Enter Shikari @ Theatre Of Living Arts

PHILADELPHIA, PA—What promised to be an all-out full headlining tour from the British rock band Enter Shikari, turned into a night that almost tore the Theatre Of Living Arts apart due to not only the audience, but the band as well. Their new album, A Flash Flood Of Colour, was released earlier this year and reached the number one spot on the UK album charts—giving the boys yet another reason to be excited to play music off of the new album.

Supporting Enter Shikari were At The Skylines and letlive. The main floor was packed already for letlive. and rightfully so. I had missed out on At The Skylines and only made it for the end of letlive. They were a bit harder in sound than I thought they would be and they had this amazing energy that just filled the venue.

I hadn’t seen Enter Shikari live before and was really excited to hear the new album play out in front of me. They opened their set with “System…” and “…Meltdown,” the opening to the new album and the obvious set starter. When I say that from the first note the band did not stop moving and going crazy, I really mean it. It was as if each band member was trying to outdo each other in their stage performance.

Guitarist Rory Clewlow and bassist Chris Batten were all over the stage, flinging their instruments around and I thought they had hit each other on several occasions. Singer Rou Reynolds was 20 steps ahead of these two, trying to take down the stage equipment. The only person on stage that wasn’t trying to do any harm was fill-in drummer Steve, who the band thanked greatly on his ability to quickly learn the songs.

Not even halfway through the set, Reynolds took crowd surfing to the next level by making fans worry for his safety. During “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi,” Reynolds jumped into the crowd and proceeded to make his way up on the floor’s bar and then climb up the column supporting the balcony. He finished out the song by clinging to the railing and swinging over the crowd below. On his return back to the stage, which allowed for a few photo-ops with fans, Enter Shikari played “Sorry, You’re Not A Winner.” It was a pretty cool sight to see the crowd handclapping in perfect unison during this song.

When the band wasn’t busy running around and trying to swing from the speakers—as Reynolds did a couple times—or wheeling one of the speakers around on stage, they took a break with the slower and acoustic based, “Stalemate.” For the encore, Reynolds announced that there would only be two more songs. It turned out to technically be three, as the last song, “Sssnakepit,” included a remix version as well.

Enter Shikari put on quite the performance that left me completely impressed. It was definitely a hardcore show but the moments of dance and dubstep were, of course, anticipated and fun. To my surprise was the amount of positivity and talks of going out and doing something good for change, as spoken by Reynolds. With lyrical content that tends to lean on the intellectual side of things, it was nice to see that their message didn’t end when the songs did.