*Review* Biffy Clyro (with Brand New) 3Arena 26/11/16

On Saturday 26th November Scottish alternative rock band Biffy Clyro hit up the 3Arena, Dublin as part of the UK and Ireland dates of their current tour celebrating the release of their seventh album ‘Ellipsis’ which was released back in July. It was their first show in Dublin in two years. Support on the night came from US alternative rock band Brand New.

The arena was starting to fill up as Brand New took to the stage at 7.30. They were fresh off a US headlining tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of their 3rd album ‘The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’ so it was expected that their set would focus on material off it. Having caught the band headlining Vicar Street back in September 2015 I knew what to expect from them live but I was still interested in seeing how they would handle a short set as a support act while playing a much larger venue than what they are used to. They started ‘Sowing Season’, off ‘The Devil and God’, with almost all the stage lights off, with vocalist Jesse Lacey’s vocals barely audible, before more lights turned on as the song sprang to life as the sound of the first ‘yeah’ escaped his mouth. Then they played ‘Gasoline’, the only song in the set off their fourth album ‘Daisy’, followed by ‘Millstone’ another song off ‘The Devil and God’. Nextthey played two off their second album ‘Deja Entendu’, ‘Okay I Believe You, but My Tommy Gun Don’t’ was first before they sped through possibly their most well-known song ‘Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades’. They finished their set with two more off ‘Devil’; the stage lights turned red as Jesse introduced the first ‘this song is called Degausser’ before they finished their set with a captivating, intense and awe-invoking performance of ‘You Won’t Know’. Towards the end of ‘You Won’t Know’ Jesse dropped his guitar, tossed pics into the crowd and left the stage, guitarist Vincent Accardi soon joined him, leaving the remaining two members to play out the last two minutes of their song and set. With less control of their overall live sound Jesse’s vocals did not sound as strong as they were during their headlining set in Vicar Street back in 2015 but their short set was still almost as atmospheric and powerful: 9/10.

The first thing that needs to be addressed in regards to Biffy Clyro’s set is just how massive their stage production was. In addition to the usual screen on either side of the stage they had screens at the back of the stage itself, a three-floor walkway, large strobe lights and most impressively jaw-dropping of all four large light frames starting from the back of the stage with each one closer to the front of the stage being larger the previous. In between and during songs the colours of the lights on these frames changed, making almost every song in the set seem like its own unique live music video. While I thought Red Hot Chili Peppers stage setup for Tennent’s Vital was incredibly impressive this clearly has topped it.

They took to the stage to the sound of a choir chanting before kicking into the thundering ‘Wolves of Winter’ the first single released off ‘Ellipsis’ with the crowd singing along to it. In typical Biffy Clyro fashion vocalist, Simon Neil, was decked out in a long white coat while Ben and James Johnston had both chosen to come out already topless. They then shot back to 2007 with ‘Living Is a Problem Because Everything Dies’, off their fourth album ‘Puzzle’, with the crowd clapping along to its recognizable intro. Three cuts off 2013’s ‘Opposites’ followed, including the massive sing-a-long that is ‘Biblical’ with Simon commenting afterward ‘that was lovely’ before removing his coat and joining his bandmates topless. Recent single ‘Howl’ was received warmly with the crowd singing along. Long-time fans of the band were treated to a rare performance of the ballad like ‘Justboy’ off their debut album ‘Blackened Sky’. ‘Bubbles’, off 2009’s ‘Only Revolutions’, triggered the biggest sing-a-long of the night so far with the crowd jumping along to its chorus. ‘Black Chandelier’, the lead single off ‘Opposites’, triggered another sing-a-long with the crowd singing the part after the breakdown on their own. One of the stand out tracks of the set was one of the heaviest tracks in it, ‘That Golden Rule’, the room absolutely erupted along with its fever pitch, the crowd were screaming along and during it the crowd was also at its liveliest with mosh pits breaking out towards the front of the standing crowd. A surprise came when they played fan favourite ‘Folding Stars’, off ‘Puzzle’, those who knew the words gleefully sang along with it. A more stripped back performance, with no screens or big light, of ‘Re-Arrange’ off ‘Ellipsis’, was surprisingly well received by the crowd as a large portion of the room sang along with the new song. A reminder of their math-rock beginnings came in the form of ‘Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave’, off their third album ‘Infinity Land’, however, it was performed without it’s harsh screamed vocals.


