Live: Beartooth – O2 Ritz Manchester, 12/12/16

As the weather gets colder, it only gets hotter and hotter inside the O2 Ritz in Manchester, last week they were graced with The Amity Affliction and exactly a week later they have another set of alternative and metalcore bands playing the stage, to possibly some of the same fans. Trash Boat, with something a little reminiscent of The Story So Far in their music, found their footing eventually when crowd got on board. Their version of hyped up pop punk with edge of hardcore fit seamlessly into the line-up with Vanna and Beartooth both possessing an aggressive edge to their sound. On paper, a few may not know the name Vanna, but they were the perfect fit to play before Beartooth, just as destructive, maybe even more so, but still with a accessible melodic element about them. If anyone in the audience needed to hear something worthwhile ‘Digging’ is that song.

Beartooth have a barrage of anthemic tracks that don’t let up, and on their biggest UK tour to date they not only have the stage space to express themselves but they have a packed out room to have some fun with. After their monstrous debut album, everybody was eager to see how the next release would sound in comparison and self-titled track ‘Aggressive’ started off their new album cycle with a bang, and it was no different at their headline show in Manchester. The title track itself encases several versions of vocalist Caleb Shomo’s voice, deep growls, aggressive screams and harmonised singing, he can pretty much do it all. If one member was the engine behind this well oiled machine, its Shomo.

Sitting up on the balcony you might find yourself watching the crowds antics more than the band, which is no offence to Beartooth, just that even for a metal show of this popularity the constant movement of the crowd was mesmerising, there was enough crowd surfers to make you second guess any choice to be at the very front in fear of being knocked unconscious as several bodies flew up into the air, and even included a circle pit stretching across 90% of the middle of the floor. During the so called ‘Beartooth Interval’ as Shomo described it, the entire crowd were expected to kneel to the ground in an attempt to all jump up at once and create mass chaos, and is anyone surprised that it worked.

The obvious hits from their previous album like ‘In Between’ and ‘The Lines’ were obviously going to create the biggest pits and the biggest sing-a-longs but the new album tracks are the first time they’re being playing for the UK crowd and it was lovely to see the newest tracks going down just as well. And ending their set with ‘King Of Anything’ which included just Shomo and his electric guitar until the start of ‘Body Bag’ when the rest of the band joined him back on stage. If you want to go to a show where it’s constant push and shove to aggressive metal, a Beartooth show might be exactly what you need and if you walk out with a bloody nose or a bruised arm, it’s probably just the norm.

Photo Credit: Erin Moore / Forte Photography UK 

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