Where to even begin with this show… It was an entirely new and unique experience for me. For those who have seen Enter Shikari, letlive. or At The Skylines, you know exactly what I mean. In the crowded pit section of The Glasshouse in Pomona, CA, openers At The Skylines immediately got people up and jumping. One thing that caught my attention right off the bat was that it seemed like the crowd knew exactly what to do and at different sections were even singing along. Pretty remarkable considering the band’s debut album doesn’t drop until May 8th. I guess we can thank music pirating for that.
Regardless, their live set was simply remarkable. It was full of synthy post-hardcore and a pop-punk-ish vocal style thanks to Chris Shelley. But when Mark Barela came in with his aggressive deathcore vocals, it layered the entire band in an Acacia Strain-esque brutality with heavy breakdowns. There just isn’t any other band like At The Skylines. It went between full-on electro post-hardcore to brutal deathcore without hesitation. The energy exerted from the members was transferred into the crowd, especially with the many mosh pits going on that I happily took part in.
After their epic set, letlive. came up and created a distinctively different mood. Although many people classify them as post-hardcore, I would say they performed a mix of standard hardcore and indie music. Of all the bands there, letlive. had the most energy out of all of them, most notably vocalist Jason Butler. The definition of a good concert is when you can see everyone not just playing the music, but actually feeling it and letting the energy channel through them into the spectators. Butler was running all over the stage like a crazed ape throughout the whole show, with some stage diving as well. The most notable part of their set was when they broke out with a cover of Black Flag’s “Fix Me,” which prompted the biggest circle pit of the entire show.
My biggest regret of the night was not taking the time to completely immerse myself in Enter Shikari’s music prior to the show. After I interviewed Rou Reynolds and Rory Clewlow, I realized that these guys are on a mission with their music. Just go read any of their lyrics online. No metaphors – just straight to the point about technology, world peace, and the staleness of the music on the airwaves today. Trust me when I say that there is no other band out there today that sounds anything like them. Full-on post-hardcore/rave crossover only begins to describe their sound. Coupled with their insane light show, I was seeing red at times. They definitely need a seizure warning sign outside the venues they play. It’s a good thing my ride there played nothing but Enter Shikari on the stereo.
The wait between letlive. and Enter Shikari took forever! But after what seemed like an hour, they started things off with “System…” and “…Meltdown” from their latest album A Flash Flood of Colour to get everyone near the front of the stage jumping up and down. I particularly admired Reynolds throughout the show. When I interviewed him, he had to take a couple cough drops just to be able to speak. Watching him live, there was no way you could tell he was getting sick at all. They played the entirety of A Flash Flood of Colour along with a few other choice songs such as my favorite “Quelle Surprise,” “Juggernauts” and “Mothership.”
This is a concert that ranks in the top five shows that I’ve ever been to. Even if you’ve grown tired of going to concerts (FYI, as a professional, you’re going cynical), Enter Shikari will get you back into it. Even the fans of these bands have a higher morality standard. My friend lost his wallet, iPod, phone, and hat, yet he got everything back in the end because someone turned them in to the lost and found.