The rest of their set was pretty much just hit after hit. Their highest charting single ‘Mountains’ expectantly caused the biggest sing-a-long of the night. ‘9/15ths’ off ‘Puzzle’ was simply captivating with its chanting of ‘we’re on a hellslide, help us, help us’ and its big, dark, atmospheric sound which filled up the arena perfectly. The electronic rock sound of ‘Animal Style’, a newer track, fits in with their older hits perfectly live. Simon talked about how they’ve been coming to Dublin for shows for 15 years now, from the smallest of venues to now playing the 3Arena, before they played yet another big sing-a-long in the form of ‘Many of Horror’. To end the main set thin curtains dropped down in front of the walkway, which left a small section of the stage in front of them for Simon to play fan favourite acoustic ballad ‘Machines’, as the opening bar rang out almost the entire standing crowd proceeded to, in unison, move even closer to the stage, the thin curtains then acted as projector screens which images of light bulbs flickered on during the song.  Afterward, Simon showed his appreciation for the crowd moving closer and singing so loudly by saying ‘that was the greatest thing ever, thank you’.

Simon left the stage before the band quickly came back on for the encore launching into a strong performance of ‘The Captain’ with the crowd singing along enthusiastically to the ‘whoa’ parts. While ‘People’ off ‘Ellipsis’ has an interesting, and strong live, sound, I do not think it had any real place being in the encore, it could have easily been switched with any of the hits from earlier in the set. Again, ‘Stingin’ Belle’ is another strong live track but I do not entirely get why they finished with it instead of one of their bigger hits, but it was still a fine finish to the set.

Biffy Clyro as a live band are perfect, but still edgy and raw enough to not be boring. Their huge stage production added plenty to the show but the show would have been one of the stand outs of the year even without it. They are as diverse as ever, something that many bands could simply not pull off, as a result their setlist was as far from boring as possible. All of this along with a 27 song strong set, spanning their entire back catalogue by featuring songs off six of their seven albums, including fan favourites, strong new songs and hit after hit after hit, some of which were not written for arenas but stand side by side perfectly with the ones that were, is why I have no issue with calling their set the best I witnessed in 2016: 10/10.


*Review* Tennent’s Vital 2016, Day One – Red Hot Chili Peppers (& Support)


On Thursday the 25th of August I headed up to Belfast for Day One of Tennent’s Vital 2016. Tennent’s Vital is an annual two-day music festival, made up of two single day concerts, in Northern Ireland that currently takes place in The Boucher Road Playing Fields, Belfast. Day One was being headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers with support from Fall Out Boy, Labrinth, Cage The Elephant and Otherkin, an absolutely massive line up!

The first thing I noticed upon arriving at the festival is just how massive the setup is, there was a lot to take in. The venue is a giant field, it was filled with tonnes of food stands, drink stands (including dedicated ones for both Coca-Cola and Deep RiverRock), merchandise stands and a gigantic bar (23 buses in length). There were two sections of porta-potties and multiple drinking water outlets, a viewing platform for the disabled and emergency services on site. There was security everywhere – every precaution possible was taken to ensure the safety of attendees. There was a pit area in front of the stage which required wristbands to get into, this helped to divide up the crowd. The stage itself was massive, the biggest festival stage in Northern Ireland in fact. The VIP section was very impressive, it had a VIP Bar – The Vital, which consisted of two floors, the second of which was a balcony, and it also had plenty of tables and chairs to chill out on and toilets that were basically regular ones instead of porta-potties. The weather was surprisingly perfect and thousands of attendees had already arrived.


Just as I got into the field at 4.30 Dublin 4 piece Otherkin took to the stage to open the festival, it was only their 2nd show in Belfast. Otherkin have been playing the festival circuit all summer with appearances at the likes of the Isle of Wight Festival, Longitude, and Latitude already done and dusted by Tennent’s Vital. They kicked the day off with ’20 to 11’ before playing ‘Feel It’, both tracks are from ‘The 201 EP’. They picked up the pace a bit by playing ‘I Was Born’ the first single released off ‘The New Vice EP’ the crowd clapping along enthusiastically to it. Vocalist Luke Reilly is an engaging frontman, he did his best to get the crowd warmed up and interacting with their set. Luke was already topless from the heat by the time they played recent single ‘Yeah, I Know’, for the song that followed it Luke abandoned his guitar and headed to the front of the crowd, demanded they get on the ground, then he got them to jump up, after which he jumped into the pit itself to finish out the song. I was surprised by just how good Otherkin are live, even on a large stage, simply put, Otherkin were the perfect band to open the festival with their raw infectious energy warming up the crowd perfectly. Ones to watch: 8/10.


