@ O2 Arena, London
25th November, 2016
Photography + Review: Billy Edmonds
This line up for this gig was highly anticipated. It’s such a honour too be able to see bands of this stature play a venue like this. The O2 is one of the largest venues in England and Alter Bridge have without a doubt earned the headline spot they’ve got tonight. Luckily for the crowds of people waiting, the venue is under cover, as the weather outside is grimly cold.
Like A Storm
Like A Storm could well be the only band that can still pull off wearing guy liner and chains and look good doing it and are really one of the only good bands from New Zealand in a long time.
This heavy rock 4 piece definitely live up to their name. They truly are a storm!
As they smash their way onto the stage the arena is barely a quarter full but the people who are here already seem to be enjoying it, although they don’t show much more enthusiasm than slowly nodding their heads to the songs.
Many people don’t know but Like a Storm are a neigh on all family band with Chris Kent And Matt being brothers and Zach being the odd one out. Having released their new album “Awaken The Fire” last year the boys are keen to shred some of the immense songs from this album.
When I checked out Like A Storm on YouTube I honestly wasn’t expecting them to be able to hold a venue like this too well, but they totally proved me wrong as they did exactly what their job sheet told them to do; and that was to smash the venue to the ground whilst getting everyone pumped for the rest of this immense line up.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is the resourcefulness of a didgeridoo. I have never seen a didgeridoo used in metal before but in this instance it just worked. If you get the chance to get out and see Like A Storm then I highly recommend you do it because this certainly won’t be the last time we see these guys in the UK (even if it’s just to see a didgeridoo being used in conjunction with metal!)
I was a little shocked when I saw these guys where on the bill. They are without a doubt the heaviest band on the set for tonight but it’s not like they haven’t deserved the honour of bracing the immense stage that is the O2.
Gojira are far from new too the scene of metal. These French maniacs have been about since 1996 and have played countless shows and festivals all goer the planet so in that sense it isn’t a shock to see them play among the giants that are Alter Bridge. In other sense I find it quite a strange choice to have as these guys are far more heavy than the tonight’s rock headliners. Everyone around me in the photo pit is extremely excited to see these guys smash the O2, This venue is one of the big ones on any band’s list alongside Wembley Arena.
The riffs as they come onto the stage are only to be described as ear bursting and heavier than iron, steel and any other metallic elements put together. They are the first band of the evening to actually ask for circle pits and get what they want as well. It does take a rather special band to be able to play to such a huge group of people, especially when many in the crowd aren’t accustomed to such a heavy style of music.
As they leave the stage its evident that many people weren’t too into these guys as they differ so vastly from the rest of the line-up, but this isn’t a fault on Gojira, who were amazing this evening.
There are many many people here waiting to see these boys. It’s been a long time since they last braced a UK stage. With the amount of people walking around in Volbeat shirts t’s almost as if this show is a duel headliner- something it probably should have been!)
As Volbeat take to the stage an immense crowd roar instantly. This is no surprise. Volbeat have come along way since their first album in 2001, playing countless shows and festivals, but this could be one of their biggest to date. As they lads walk onto the mighty stage the crowd greets them with nothing but screaming and horns; which of course to any band is a hearty metal handshake.
As the show keeps playing Michael invites a special guest onto the immense stage: Barney Greenway of Napalm Death. I found this too be slightly odd as their musical talents are so far from each other they might as well be on the other side of the rock music planet but they somehow seem to make it work, much to the amusement of the entire crowd.
Over the duration of the show the crowd seems to calm down a hell of a lot, almost to the point where many people seem bored,which is a massive shock to me as I was really excited to see these guys finally play again. Every attempt that front man Michael made to get people moving lasted barely a minute- including calling for more crowd suffers, which managed to pull a total of 6 people from the huge 7,000 standing members of the crowd.
For the final song Volbeat invite a few people from the audience onto the stage It was fantastic to see such a well known band allow fans to interact with them on such an immense scale.
Standing behind a curtain to the left of the stage, waiting for security to allow me out into the pit to capture the show, I have never heard such an excited crowd. This crowd feels different to the normal ones that I have shot before. The age range is massive with some people in the seated areas being at least 65 and the younger ones being 10. As they come onto a black stage nd they slowly begin the intro to “The Writing on the Wall”, everyone seems to immediately know the infamous riff and goes mental. Myles certainly proves that it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can always have fun doing what you love.
The smile on his face right now could paint a thousand pictures as he looks out to the near full capacity crowd (estimated at 18,000 people). He clearly knew that tonight is a huge night, but I don’t think it truly hit him until he saw the venue fully crammed.
As the night continues the venue doesn’t seem too lose anyone (despite how late it is), There are people from all over the globe in this amazing arena, some from as far as Brazil.
Myles seems to have been really coaching his voice since the last time I had seen them at Download, and whatever he has done recently it’s clearly paid off as his clean vocals are far beyond on point. They sound as if they are straight off album; something which is incredibly hard to do for anyone. Miles has been touring for nearly three decades and is only a few years of his fiftieth, but he continues to be able to run around the stage like he’s just turned 20.
Slowly the night begins to finish as they do what any band would do in this situation they ask for the lights to be turned off and for everyone to light up the room with their lighters. In this case, as many people no longer possess the infamous Zippo people generally use their phones.
it was one of the “wow” moments that you just have to see. If you ever manage to score tickets to see Alter bridge then you need to just do it without thinking- they are one that you HAVE to check off the list!!
- The Writing On the Wall
- Come To Life
- Addicted to Pain
- Ghost Of days Goen By
- Cry Of Achilles
- The ther Side
- Farther Tha the sun
- Ties That Bind
- Waters Rising
- Crows On A wire
- Watch Over You (Acoustic Myles)
- Open Your Eyes
- Show Me A Leader (Encore)
- Rise Today (Encore)