Having released an eagerly anticipated album at the beginning of this year, and holding a fantastic live reputation, expectations were high for the Dublin date of their ‘Opposites’ tour in the O2 arena.
A wonderful performance from supporting singer/songwriter Dallas Green, better known as City and Colour received a lively reaction from this massive crowd. With a large percentage of people waving City and Colour t shirts and scarves in appreciation of this guy, he obviously already shared a lot of Biffy’s fans. An energetic performance of solely originals had the crowd shouting lyrics back at him and his band in massive anticipation and excitement for Biffy Clyro.
More and more people were still piling into the venue; finding a spot and holding onto it for dear life, as City and Colour left the stage, receiving a huge reaction for his wonderful set.
Making a massive entrance with ‘Different People’, replicating that perfectly drawn out introduction as it appears on the album, the Biffy Clyro lads came out on fire. Simon Neill’s flawless vocals being the focal point for the first half of this perfect opening song, teasing the crowd for the explosive kickstart that was about to come.
Moving swiftly onto what was possibly the most powerfully exerted song of the night- ‘That Golden Rule‘, had the entire crowd throwing their arms in the air, glaring at the extraordinary lighting and stage production that accompanied this exciting, strong live performance. Running through a mix of tracks from the new album, such as ‘Black Chandelier’ and the more calm title track ‘Opposite’, as well as some very old tracks including ‘Justboy’, the set was bound to satisfy the long-term, loyal fans, as well as the newcomers who just recently found a likeable sound in the latest album.
If there’s one thing Biffy Clyro know how to do better than anyone, it’s perform. Throughout the many live shows I’ve witnessed in my short life, never have I seen a reaction to a song, like I saw when the opening chords of stand out track from Only Revolutions- ‘Bubbles’ rang around the venue. From the upper circle, to the over-crowded standing area- front and back, the entire O2 arena was jumping for the entire duration of this much loved song. It’s possible the security even showed a slight bit of humanity for these few minutes!
With a lot of songs left to play in this extremely impressive set list, Biffy’s stage presence and energy didn’t deteriorate for one minute. Sixteen songs in and Simon Neill felt it appropriate to take out the acoustic guitar to perform what was easily the song of the night for me- ‘Machines’, accompanied by perfectly suited lighting reflecting around the venue. A truely flawless vocal performance from Simon, taken over by the fans as they sang “take the pieces and build them skywards” in sync, at the top of their voices for every chorus. It’s likely that this extraordinary track from the album Puzzle, and the beautiful atmosphere it created, encouraged tears from every corner of the O2.
Drawing towards the end of the night with more crowd favourites- ‘Who’s Got A Match?’ and ‘Many of Horror’, before departing the stage on the catchy, energetic track, ‘The Captain’. Much appreciated by the fans, it didn’t end here. Coming back on stage to a roar which could have taken the roof of this massive arena, they eased their way into a three-song encore with ‘Skylight’. Storming from this calm, soothing track, straight into ‘Stinging Belle’, using the last ounce of energy they had, to give the fans the perfect ending to this top notch show. Closing the night with a few words of appreciation, and one of their most acclaimed songs, ‘Mountains’, really was the perfect finish. Everybody knowing the words, including those who were just dragged along by friends, caused the lyrics of this anthem to echo around the venue.
For a show that had so much to live up to, it definitely met the expectations, and further. Top marks to these guys for fantastic stage presence, a wonderful energy and an all-round outstanding performance. With such a live enthusiasm and attitude, and songs that sound even better live than on record, it’s definitely no surprise this top class band will be owning headline slots at Reading and Leeds festivals this year. They’re the ultimate must-see band if you’re heading to a festival this summer- don’t miss them!