American rock band Cage the Elephant took to the stage at 5.25, taking huge advantage of the space offered by the large stage, with an impressive 7 musicians lined up on it, the bands 4 members and 3 additional touring musicians. They started their set with ‘Cry Baby’ off their latest album 2015’s ‘Tell Me I’m Pretty’, they followed it up with one of their oldest hits ‘In One Ear’, off their debut self-titled album, during which the crowd clapped along during the right parts, while vocalist Matthew Shultz spent the song running around the stage erratically. They played another newer track ‘Cold Cold Cold’ next, Matthew continued to take advantage of the size of the stage by running about some more before approaching the barrier and singing into the crowd. Two more tracks off their latest album, ‘Trouble’ and ‘Mess Around’ were played next before their most chilled out number ‘Cigarette Daydreams’, which a significant amount of the crowd sang along to. ‘Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked’ off their debut album went down well with the crowd before the guitar heavy ‘Shake Me Down’, the only song in the set off their 2nd album ‘Thank You, Happy Birthday’. They finished their set to applause with ‘Come A Little Closer’, the stand out track of their set, it is an incredibly strong and emotional live track. Cage The Elephant are a very strong, captivating and talented band live: 8.5/10.


At 6.25 English singer-songwriter Labrinth took to the stage backed by a 4 piece band, guitar in hand, kicking off his set with ‘Misbehavin’’, throughout the song, and the entire set, he switched between playing his guitar and utilizing the equipment he had set up on the stage, which included a laptop and keys. He followed up by playing the first hit of his set 2014’s ‘Let It Be’. The next couple of tracks played were mostly new unreleased tracks and got little response from the crowd. ‘Jealous’ was absent from the set – a strange choice as it was a recent top-10 hit for him. As ‘Passout’ kicked off the crowd woke back up and reacted hugely to it, this enthusiasm continued into ‘Higher’. The short but sweet ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’ triggered the biggest sing-a-long of the day yet before Labrinth finished his set off on a high note with the absolutely massive festival anthem that is ‘Earthquake’. A rocky middle but the most out of place act of the day sold his set by playing hit after hit: 7.5/10.


As 7.30 hit American pop punk heroes Fall Out Boy took to the stage as a simple 4 piece with ‘The Phoenix’ off ‘Save Rock and Roll’. Next, they threw back all the way to 2005’s with ‘Sugar, We’re Goin Down’ off their breakthrough album ‘From Under the Cork Tree’ before shooting forward 10 years with ‘Irresistible’ off their latest album 2015’s ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’. Next fans were treated to more of a live rarity with ‘Hum Hallelujah’ off 2007’s ‘Infinity On High’ before ‘Alone Together’ and ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’. It is of note that the band had a big stage presence despite the minimal movement of the members during the set. Before ‘Fourth Of July’ their bassist Pete Wentz talked about how honoured he was to open for Red Hot Chili Peppers a band he had looked up to since he was a kid, he then went on to dedicate the song to the kids who make art in the crowd, stating that one day one of them would be opening for his band. ‘Uma Thurman’ got the crowd dancing and clapping along to its beat and catchy chorus before ‘Dance, Dance’, during which a member of the crowd in the pit was standing on one of his friends. The infectious pop of the title track off ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ followed before a surprising highlight of the set came in the form of ‘I Don’t Care’, the only song in the set off 2009’s not so well received ‘Folie à Deux’. There were strobe lights flashing during ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs’ and yellow fireworks went off during ‘Centuries’, after which they took a photo with the crowd.


‘My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light ‘Em Up)’ was accompanied by pyro during the ‘so light ’em up’ line of the chorus. They finished their set with ‘Saturday’ off their first album 2003’s ‘Take This To Your Grave’, during which Pete Wentz put down his bass so that he could scream along before he made his way towards the front of the crowd so that he could scream the lyrics into the faces of those lucky enough to be there. Fall Out Boy somehow crammed a balanced sixteen song set, featuring plenty of new material off ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ and a string of their classic hits charting across their 13-year long career, into a set that was just over an hour long; they simply displayed flawless talent: 10/10.


As 9.15 hit darkness had fallen on the festival grounds and tens of thousands of music fans were waiting for Red Hot Chili Peppers to take to the stage. As the intro to ‘Can’t Stop’ started being played and the band took to the stage the crowd exploded, easily the loudest they had been all day. The stage set up was big, 1 large half oval screen in the centre, with 4 smaller circle screens around it, strobes and tonnes of lights, during ‘Can’t Stop’ these screens showed live black and white footage of the band playing. During ‘Dani California’ these screens were yellow with purple lights, following ‘Scar Tissue’ vocalist Anthony Kiedis greeted the crowd, ‘hello, nice to meet you’. ‘Dark Necessities’ off their new and eleventh album ‘The Getaway’ followed and got a warm response from the crowd, during it, Anthony gave a shout out to their synth and piano player Chris. The first big highlight of their set came from ‘Snow (Hey Oh)’ off 2006’s ‘Stadium Arcadium’ as the crowd erupted into a big sing-a-long, with people on each other’s shoulders and plenty of crowd surfers.


