REVIEW: Beartooth – The Brickyard, Carlisle (21/05/15)

In the run up to this year’s Slam Dunk festival, Beartooth headed out across the UK to do a few warmup shows. It’s unusual for a band with any sort of recognition to come to Carlisle so when I found out Beartooth would be headlining it was essential for me to go. Supported by Dead Harts and The Color Morale (both of which are also playing Slam Dunk) it was definitely going to be one of The Brickyard’s most memorable nights.

Kicking off the night was Dead Harts from Sheffield. Although the room was almost empty it didn’t stop them trying their best to get the people who were there going, even if the crowd did seem less than enthusiastic about their set. They took an interesting approach to entertaining the room, Bax (vocals) actually walked into the crowd to sing a few songs in an attempt to encourage mosh pits and circle pits throughout every song. Overall the crowd made it difficult for Dead Harts to put on a proper show but they brought a lot of energy to the stage nonetheless.

As the night progressed the room began to slowly full up, but it was still only about half full by the time The Color Morale hit the stage. There was a much more positive response to their set and it finally seemed like the crowd were getting warmed up. Garret (vocals) made a special effort in between songs to interact with the crowd in an almost inspirational way, demonstrating how music pulls people together and creates communities by asking the people who have been influenced by music to raise their hand – this obviously sparked a positive reaction from the crowd. People seemed to be a lot more engaged to The Color Morale’s set and there seemed to be considerable more people who were singing along. It was definitely a good job they were there to warm the crowd up.

Finally it was Beartooth’s time on the stage, although it was a rather short set and they didn’t include an encore they certainly made the most of the time they had. The gig didn’t sell out but the turnout was still impressive for a metalcore band at The Brickyard. The majority of the songs were off their debut album Disgusting and they started off with ‘Relapsing’ and made their way through some of the most popular songs like ‘The Lines’ and ‘Beaten in Lips’– the energy was electric and the room was taken over by mosh pits- there was even a couple of crowd surfers. What seemed to be the crowd’s favourite song was ‘Body Bag’ which they played last. Crowd participation was also really important to Beartooth and they thanked the crowd for allowing them to do a tour across the UK. It was nice to see a band being appreciated in such a small city in (what seems like) an unknown part of England but it’s also nice being appreciated by the band themselves. There are enough good bands that play at Carlisle and if we’re lucky, other bands might follow in Beartooth’s footsteps. Hopefully this won’t be the last we see of Beartooth and they’ll head back this way soon.

REVIEW: Skindred – The Brickyard, Carlisle (24/11/14)

Skindred hit the road again after almost three years break from doing any major UK tour to support the release of their 5th, and most recent album, Kill The Power.
Feral Sun dropped out of supporting Skindred after just a few days, meaning Chemia were left to warm the crowd up, there was no complaining from us though- it just meant that Skindred’s set was extended to an hour and 20 minutes long for the rest of the tour.
Skindred’s stage presence and the way Benji (lead vocalist) acts whilst performing is compelling and like no other live band. His unique approach to getting the crowd excited, involves using insults and irrational statements towards fans which somewhat provoked them to create bigger, better and crazier mosh pits during pretty much all of the set.
There’s no question about how Skindred worked their way up to the top of British reggae metal when you see their on-stage flair and genius which they’ve obviously acquired from years of tours and countless shows around the globe…
Opening up with a classic, Rat Race was a guaranteed track to get the crowd going for the night ahead. Probably one of their most well-known songs which is fuelled by its catchy chorus and their usual fuse of reggae and metal.
An interesting twist, yet not uncommon within their sets was their rendition of Macklemore’s Thriftshop. Typically an unusual song to cover for a reggae metal band song but nonetheless Skindred made it sound like their own and the crowd was as chaotic as ever.
The encore began with Benji taking a lead in talking about influences for the band, like Metallica, Slipknot and AC/DC, each of which seemed to have some significance in shaping how the night played out. They came on stage to Thunderstruck by AC/DC and finished their set by partially covering Slipknot’s Duality mixed with their own song, Warning. Overall, a really great night due to Skindred’s unique music and their energy throughout.

Don’t forget to check out our interview with Skindred from this years Breakout Festival.

REVIEW: Die No More – The Brickyard, Carlisle (27/09/14)

Die No More – The Brickyard, Carlisle 27/9/14

Support: Motherload and Seek Solace In Ruin

In aid of Die No More’s debut album launch (titled Elected Evil and released on October 6th), the band went back to their roots to do a one-of-a-kind gig at the venue that the lads have grown up with.

Kicking off the night was Motherload. The London based quartet travelled up to Carlisle especially to play, and these guys seemed to have found the perfect balance between metal and classic rock. They had one clear aim for the night and that was to warm the crowd up and they weren’t leaving until they had achieved just that. As their 40 minute set progressed you could see the growing numbers of headbangers join in with their impressive music, but don’t be fooled, Motherload were an ‘easy listening’ band compared to what was coming later that night.

Next to hit the stage was a metalcore band first formed in 2009, Seek Solace In Ruin – this was where it all went a bit mental, they opened up with Arterial Failure and that’s when the mosh pits started- pretty much all the way through their set… Sadly, about 35 minutes in, SSIR’s set took a bad turn as lead singer, Joseph, had a mild epileptic fit and collapsed, fortunately he got straight back up again and insisted that he was fine and that they could finish the song he just, ‘sometimes forgets he has epilepsy’ – he definitely took stage diving to the next level. And although the lead guitarist seemed to have a little too much to say for himself between each song it only added to their onstage charisma.

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Finally, at 10:30 Die No More came on stage opening up with Dark Knight and Blood In The Veins – the band are heavily influenced by Metallica and Marc (Lead singer/guitarist) is influenced massively by James Hetfield in his stage presence. Kev, Steve and Martyn showed off with impressive solos and lengthy instrumentals in each song. Now, there’s nothing better than hearing your favourite metal band singing about things that really annoy you, in Die No More’s case, this means they’ve dedicated a song to those ‘lying, deceiving, corrupt politicians that we all know’, titled Connection Lost, it was a great addition in their set and everyone seemed to really appreciate it.

Personally, the highlight of my night was their final encore song, Council Of War, it was released in 2013 and it guaranteed that the night ended on a high, I think all of the crowd got involved with singing the lyrics back and the atmosphere was enthralling.

Overall, the night as a whole was a really great example of how well us Brits do thrash metal and each set was unique as they each created a different feel within the crowd.