If you’re a fan of bands that have dedication and passion for their art then tonight’s diverse line up is most definitely for you. Packed into the Leeds University Stylus are three American bands who all in their own right are turning heads and making waves in the rock scene.
Up first are Ice Nine Kills and it doesn’t take front man Spencer Charnas long to descend into the front row of fans, a few of which are clearly hardcore fans. “Let’s burn this room to the floor Leeds” Charnas screeches into the microphone and the Leeds crowd gives the band the reaction they deserve. Enjoy Your Slay, a track based on The Shining is a real highlight of the night, the mix of spoken word backing track, Charnas’ clean vocal and the harsh growls make for a real strong, varied sound. Ice Nine Kills are a perfect opener for the tour; they have the same horror vibes as the main act and clearly have a good core following- watch this space for bigger shows in the future.
Main support for the tour are Cane Hill, the Louisiana foursome who have just released their sophomore album. Opening with older track Time Bomb, Cane Hill are bringing the fire tonight, Elijah Witt’s sleazy approach to singing works super well with the stodgy bass riffs and distortion from the lead guitar. Lord Of Flies from new album Too Far Gone is ridiculously catchy, the guitar work is intriguing and the chorus undoubtedly anthemic. Ugly Model Mannequin is a certified banger and new track Erased which Witt described as “a fucking ballad” gets a great response, definitely check this track out. The mix of songs from first album Smile and the latest offering Too Far Gone is well balanced; it’s a shame that the band don’t get more time to showcase their work to the MIW crowd- some of whom were not entirely convinced by this support booking.
Towering over the crowd (aided by impressive platform boots) Chris Motionless, front man to Motionless In White looks over his adoring subjects, it’s been a hot minute since the band played a full UK tour and as the band drop straight into Rats, the opener from latest album Graveyard Shift, it’s clear to see these fans have been desperate for MIW’s return. Reincarnate, the title track of their last album is dropped earlier than expected and is a mass sing-a-long, the electronic horror metal that Motionless do so well is showcased super well in this track. The Korn sounding (not just because Johnathan Davies features on the track) Necessary Evil is a real bass driven track and Ghost, bassist for MIW represents everything the band is; his dead masquerade outfit complete with rabbit mask is visually striking. MIW are not just about how everything sounds, the whole concept of the band is to challenge you not just audibly but visually too, it’s more than just the music with this band. Two female dancers appear throughout the show as different characters and during LOUD (Fuck It) they wave branded MIW flags as Chris’ annihilating screams ring around the sold out venue.
Older track Abigail gets the best reaction of the night so far and Chris invites Spencer from Ice Nine Kills to join him on guest vocals for the track. Playing London In Terror for the first time in over 5 years, the track is welcomed back with open arms- a real treat for those who have followed the band for years.
Apologising for not coming back to the UK sooner (apart from playing Download festival), Chris states that they wanted to make sure that this tour was visually everything they wanted it to be, describing past tours as “diet Motionless In White”. Meaning the addition of brighter stage lighting and the female dancers, however it’s not only the extras away from Motionless that has improved; the band themselves seem more cohesive and are sounding better than ever- the guitars are rowdy and in your face and the bass outspoken and loud, Chris’ clean and screaming vocals on point.
Dropping into the anthemic America, the raucous crowd fall more in love with the band, the ladies are back- this time with water guns, spraying the crowd. They make a quick costume change and are back in time for the chants of D.E.A.D to begin Dead As Fuck, this time dressed as gothic cheerleaders. It seems as if someone had raided the bargain bins on November 1st as the band use as many Halloween props as they can during the track and it’s part 2 (Not My Type: Dead As Fuck 2).
“This song is for those of you who have followed us from the start, for the die-hards, those who come to see us each time we play here” states Chris as the band play the highly demanded Immaculate Misconception from their first album Creatures. During Devil’s Night there is a real surge of crowd-surfers and the energy in the room peaks, the end of the concert looms and everyone wants to make sure they’ve completely lost their shit before the night is over.
Returning for an encore of new track Eternally Yours, the whole room sings in chorus together- a perfect song choice to end with, it’s definitely a new anthem for the band. No-one could leave the room tonight feeling dissatisfied, the band gave all their energy and the crowd willingly responded. It was great to see the newer tracks getting just as good of a reaction as the tried and true classics.
Motionless in White do horror metal punk so well, their brand is unique and there’s no-one quite like them in the scene right now, the passion their fans (both young and old) have for the band is heart-warming and it’s a great reminder that rock and roll music is vital and should never die.
All photography and words by Erin Moore of Forte Photography UK: Website