Newer songs followed with ‘Look Around’, the only song in the set off 2012’s ‘I’m with You’, and the title track off ‘The Getaway’. Another highlight of the set came when they played one of my favourite songs ‘Otherside’, a bass solo from Flea started off the song before guitarist Josh Klinghoffer joined in for a bass/guitar duel, like ‘Snow’ this song caused another massive sing-a-long with people again sitting on each other’s shoulders. For ‘Suck My Kiss’ the lights focused on the 4 members of the band grouped together in the centre of the stage. The lights and video crew all deserve major credit for the work they put into Red Hot Chili Peppers set, it was all an amazing spectacle and added a lot to an already perfect set. Another new song ‘Go Robot’, my favourite off ‘The Getaway’, was played next before a second bass/guitar duel, which got faster and faster as it went, kicked into ‘Californication’. A string of hits in the form of ‘Parallel Universe’, ‘Under the Bridge’ and ‘By The Way’ finished off the main body of their set.

For their encore, Red Hot Chili Peppers played one last new song ‘Goodbye Angel’ off ‘The Getaway’, which felt like a fitting song. Just before the last song of their set started the sky opened and the first rain of the day poured down on the crowd, together with ‘Give It Away’ this ended the night perfectly. As expected Red Hot Chili Peppers are easily the best band I have ever seen live, only a few very tiny cracks show through, despite their age, Flea in particular, did his best not to show his age by bouncing around the stage all set to the delight of the crowd. It was just another night for one of the best bands in the world but for everybody else it was unforgettable: 10/10.

Every act who played Tennent’s Vital 2016, Day One put on very enjoyable sets, the atmosphere was incomparable to anything else I have attended, the weather was a huge bonus and kept everybody in good spirits as they enjoyed the perfect festival vibe. I will be back to Tennent’s Vital next Summer for sure and I would encourage you all to get tickets to one  (if not both) of the days too.

All images featured in the piece above are ‘free pictures’ provided by Tennent’s Vital. IrishRockn’Metal claims no rights to the above images, they have been used for reporting purposes only.

Chrissy Costanza on Ireland, Warped, Download, Video Games & Roam. (Against the Current) *Interview*

against the current support.jpg

On August 17th I phoned the vocalist of American pop rock band Against the Current, Chrissy Costanza, ahead of the band’s upcoming Irish shows in Mandela Hall, Belfast on Monday, September 26th and in The Academy, Dublin on Tuesday, September 27th. I previously reviewed their debut headlining Irish show in The Academy 2 in October 2015 and their set when they supported All Time Low earlier this year in the 3Arena, Dublin in February. If you are interested in what they are like live you can check those reviews out by clicking here and here. During the phone call we talked about;

How this crazy year has been for Against the Current so far: ‘‘It’s been pretty busy, especially [because] right before Warped Tour we did a week in London, where we did a bunch of stuff, really last minute too, that got sprung on us. Then we’ve been on Warped Tour all summer, then we had the tour back in February and March, so there has been a lot going on.’’

Their first Warped Tour: ‘‘Honestly it was awesome, I didn’t really know what to expect, I just knew it was going to be a really long hot summer, which it definitely was, it was very, very long and very hot. We haven’t really done a whole lot of touring with other bands before, so it was great having tonnes of people around to meet every day and hang out with and just kind of do different things with. So it was great, the experience was awesome, the fans were really awesome, and [I] definitely had a great time.’’

Playing Download Festival at the last minute while they were in London for a week in June: ‘‘When we were there Download got sprung on us two days before we knew we were gonna have to play it. So it was like well yeah let’s just play a direct support slot on a heavy metal festival real quick without any of our gear or crew or anybody.’’

Playing Download as a softer, more pop band, than what the festival’s audience is used to, and how the crowd responded to that: ‘‘It was really good actually, I was surprised. I literally was asking people in our camp, I was like ‘hey do you think they’ll throw things at us?’ because I’ve heard stories about people getting things thrown at them by different fan bases, ‘are we gonna get booed off the stage?’ and they were like ‘I dunno, maybe’ and I was like ‘okay cool that sounds great’. But they were really, really receptive about it like you could see on their faces, no one knew who we were like you could see that but they were into it, they were bobbing their heads. It started pouring rain, they all just whipped out ponchos and stayed, not a single person left. It was like 10,000 people standing there too, it was awesome.’’

What she got up to during her first trip to Ireland on a high school trip: ‘‘Yeah I don’t totally remember where we went but I know we did a lot in the countryside. We went to a farm, we did a lot of stuff on the farm, we made Irish soda bread, I milked a cow, stuff like that. So it was cool we did a lot of different things, and it was beautiful, the countryside is beautiful. I always wish we had time to go do those things when we were touring as well.’’

