BRING ME THE HORIZON HAS BEGUN THEIR TRANSITION INTO NEW REALMS OF MUSIC PITTSBURGH WAS HIT FULL IN THE FACE BY HEAVY METAL HOOKS AND A SURPRISE AMOUNT OF POP TO BOOT
PITTSBURGH, PA- With a grammy nomination earlier this year, hit singles that have topped the Billboard 200 on multiple occasions, and an ever-growing fanbase, Bring Me the Horizon has finally seemed to venture into pop music territory with their latest album, amo. Released early this year, it is Bring Me The Horizon’s sixth studio LP. It’s seems to be a somewhat new beginning for the once consistent metalcore band. Employing a large amount of synth and overdubbed vocals that are more befitting of pop acts, Bring Me The Horizon has revamped their sound, and it seems that their fans are embracing this new direction.
It also seems that they have done away with the “sensitive emo” look that they’ve been associated with, and have adopted a more mainstream “2019 sad boy” aesthetic. This is especially noticeable with frontman, Oliver Sykes. Ditching the long hair and black ripped jeans/shirts ensemble for a bleach-blonde coif and clothes that look straight off the rack from your local Forever 21. It appears to be a calculated change in image change in order to attract a wider audience … and it looks like it’s working.
After nearly two years, the U.K. band hit Pittsburgh last week on the first leg of their “Second Base Tour”. Bring Me The Horizon easily sold-out the concert hall’s 3,000 capacity. The age range of the crowd was varied. Millennials to Gen. X’s alike swarmed the pit and upper balcony sections to hear both the old and new of what BMTH had to offer.
It is almost hard to believe that BMTH has been around for almost two decades, but clearly they have adjusted to the times accordingly. As the lights dimmed and the crowd kept their chant of “Oli! Oli! Oli!” going until Sykes’ arrival, the opening track for “MANTRA” commenced with dancers dressed in white jumpsuits and masks strutting out. They were then joined by others dressed in black jumpsuits holding what looked like confetti canons; the anticipation for the mayhem to begin was almost too palpable.
As a robotic female voice continued to repeat the intro of a post-apocalyptic, Big Brother themed world, the guys of BMTH slowly took to the stage with Sykes following closely behind them. In an instant, confetti, smoke, and flashy visuals exploded upon the stage, the show literally starting off with a bang.
With a giant LED screen displaying sick visuals behind them connected to a raised platform and enticing lights, BMTH was clearly pulling out all the stops. Sykes was adorned in a blood red suit and the rest of the band wearing the white jumpsuits like the dancers behind them. It felt as is BMTH was embracing both their past and present styles as they meshed into one. With their “MANTRA” being a more interesting blend of pop and metal, BMTH then went straight into “The House of Wolves” which is an older track from their 2013 album titled Sempiternal. The hard-hitting song with zero pop oriented tones had the crowd instantly moshing and surfing as Sykes egged the crowd on to “get the shit opened up”.
Both bassist Matt Kean and guitarist Lee Malia head banged around stage as Sykes posed on the raised platform behind a very hungry-looking wolf displayed on the screen behind him. Over 15 plus years has certainly made these U.K. rockers masters of showmanship and the their collective charisma only further riled up the crowd. While BMTH has been leaning more pop recently, they still gave their more hardcore fans plenty of kinetic aggression to mosh to in the pits. The contrast of the pits and the googly eyed teens up in the front interesting to witness.
BMTH’s new sound and appearance has changed. They reminded me of popular bands such as The Neighbourhood and the 1975 in terms of cohesiveness and overall poppy aesthetics. Although some may not welcome the new change, it is, in my humble opinion, still a smart move in terms of remaining relevant in today’s changing music landscape that is more pop/hip-hip tailored.
With BMTH closing out the night with their encore of classics such as “Can You Feel My Heart” and “Throne”, Sykes and his gang gave one last reverberating send off to the hot blooded crowd before the night was over. A night that was certainly filled with an interesting and tasteful mix of hard-edged metal and light as air pop, it was a strange combination that was oddly satisfying. With this new direction and steady momentum, it will definitely be interesting to see where BMTH goes from this point forward seeing as they have undoubtedly made a positive impact on their music.