Enter Shikari At The Academy – Review & Photos
It’s no surprise that there are queues outside the Academy way before doors open; Enter Shikari is a band that have always had such a big fan base in Ireland, so it’s also no surprise that almost everyone in the Academy is there for one band, and one band only. They’re a lot like marmite, you either love them or you hate them, and to say tonight’s crowd are a fan of marmite would be an absolute understatement. They’re also a band who attracts many different followers; from those who live for metal, to those who live for electronic music and everyone in between, making for a very passionate and eccentric vibe. Before they can blitz the venue like they did two years ago, there is support from England’s own Fearless Vampire Killers, who seem a strange choice of support act for a band like Enter Shikari, but nonetheless have earned their place.
It’s evident from when they hit the stage that there are not many people who listen to the band, or even know who they are. That doesn’t stop them for from trying to make a name for themselves. The five-piece take to the stage and fans of the band (as few as there are) absolutely love their set. Regardless of how few fans they have in the crowd in the beginning, they’re still able to get the entire crowd involved singing along and clapping, which is quite the feat in itself. As good as they sound live; they’re not a very exciting band to watch or listen to, which makes people lose interest. Overall they played a very solid set, but they just did not stand out. Regardless of this, I’m sure they gained a few new fans tonight, and they did a good job of warming up the audience for Enter Shikari.
As the lights go out, the entire place erupts. For those who have seen Enter Shikari before, they know exactly what to expect, and for those who haven’t, nothing can prepare them for the absolute chaos that is to ensue. They open their set with ‘The Appeal and the Mindsweep I’, with screaming and moshing already deafening and battering all those present. Frontman Rou Reynolds has been known to be all about the crowd interaction, but he takes it to an entirely new level by taking himself to the back of the Academy to perform ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’ with the audience. Their set is predominantly made up of their latest album, but includes some absolute classic Shikari tracks such as ‘Destabilise’, ‘Juggernauts’, ‘Radiate’ and ‘Mothership’. The atmosphere in the Academy is as unique as it comes, and seriously cannot be compared to any other sort of atmosphere (sort of like Enter Shikari themselves). If the atmosphere wasn’t amazing already, they decided to perform ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ with a giant snowman dancing around with them on stage (standard Shikari behaviour, really). They finish their set with ‘Anaesthetist’ before leaving the stage. In their absence, the crowd begins chanting: ‘Standing like statues, and still we will be here’ (from the self-titled track ‘Enter Shikari’), which is not just a statement in itself, but also shows the passion and dedication of the crowd present. The chanting clearly works, with the band returning for a three song encore, including ‘Constellations’ (which was without a doubt the highlight of the entire night), ‘Slipshod’ and ‘Zzzonked’. To every Ying there is a Yang, with Enter Shikari and their audience being the perfect balance to chaos. Enter Shikari shows define what gigs should be like: energetic, unique, exciting and a whole lot of fun to be at. To say they blew everyone out of the water would be an understatement. They may very well be one of the greatest live bands of our time, and their return is already being eagerly awaiting.
Review by Shauna Collins
Photos by Anamaria Meiu