“12 years and a week today we played our first ever show. This is all for you,” Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oliver Sykes explains, to the sold out audience at the Royal Albert Hall. For a metal band, playing such a grand venue may seem like an odd fit, especially when adding a live orchestra and choir to the mix. However, tonight’s show for Teenage Cancer Trust is all for a good cause and everyone’s spirits are filled with anticipation for a very special, one-of-a-kind evening.
The sound of a full orchestra symphonising the opening to ‘Doomed’ is an exceptional way to open the show, as the violins register deep vibrations and the choir show off their range to send atmospheric chills across the hall. Clad in head to toe black and in energetic spirits, Sykes begins to command the audience to open up a wall of death and screaming for us to “fucking push it back”.
Watching limbs fly around the dance floor as the pit opens up is a spectacle in itself and we suspect this is the first time that The Royal Albert Hall has ever been witness to such bad language or deliberate tarnish. Though, it’s refreshing to see a band who have done their time in the music industry and even under the roof of these historical halls, the Sheffield titans remain true to their roots.
The show has been crafted seemingly with tracks that allow the band to make best use of the orchestra, this means the majority of the setlist is made up of tracks from their latest album That’s the Spirit. Even though older tracks creep in to the mix to ensure older fans are kept happy, it’s actually songs such as ‘True Friends’ and ‘Follow You’ that really drive the most emotional responses from the band members, as the choir supports Sykes’s vocal to give a bursting and full sound throughout.
Towards the end of the already emotional and heart-felt performance Sykes opens up about how cancer has affected his life personally, by telling us how his close friend in the audience tonight has just beaten the illness. Instead of dwelling on the negatives though, Sykes continues to tell us how: “We’re not here to talk about the devastating things cancer does, but to talk about how it brings us together and how to fight it together.” This statement rings true as the orchestra bring beautifully crafted melodies behind ‘Drown’ and closing track ‘Oh No’.
As the band take a bow and pose for pictures with the choir and orchestra the audience continue to chant the tune of ‘Oh No’. Clearly overwhelmed Sykes turns to the crowd with palms over his eyes and admits: “You’re going to make me cry”. Tonight, Bring Me The Horizon, with a little help from their friends, have triumphed in so many ways.