The King Blues kicked off the set with their song “Let’s Hang The Landlord”, attracting more and more listeners with each song. The energy was swelling as they finished off with their classic “Save The World, Get The Girl”, and The Wonder Years’ set hit the right notes with the bustling crowd, playing such songs as “There, There”, and “A Song for Patsy Cline”. The two bands left the crowd hungry for more; and ‘more’ is exactly what they got. Enter Shikari took hold of the stage in the most fitting fashion: flashing lights, loud noises and a screaming crowd, but the commotion erupted into their first song: “Solidarity”.
Enter Shikari’s set continued to be as explosive as the Motorpoint Arena could handle, playing songs from their new album and the tour’s namesake: “The Mindsweep”, including “The Last Garrison” and “The One True Colour”. Rou himself seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere, as he never seemed to stop moving; whether it was shuffling confidently or just going a bit mad, whatever energy the crowd threw at him, he matched it and threw it right back.
Rou launches into the next song, “Juggernauts”. For what is usually a hectic song beginning with an array of synths and heavy drums, it is surprising how fitting and brilliant a piano cover sounds. Unfortunately, the piano rendition was cut short due to technical difficulties, however this was made up for massively by Rou’s decision to embark on a glorious crowd surf through the middle of the arena all the way back to the main stage.
Following this, we are treated with two of the main singles from Shikari’s third album release A Flash Flood of Colour. The band launch into the climate change themed track “Arguing with Thermometers” with the upmost energy and enthusiasm, followed by the empowering monologue that begins “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi”. However, halfway through the track the song takes a very strange change of tone. After an array of mosh pits break out, instead of the track’s usual ‘remember Gandhi mate, remember Gandhi’, Rou Reynolds asks ‘What would Robbie Williams do?’ Cue over 10,000 Shikari fans belting out the chorus to Robbie Williams’ classic Angels to create what is truly a magical moment, before launching back into the original song.
The 2006 classic “Mothership” from Shikari’s debut album Take to the Skies causes absolute pandemonium amongst the crowd. As Rou sings the lyrics, you can hear every fan from the floor to the seats sing back the famous words of the chorus. The band proceeds to leave the stage, but of course everyone knows the show isn’t over just yet. Minutes later, the band return to perform their latest single “Redshift”, which sounds even more magnificent over the surround sound installed into the arena especially for the show. The pro-NHS anthem “Anaesthetist” proves itself as a fan favourite yet again as every fan shouts the line “Step the f*** back” as it appears upon the digital screens in big capital letters.
Enter Shikari have really outdone themselves with this show, and have shown everybody how much they have progressed. Even as a fan, I would’ve never have thought the band would be capable of being considered an ‘arena band’, but they have certainly proved themselves. The immense energy into every song, the stunning visuals choreographed by Rou himself, the enthusiasm of every member of the band reflected by every member of the audience, all combined to make what was truly an unforgettable show as well as a milestone for Enter Shikari.
Henry Every & Nick Harvey