainment goes, you’d be hard pushed to find something better than this.
Check out our photo gallery of the horror show in Bristol from Serena Hill Photography here: