Sep 26, 2019

Enter Shikari - Soundstage

By Bob Suehs

ENTER SHIKARI

9/26/19

Baltimore, Maryland

Soundstage

 ENTER SHIKARI Set List:  The Spark, Stop The Clocks, Destabilise, SSSnakepit, Arguing With Thermometers, Anesthetist, Rabble Rouser, Juggernauts, Undercover Agents, Paddington Frisk, Torn Apart, Airfield, Mothership, Quickfire (Sorry/No Sleep/Garrison/Meltdown), ENCORE:  Slipshod, Live Outside

 Initially formed in 1999 under the name “Hybrid”, Enter Shikari combine many sounds and styles to create their own breed of music.  They are considered pioneers in the genre of “Electronicore” because their sound is equal parts dance music and hardcore.  Enter Shikari’s live show is loud, crunchy rock guitars accompanying pumpin’ dance beats, aggro vocals, with interestingly melodic moments.

 Lead singer Rou Reynolds is an interestingly cool mix of Johnny Rotten and Ed Sheeran.  His screamo vocals add harshness to the non hardcore moments and the keyboards and synths level out the brash guitar tones.

 Bassist Chris Batten took the stage in an unassuming manner; his presence is at times missed because he’s too busy holding the rhythm of the band together with drummer Rob Rolfe.

 Guitarist Liam Clewlow played the same Fender Telecaster for the entire set; his guitar was white but his tone was anything but pure.  

 The show started a few minutes late because “sparky” was not working.  “Sparky” is the futuristic radar keyboard contraption that the band uses as a center piece onstage.   

“The Spark” is Enter Shikari’s fifth record and was released on September 22, 2017.  The record has a political theme to it with futuristic, space age vibes.

 The venue was sectioned off because this was a smaller show.  Attendance wise there were around 300 fans when Shikari took the stage.  Shikari’s fanbase is quite young and they devoured every note the band played onstage.  At various points in the set both Rou and Liam were performing in the crowd.

Drummer Rob Rolfe asked the crowd if anyone was able to “crack” his back because he was hurting.  A random fan told him he could “crack” his back and Rob took the fan up on the offer.  The fan was a large gentleman and he promptly “cracked” his back.  Rob commented that it felt amazing and this prompted guitarist Liam to go into the crowd for a back “cracking”.  

 Rou told the crowd that this was “not a performance”, that what the band was doing onstage was simply them.  He told the crowd that they made it a point to dance differently every night, to change the set list, and they tried to make every performance as “in the moment” as possible.

 Before the encore Rou joked that they were going to perform four songs in seven minutes and this was what they called the “Quickfire Round” where they played “Sorry, You’re Not A Winner”, “No Sleep Tonight”, “The Last Garrison”, and “….Meltdown” back to back.

 Enter Shikari sounded amazing, their energy was through the roof, and their fans danced to the music until they said goodnight and exited the stage.

Interesting sidenote, at the bands merch table they offered Enter Shikari Tea Towels for $15 amongst signed vinyl and special tour shirts.