Going to Belfast for the first time during this tour: ‘‘Yeah I’ve never been to that part of the world yet even, so I’m excited.’’

What fans can expect from this upcoming tour: ‘‘Yes, definitely [new songs], now that the records out. On Warped Tour we only played a couple of songs off the record because we just had a short set in general. So, this time, they can expect a very different set, a very different show in general, it’s a very different dynamic show, so it’ll be nothing like it was before.’’

Picking As It Is (I reviewed their set at Slam Dunk Festival in Birmingham back in May, check that out here) and Beach Weather (who feature Nick Santino the former frontman of A Rocket to the Moon) as the support for the tour: ‘‘Honestly, we get a little bit selfish with supports, a lot of the time we are not trying to put a package together like ‘okay guys this will get the most fans if we do this’. We really like As It Is, we really like Beach Weather, [and] we think they are both like good people. We toured with As It Is before, they are really nice guys, they are really fun to get along with and tour with. We haven’t really toured with Beach Weather personally but we have like mutual friends and I really love their EP. So I think it will be a good tour.’’


Their favourite band to tour with: ‘‘I’m going to say, Roam. They are our favourite band to tour with for sure, they were on Warped Tour [too], they came out on our tour with us, and we also did a tour last year with them and As It Is. We hung out with them all the time on Warped Tour, we hang out with them a lot, [and] they are definitely our best band friend’s type thing, like the whole band is friends with the whole band type thing. They are awesome. Like at any given time I [could] walk on to the bus, and someone from Roam was on the bus, so it was good.’’

Why you should go to Roams show in Fibber Magees, Dublin on November 27th, as well as their own Dublin show in The Academy on September 27th: ‘‘Hopefully you go to both shows! We have nothing but love and support for Roam. I hope all of our fans go to both shows for sure. Alex Costello (Roams vocalist) turns into a small pony on stage, like bucking at all times, and then also is kind of a rabbit too, he like jumps around everywhere, and it’s great.’’

Her favourite song to sing live currently: ‘‘Right now, it’s Wasteland, it’s kind of dreamy and ethereal at times, and then it builds up, we turned the quote on quote breakdown part, that’s more synth based on the record, we made it very rock when we play it live. So it’s really fun to play live, it’s got kind of a little bit of everything right now.’’

On playing the 3Arena, Dublin when they supported All Time Low in February, the 3Arena being a very large venue compared to the 200 capacity Academy 2 they headlined back in October 2015 when they first played Dublin: ‘‘I think the Academy 2 could have fit in our dressing room at that show. Dublin was the best show of that tour, believe it or not, as well because for some reason it seemed like so many more people at that show knew who we were compared to the other arena shows, the other ones it would be like little pockets of people in the crowd [that] you could see singing along but a lot of people didn’t know who we were, whereas like in Dublin it felt like a headliner at some points, people like knew who we were and they were there and having a good time and singing along and they were loud, like if I put the mic out they were singing, you could hear them and it was like well, cool. Yeah it was shocking, I didn’t expect it at all, we were like in the beginning of the set, and I thought I would like try my luck on ‘Gravity’, I was like okay, maybe I’ll try holding the mic out and see if there is any response, I was like it might be dead silence though because even if 30 people are singing when you’re in an arena you are not going to hear them, and I held the mic out and I heard lots of voices, and I was like ‘wow this is so cool, this is awesome’.’’

Shooting a music video for ‘Young & Relentless’ while touring on Warped Tour: ‘‘We shot it in Chicago while we were on Warped Tour, we did it on an off day. So we literally just instead of taking a day off we went and shot a music video.’’

The video games she is currently playing and looking forward to playing: ‘‘Right now I haven’t been playing many just because we were on tour all summer and it’s hard having an internet connection or anything like that. WoW [World of Warcraft] is probably what I’ve played the most recently and then I download Overwatch but I haven’t really played it too much yet. The best game ever though is actually an iPhone app called The Room 3 that I played for 12 hours straight until I beat it. Also The Stick of Truth 2 (South Park: The Fractured But Whole) coming out in December, that is definitely gonna be my life until I beat it.’’

*Competition* Avenged Sevenfold & Disturbed 3Arena, Dublin on January 7th!

The competition ends on the 26th of August, the winner will then be picked!
Just Retweet the tweet below and Follow @IrishRocknMetal on Twitter to enter!

You can also enter by liking and sharing the image below on Facebook!

avenged 3arena

Live at 3Arena, Dublin

Saturday, 7th January

Under 16’s to be accompanied by adult

Tickets from €55.65 on sale Thursday, 4th August at 9am from Ticketmaster

AVENGED SEVENFOLD today announced a co-headline show for 3Arena with DISTURBED for January 7th. Tickets will go on sale Thursday, 4th August at 9am.

