SAN FRANCISCO — The room went dark, with the only light coming from rain drops sliding down glass, projected on the screen behind the stage. The cracks of a drum triggered the glass to crack as well. Bring Me The Horizon triumphantly took the stage for their first of two shows at The Warfield.
The Sheffield hard rock band, on its The American Nightmare Tour behind its fifth album, That’s the Spirit, started the night with a bang—literally. A confetti cannon exploded during set opener “Happy Song.” Singer Oliver Sykes urged fans to take two steps back to avoid injury.
Sykes spent much of the show as a whirling dervish, jumping and thrashing around the two-tier stage. He would fall to his knees for dramatic effect. Before “House of Wolves,” Sykes gave Christianity the middle finger. Later, during protest song “Antivist,” a Libertarian flag was shown.
All six members, including guitarists Lee Malia and John Jones, bassist Matt Kean, drummer Matt Nicholls and keyboardist Jordan Fish, took a breather as Aoife Ní Fhearraigh’s “The Best is Yet to Come” played over the speakers, and then they broke out some of their older songs. “Shadow Moses” and “Chelsea Smile,” two of their biggest hits in the U.K., brought the most energy.
But the show had more than one gear, and Bring Me The Horizon slowed it down with ballads like “Follow You” and “Oh Now.” Then, with no fanfare, they walked off the stage as the screen showed flowers growing in time lapse. They returned to play an encore of “Doomed,” “True Friends” and “Can You Feel My Heart” to more confetti blasts.
Ohio band Beartooth opened the show with songs off its latest album, Aggressive. Tampa post-hardcore band Underoath had a more destructive approach, thrashing around the stage and spitting in the direction of fans. Keyboardist Christopher Dudley often looked like he lost his mind.
— Joey Reams
Follow photographer Gary Chancer at Twitter.com/