Before Wednesday evening (Sept. 28), it had only been three years since Bring Me The Horizon had made their way to Music City. However, frontman Oli Sykes said that time felt like an eternity, and it’s easy to see why.
In 2019, when the British heavy rockers last played Nashville Municipal Auditorium, the group was coming off the release of its sixth studio album, Amo. As all touring stopped due to the ongoing pandemic, Bring Me The Horizon kept writing and released an EP in 2020 titled, Post Human: Survival Horror. Since then, the band has continued to release new music, with a slew of singles coming in late 2021 and early 2022.
With a new catalog of tunes to choose from, it wasn’t just Bring Me The Horizon fans who were ready for the group to perform on Wednesday. It was clear from the start that Sykes and his bandmates were elated to be back on stage. Just minutes into the group’s set, the vocalist asked the Nashville crowd, “Are you ready for the best f***ing night of your lives?”
Before the headliners took over the stage, Music City had been treated to a line-up full of music’s best up-and-coming rockers. Leading off was SiickBrain, and it was clear that a large portion of the early crowd wasn’t familiar with the singer. That changed quickly, and she won over the audience, getting a small mosh pit going during the final portion of SiiickBrain’s 30-minute performance.
Some Nashville fans were familiar with the second act as Grandson took the stage. In March, the singer performed at one of Music City’s newest venues at Eastside Bowl. Though he may not have been a headliner on Wednesday night, he delivered a ton of energy that was nothing short of infectious. At times though, he did tease the audience, stating they didn’t look like they were there to see a Bring Me Horizon show, instead saying that the crowd looked more enthused to see Olivia Rodrigo.
Jokes aside, Grandson left fans with a heartfelt message, saying how grateful he was that fans came out to watch him perform. He also expressed how glad he was to see audience members care for their mental health by heading to a concert. He then closed out his set by getting up close and personal with fans in the front row as he concluded with his smash-hit “Blood In The Water.”
While SiiickBrain got a mosh pit going during her opening set, that was nothing compared to what Knocked Loose produced during their 45-minute performance. The Kentucky metalcore band brought out the heavy instrumentals early and didn’t let up until the final notes. With vocalist Bryan Garris’ shrill screaming added to the mix, it was hard for audience members not to be captivated, even if those unfamiliar with the band had no idea what the lyrics were.
Over the years, Knocked Loose has become a staple of the metalcore scene, and it’s easy to see why. While their lyrics may be undecipherable, the band just has the ability to get the crowd amped up, which is precisely what they did during Wednesday’s showcase.
With a slew of newer tracks at their disposal, an older fan-favorite led off the night for Bring Me The Horizon. Before any song played, fans were greeted by a welcome video message from Eve, an artificial intelligence hostess for the evening. Eve would make her voice heard throughout the evening, adding a fun element to the performance.
Before Bring Me The Horizon took the stage, Eve delivered a message of inclusion before the performance. “Have fun, do what you want to do, and most importantly, be who you want to be,” she stated. After a system reboot, Eve introduced the opening track of the night as she said, “Initializing, ‘Can You Feel My Heart.’” Not even a second later, the song’s opening notes rang through, and the band emerged from the shadows to the delight of those on hand.
With a deep discography, Bring Me The Horizon centered Wednesday’s setlist around songs released in the last three years. However, it was some of the group’s older tracks that got the crowd excited before it sprinkled the newer tunes into the performance.
During their time writing new songs, Bring Me The Horizon also collaborated with many different artists on several songs on its 2020 EP. Two of those tracks appeared on the setlist; however, the featured artists were not on hand. The first was “Kingslayer,” a video-game metal track that includes Japan-based group Baby Metal. Rather than sing the foreign lyrics, Bring Me The Horizon had pre-recorded vocals playing during the tune.
After exiting the stage briefly, the band returned for a three-song encore that included “Obey,” a song the group performed with Yungblud. While he wasn’t on hand, Bring Me The Horizon had Yungblud on a video singing the track, which was a solid inclusion.
While metal and heavy rock sometimes has the stereotype of alienating people, Bring Me The Horizon has become one of the biggest bands in the world with its progressive messaging. Throughout the evening, Sykes delivered messages of inclusion, noting that fans should be who they want to be and thanking them for coming out to Wednesday’s show.
“I can’t believe how many people are here to see our little band,” Sykes said. “I know there wouldn’t be as many people here if it weren’t for those three acts.”
Early into the group’s performance, Sykes also stated that the goal was for him and his bandmates to deliver one of the best shows that fans had seen. At the night’s end, the vocalists followed up and asked if they had achieved that result. From the applause and cheers, the answer was a resounding yes, and fans left Municipal Auditorium optimistic, hoping it wouldn’t be another three years before Bring Me The Horizon returns to Nashville.