With several awards under their belt including “Best International band” and “Rock song of the year”, Hail to The King is the latest album from Avenged Sevenfold following up from their 5th studio album Nightmare. This earned the band it’s highest ever debut on the Billboard album chart when it took the Number One spot and spawned three Number One, hit-singles “Nightmare”, “So Far Away” and “Welcome To The Family”.

After a four-year hiatus, Grammy Award-nominated, multiplatinum hard rock titans Disturbed released their new album entitled Immortalized in 2015.

Disturbed formed in Chicago in 1996, Disturbed have sold 12 million albums globally, scored nine No. 1 singles at Active Rock Radio, and had four consecutive albums debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, a feat shared only with Metallica and Dave Matthews Band.

Don’t miss rock heavy weights Avenged Sevenfold & Disturbed, Live at 3Arena
January 7th – Tickets on sale this Thursday at 9am from €55.65!

For more information on the bands, click:


Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to headline Tennent’s Vital 2016 on August 25th!

red hot

Thursday 25 August 2016, Boucher Road Playing Fields

Tennent’s Vital is back for 2016 with a red hot line up for Boucher Road Playing Fields on Thursday 25th August.

Tennent’s Lager and MCD are hugely excited that the Red Hot Chili Peppers will headline joined by special guests, Fall Out Boy, Labrinth, Cage the Elephant and Otherkin.

Brian Beattie, Marketing Director for Tennent’s NI, said: “Tennent’s Vital has earned a unique place as a highlight of Northern Ireland’s music calendar and each year we have to up the ante by delivering top international plus fresh home-grown talent. You may feel that 2015 was, literally, a hard act to follow, but 2016 has shaped up to be something special – all credit to our industry- leading partners at MCD!”

One of the best-selling bands of all time, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold over 60 million albums, including five multi-platinum LPs.  They have six Grammy Awards to their credit, including ‘Best Rock Album’ for Stadium Arcadium, ‘Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group’ for Dani California, ‘Best Rock Song’ for Scar Tissue and ‘Best Hard Rock Performance With Vocal’ for Give It Away …  creating for themselves a worldwide fan base that spans the generations.  The band holds the all-time record for most No.1 singles at Alternative Radio – a total of eleven singles with a combined 81 weeks at No.1! No surprise, then, when the band which came together in LA back in 1983 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

The US giants of rock last played Belfast as part of the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2011, and RHCP’s return to Northern Ireland has been hotly anticipated with much speculation on whether singer Anthony Kiedis, bass player Flea, drummer Chad Smith and guitarist Josh Klinghoffer would play Tennent’s Vital.

Chicago’s favourite rockers, Fall Out Boy, made it big on the international stage with a run of amazing albums. Infinity On High hit the No.1 album slot in 2007 and Save Rock And Roll took the slot again in 2013.  American Beauty/American Psycho was their sixth studio album, spinning off three solid chart singles: Centuries, Uma Thurman, Irresistable (featuring Demi Lovato).  The album also includes an alternate version of Immortals, the band’s RIAA Gold, UK No 1 single from the soundtrack of the record-setting Disney movie, Big Hero 6.

Although the Illinois foursome – of Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Andy Hurley and Joe Trohman – have been making mega hits for 10 years, it wasn’t until November last year that they won their first American Music Award for favourite artist.

Long celebrated as one of the most explosive live bands in the world, Cage the Elephant has toured extensively, selling out several headlining runs and have performed with The Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Muse and Queens of the Stone Age.

The band first hit music consciousness in 2008 when their explosive first album went gold and the single ‘Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked’ earned platinum. Their challenging and eclectic sound built them an eager fan base across Europe as well as America and they followed up on early success with the more punk-ish album ‘Thank You, Happy Birthday’, before hitting their musical stride with the release of ‘Melophobia’ which earned a Grammy Award nomination in 2015 for Best Alternative Album. The album delivered two Number One singles on the Alternative charts and elevated the brand to new heights. The band’s current album ‘Tell me I’m Pretty’ pushes the advances they made with ‘Melophobia’ and draws on the sounds that originally inspired them to make music.

Tickets for Tennent’s Vital 2016 on Thursday 25th August, headlined by The Red Hot Chili Peppers and featuring Fall Out Boy and Cage the Elephant, at Boucher Road Playing Fields, priced £49.50 including booking fee, are on sale now from http://www.ticketmaster.ie. Visit http://www.tennentsvital.com for further event details.

Tennent’s Vital is an over 16s event.  However, a parent aged 25 and over can take up to two under 16s to the show.  Parents will be required to show age identification and sign a consent form in order to gain admission on the day. Under 16s must be accompanied by their parent at all times. Bars will operate a strict Challenge 25 policy.

