Close this search box.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our weekly
e-newsletter for news and updates

Advertise with us


Bring Me the Horizon
Riverstage Arena, Brisbane, Australia
April 20, 21, 2024
Supported by: Sleep Token, Make Them Suffer, & Daine 
Written by: Leigh Hanna for Australian Musician. Photos by Nighthawk Creative

This is not a concert. It’s a life experience.  Bring Me the Horizon have created an all-encompassing emotional ride that pulls you in from the moment the side-screens activate with a glowing waiting visual: Post Human PRESS START BUTTON.  We’re holding our breath, staring at a video game-esque title screen.  As the seconds turn into minutes, the crowd murmurs with anticipation. Fans are impatient.  We’ve been standing on the damp grass of the Brisbane amphitheatre for hours waiting for this very moment.  “Can someone press start, already?”, someone behind me quips.  A voice replies, “It’s frozen” as others laugh and come back with, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” and “Just pull out the cord from the back for a minute and put it back in”. We’re all comedians.  Brisbane Riverstage is an open air-venue and the rain that has been threatening all afternoon has started to fall.  Plastic ponchos are pulled from the pockets of the prepared while others brave the wet.  No one is going anywhere despite the poor weather.  The screen changes and a difficulty selection toggles through the options from easy to normal to extreme.  An invisible force chooses EXTREME. The crowd cheers.

Project E.V.E, an anime-inspired character, appears in a pop-up window against a backdrop of coding.  She welcomes us in a robotic voice to her post-human experiment, the NeX GEn Research Programme, and advises us this will be the last concert we’ll ever attend.  She’s hinting at an apocalyptic ending.  She advises the audience that BMTH has a zero tolerance policy on drugs so if anyone in the crowd has any, they better consume them now.  A ripple of laughter runs across the amphitheatre.  E.V.E scans the crowd with her ‘mosh pit detector’ and finds none.  “Please, open this place up”, she says.  We need no further invitation.

Lights and sounds pulse, our heartbeats rising to match.  The stage set illuminates into a gothic, church-style scene fit for horror and gore as the band takes their place.  The crowd roars and Oli Sykes screams “Get the f**k up!” into the mic.  Smoke pours and confetti launches in an epic assault on the senses as BMTH opens on “dArkside”, the fifth release from POST HUMAN: NeX GEn, the second instalment in their POST HUMAN series.  It’s an interesting move by the ex-deathcore band to open on this anthemic, yet fairly generic song that was met with mixed reactions on release but it gives us the space to take in our surroundings and experience (in awe) the beginnings of what will be one of the greatest experiences of our metal-core lives.

I’ve been following BMTH for close to 15 years now.  They almost lost me with the shift to a poppier, more electronic sound with the amo album but tonight when Oli asks, “Do you wanna start a cult with me?” as “Mantra” begins, I’m all in.  Sign me up.  I’ll drink the “Kool-Aid” by the jug.

Moving effortlessly between the band’s shifting styles of the past 15 years, the sound is tight and powerful.  The visual display is sensational, somewhat disturbing in parts.  BMTH takes us from the Post Human era to the age of Sempiternal with “Shadow Moses”, making sure us long-time fans know we’ll be looked after too.  The impressive setlist spans every album since 2008 including the brutal “Diamonds Aren’t Forever” from the Suicide Season album.  Joining the stage for “Antivist”, Sleep Token’s IV brings the house down.

With Jordan Fish’s recent shock departure from the band still fresh in our minds, another familiar face of the BMTH touring band is missing from the stage as guitarist Lee Malia takes time out from the tour schedule with a new addition to his family.  Touring Guitar Technician Joey Black is outstanding as he steps into lead guitar and crushes it.  Matt Kean impresses as always with fat and heavy bass lines on his Fender Jazz bass, and John Jones slays on his very own demon-vertebrae mic stand and Kiesel guitar.  Mat Nicholls delivers a solid set on drums.

Confetti, fire, smoke cannons and organised chaos. Amazing!  E.V.E fills the spaces, keeping us engaged in the changeovers and BMTH has enraptured us. They blow our minds.  Waves of tears from the audience throughout the show demonstrate the connectedness the fans feel.  The set completes with a faux finale to “Can You Feel My Heart”, a sing-along so loud I’m surprised we still have voices left.

The energy is electric as we wait for the encore.  The side screens display a throwback compilation of video clips from the BMTH’s early days and behind-the-scenes footage shows a band of baby-faced teenagers, then progresses through their 20-year career.  The overture leads us into “Doomed” as the audience sways and sings together as one.  Not even the drenching rain can extinguish this fire in our hearts.

The crowd chants lyrics that unify a generation.  A generation that feels “LosT” in a society full of pressure and pain.  A generation questioning their state of mind and the motives of the looming future.  BMTH’s songs tell this generation that we are not alone in feeling this.  The raw and emotive music expresses sorrow, anger, and contempt at a system that treats humans like we’re NPCs in a video game of war, horror, the ‘extinction’ of humanity, and the rise of machines.  These songs speak to the heart of the people in this arena tonight.  This drives home as the video compilation on screen briefly flicks to footage of an audience member holding up a sign that says “You saved my life”.  With music like this, we are not alone.

An exhausted Oli crouches on stage and admits he “is bloody knackered”.  This is the last leg of a huge Australian tour that demanded extra shows be released after a lightning-fast sell-out of first round tickets. After Sunday night, BMTH will continue their world tour in Vegas, Nevada in just three days.

The true finale arrives with the powerhouse track “Throne”.  The stage is awash with fire.  The screens, the pyro, the smoke, the red streamers; the almost overwhelming sights and sounds take us to a place you could only know if you were right here with us.

As we make our way towards the exits, brimming with the epicness we’ve just witnessed, Project E.V.E returns to the screens to unleash her evil human extinction sequence upon us.  She hits EXECUTE. A ‘computer glitch’ spares us and we make our escape while E.V.E attempts and fails the ‘I am not a robot’ CAPTCHA test.  Looks like this won’t be the last show I’ll ever see after all.  But if it were, I’d die happy.

Sleep Token
Sleep Token
Make Them Suffer
Make Them Suffer


Share this