If the idea of a mosh pit crossed with a rave sounds like your kind of thing then the Roundhouse was the place to be on Friday. Australia’s favourite British post-hardcore band Enter Shikari had graced our shores for the second time this year and along for the ride was Australia’s In Hearts Wake.

Sydney welcomed Byron five-piece In Hearts Wake like they were their very own. With their album Divination being released less than a month ago, this show gave fans a chance to hear a bunch of new songs live, as well as their favourites from the EPs. Their set was only small, barely lasting half an hour, but it left current fans happy and grabbed the attention of many more.

Enter Shikari are a band that you must see live. Put them on your bucket list and then the next time they tour cross it off (preferably more than once). Their energy, the political lyrics, the electro beats mixed with breakdowns, and the pyrotechnics all add up to be an entertaining show. It’s no wonder Australia welcomes them back with open arms time and time again.

As soon as the first few bars of “System…”, which of course became “..Meltdown” played, the crowd were on their feet, the beer garden had cleared out and everyone had their eyes affixed to the stage where they would remain for the next hour and half.

Everyone in the crowd went crazy during ”Sorry You’re Not A Winner”, the obvious reaction to a song which has been a favourite of many for the last six years. If that wasn’t entertaining enough, vocalist Rou Reynolds and guitarist Rory Clewlow had climbed the speaker stacks, indicating what punters could expect of the rest of the set.

With energy like that of a young kid, the band was running around the stage, climbing and jumping off of things as well as spending some quality time in amongst the crowd.

If the speaker climbing, stage diving energy wasn’t enough they also teamed it with great pyrotechnics. During the latest songs ‘The Flash Flood Of Colour’, light would appropriately flash in an array of patterns, one of the many lighting effects used throughout.

At the end of “Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide” Clewlow climbed back up two stacks of speakers and paused which led the crowd to believe he was going to jump off into the crowd. Although he didn’t, the anticipation was enough.

The best pyrotechnic section of the show was before “Destabilise” with the electro noises building to an explosion of lights, this happened multiple times before the song began on an epic note. At one point in this song, Clewlow was in the crowd with not only his guitar but with a mic – with those nearby singing along.

It’s not just the gimmicks that make Enter Shikari great to watch, it’s also the fact that they are an incredibly talented and great band. You go from Rou playing classical intros on the keyboard before “Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here” to guitarist Clewlow playing jazz funk interludes during the breaks.

Not only that, but the way they mix breakdowns with techno beats is outstanding. This was seen in songs like “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi” where you could easily mistake that you were at a rave not a hardcore show.

Before an old favourite “Juggernauts”, they brought their new sound tech out on stage and made him jump into the crowd as part of his initiation as part of their team.

The last, self-titled “Enter Shikari” had people singing along and up on each other shoulders. As the band left the stage chants for an encore began which slowly turned into lyrics from the last song “and we will still be here standing like statues” appropriate because the crowd was not going to move until they saw one last song.

Enter Shikari didn’t disappoint fans, coming back out to play “Sssnakepit” and “Zzzonked”. Unfortunately during most of the night the sound wasn’t the best with mics experiencing technical difficulties or at the wrong volume, this didn’t change the energy from both the band and the crowd making it a perfect start to the weekend.

– Marissa Hanson

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