Also on Friday 26th August Swedish DJ Avicii is set to headline the 2nd day of Tennent’s Vital 2016 with support from Jess Glynne, Duke Dumont, Galantis and Zak Abel. Tickets cost £39.50 including booking fee.


*New Show + Competition* Beartooth in The Academy 2, Dublin on December 16th!

The competition ends on the 29th of September, the winner will then be picked!
Just Retweet the tweet below and Follow @IrishRocknMetal on Twitter to enter!

You can also enter by liking and sharing this image on Facebook! via:

Live at The Academy 2, Dublin
Friday 16th December
Tickets from €20 are on sale NOW
Available from ticketmaster.ie and outlets Nationwide

Following their incredible performance on the main stage at this year’s Download Festival – Ohio hardcore mob Beartooth (who are nominated in the Best Breakthrough category at tonight’s Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards) are thrilled to announce an Academy date on 16 December.  

In the two short years since their debut album was cooked up in front man Caleb Shomo’s basement, Beartooth has catapulted into heavy music’s stratosphere. They have collected over 10 million views on YouTube, trekked around the globe sharing the stage with Slipknot, Pierce The Veil, Bring Me The Horizon and Sleeping With Sirens and playing festivals like Reading & Leeds, Download and the Vans Warped Tour. They’ve earned multiple Alternative Press and Kerrang! award nominations, gotten daytime airplay across the globe and been named a “New Artist You Need To Know” by Rolling Stone.

 For Aggressive (Out now on Red Bull Records), Shomo again retreated to his home studio to write, perform and produce the album’s 12 tracks, re-teaming with John Feldmann (The Used, Blink-182) for a bit of songwriting contribution and enlisting David Bendeth (Killswitch Engage, Paramore) to mix the release. The resulting songs have as much in common with stomping metalcore as old-school punk, vintage screamo and harder-edged pop punk, combining circle pit-inducing bangers with soaring choruses and bridging raw authentic intensity with accessibility.

*Review* Bring Me The Horizon (With ASIWYFA & Don Broco) Belsonic – Titanic Quarter, Belfast 17/06/16


On Friday the 17th June I headed up to Belfast for the weekend, that day I headed to Belsonic in its new home of the Titanic Quarter to see English rock band Bring Me The Horizon. Support on the night came from fellow English rock band Don Broco and local heroes And So I Watch You From Afar (ASIWYFA). Belsonic’s new home has gifted the festival with a larger capacity, tonnes of space to make use of and a view of the nearby Titanic Belfast. The extra space has allowed for some fair style attractions and a larger VIP area, due to this space the venue feels far from cramped as empty space was only a small stroll away from the best views of the stage. Speaking of the stage it was both very large and very impressive, it was relatively high off the ground too giving everybody a great view, something you would normally only see at much larger festivals.


Despite taking to the stage an hour after the gate opened Don Broco are greeted by a relatively sparse crowd, not that they let it bother them. Having caught them live back in February last year as part of The Kerrang! Tour 2015 I knew exactly what to expect from them, fun and at times borderline cheeky English pop rock. The always catchy ‘You Wanna Know’ kicked off their set to much fanfare from the crowd. Before ‘What You Do To Me’, off their latest album ‘Automatic’, vocalist Rob Damiani asks the crowd to get on the ground before getting them to jump up as the song started. ‘Money Power Fame’ was a fun song to finish their set off with, with Rob and Matt trading vocals throughout it. A brief set from a band who could have easily played, and kept the crowd entertained, for longer but it was easily enjoyable by anybody regardless of if they knew the band beforehand or not: 8/10.


By the time And So I Watch You From Afar took to the stage the venue was starting to fill up, even moreso by the end of their set. ASIWYFA’s music is largely instrumental, at times featuring either sampled or live vocals that are little more than ‘oooh’s and ‘aaah’s, resulting in these vocals sounding more like sound effects than singing. Their set consisted of songs from all four of their albums. The local crowd seemed pretty into the set, with fans near the front starting a mosh pit pretty early in the set, this mosh pit was quickly broken up by the security (due to Belsonic’s strict ‘no moshing’ policy) who from then on kept an eye on that section of the crowd for the rest of the set, despite this a second attempt at a mosh pit was not stopped. ASIWYFA finished their set off with ‘The Voiceless’ off their debut self-titled album, ‘The Voiceless’ being both an even more atmospheric song than the rest of their set and the perfect chilled song to finish their set with, to serious applause from the crowd. Arguably not the right band to fill the main support slot on this show but being out of place took nothing away from their set: 8/10.


Where do I even start with Bring Me The Horizon? I first came across the band when ‘Pray for Plagues’ off 2006’s ‘Count Your Blessings’ was the video that autoplayed on a girl I knews Bebo page back in 2009, it would be more than a year before I would even call the song or contents of the ‘deathcore’ album ‘music’, and it would be a few more years before I started to fully appreciate the album as a whole. Meanwhile I like many other surprised people had fallen absolutely in love with the metalcore sound of their 2nd album ‘Suicide Season’ and in turn with the experimental sound of 3rd album ‘There Is A Hell…’. I was meant to see the band live in Birmingham with Bullet for My Valentine in December 2010 but due to a clash with my college exams I was unable to attend, and then somehow nobody told me they were playing The Academy, Dublin until a few days before the gig, when the show was already sold out. Missing both of those shows has absolutely killed me ever since. When they last played Belsonic, again with Bullet for My Valentine, I was still living in Clare and could not afford it. So finally getting to see them over five years after I first meant to means a lot to me.

Over the course of their last two albums they have almost completely abandoned their metalcore sound for a heavy arena rock sound, despite this I, like most of their fanbase, have fully embraced this change. Even the mainstream media has had to embrace the band as both of their last two albums have charted on the mainstream charts in multiple countries, ‘That’s The Spirit’ debuting at No. 2 in both the US and UK, something none of us, myself included, ever expected from a deathcore band from Sheffield that once upon a time everybody seemed to hate.


Bring Me The Horizon opened their set with ‘Doomed’ into ‘Happy Song’, the chants of ‘S P I R I T Spirit let’s hear it!’ from the crowd being almost deafening. ‘Go To Hell, for Heaven’s Sake’ off ‘Sempiternal’, unexpectedly one of the strongest tracks of the night, showcased that the heavier album fits in perfectly with the arena rock direction of ‘That’s The Spirit’, the song sounded absolutely massive live. As ‘The House of Wolves’ kicked in vocalist Oli Sykes demanded circle pits and the crowd ever eager to please formed multiple ones during the song. ‘Avalanche’, my favorite track off ‘That’s The Spirit’, was the highlight of the set for me, I will also not deny that I shed a few tears during the emotional ‘I need a cure for me…’ part of the song. ‘Chelsea Smile’ off ‘Suicide Season’ was the oldest song in the set, one Oli struggles to perform live due to the damage his throat sustained due to his screaming during the bands early days, so before they played it Oli asked the crowd to sing it for him, as the song kicked off Oli demanded that the crowd ‘jump, jump, jump’. Midway through ‘Chelsea Smile’ during the bridge Oli asked if the crowd trusted him then asked everybody to ‘sit on the fucking floor’ saying that ‘the memories will last forever’, the band members themselves and even some of the security joined in, then as the song kicked back in he said ‘3,2,1 jump’ and the crowd sprung back into life.

A sampled section of ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ from Metal Gear Solid signaled the start of ‘Shadow Moses’ aka ‘this is sempiternal’, clips from the songs music video played in the background on the large screen on the stage and at points during it the smoke cannons shot off clouds of smoke. Oli spoke about depression before they played ‘Sleepwalking’, they followed it up with a song that is the closest thing to pop song that the band will probably ever release ‘Follow You’, then started to restore the energy in the crowd with ‘Can You Feel My Heart’. They rounded out their main set with their heaviest anthems with the angsty, heavy, keyboard warrior activists calling out track that is ‘Antivist’ and the nu-metal sounding ‘Throne’. By the end of ‘Antivist’ Oli’s vocals were sounding a bit blown, despite that he got through ‘Throne’ with very little weakness in his voice showing through.


Bring Me The Horizon’s encore consisted of their most chilled songs, which are much easier on Oli’s throat that late into a set, finishing on these more stripped back emotional songs in my opinion was perfect. ‘True Friends’ was a bit heavier than the other two songs played as part of the encore but it kept the tempo up and it resulted in one of the loudest sing-a-longs of the night. A very welcome surprise came during the encore with the addition of ‘Blessed With A Curse’ off their 3rd album ‘There Is A Hell…’,  something that those of us who keep an eye on tour setlists were not expecting, the members of the crowd that knew it happily sang along. They finished their set with the expected ‘Drown’ a song that nobody expected from them when they released it back in late 2014, a song that hinted at how arena rock focused their next album ‘That’s The Spirit’ was to be. The set ended with an explosive finish with smoke cannons shooting off before the reveal of the BMTH logo in lights.

Arena rock and arena shows suit Bring Me The Horizon far more than I ever expected them to, the band felt right at home playing Belsonic. The crowd sang along throughout the set and Oli interacted with the crowd perfectly. Despite Oli’s vocals being far from perfect at times I simply can not fault the band: 10/10. When are they back?